Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Black Flies

they come when you visit,
they come when you work,
they come for dinner with a knife and fork.

Black flies are a tiny little pest with a big bite.  They lay their eggs in cool, rushing water.  They hatch in the spring.  Then the little carnivores try to eat you alive!

Unlike mosquitoes, they don't pierce your skin and suck your blood, they take it by the chunk.  They come in swarms, so swatting them has very little effect.  And once they're done, the welts they leave behind make you want to scrape the rest of your skin off to stop the itching!

Lots of scientific info here.

We do wear bug hats, to help keep them off our faces, out of our eyes and ears, but some of the black flies are small enough to go through the mesh.  Then you have them trapped in there with you, so you squeeze the mesh and squish them in it.  By the end of the day it's hard to see through the blood and guts.  I wear rubber boots to keep my ankles covered.  Long pants and long sleeved shirts, no matter how hot it gets.  We buy calamine lotion in bulk.

The black fly season usually lasts a couple of weeks to a month.  That's when they're the worst.  Cool, rainy weather prolongs it, and can bring them back in hordes just when you think it's almost over.

Here's a little video of a couple guys in the woods being swarmed by black flies. But Wade Hemsworth said it best, with The Black Fly Song. (The Little Abitibi is about 2 hours north east of us). 


  1. ugh. the two most horrible words known to man - black flies! we got ours about 2 weeks ago and although i have the bug nets - i just hate wearing them! then of course i get eaten alive and right now i am covered in welts! jambaloney gets bitten too but he doesn't welt up like i do. and i get sick from the toxins. if you end up getting eaten alive, or your kids and you feel sick - take a benadryl. i don't know why it works, nor have i bothered researching why it works but jambaloney's mom gave me a benadryl last year when she saw how covered i was. when you've been bitten and have gone toxic it makes you crazy. and the benadryl helped. and i am someone that doesn't even take aspirin. i haven't taken the benadryl yet but i think i will hit my toxicity level soon and then i will take one. just one in the middle of the season.

    anyway - enjoy! soon it will be mosquitoe season and then the dreaded deerfly season. why do we like spring and summer?

    your friend,

    1. Ain't that the truth! We've had a few buzzing around for a couple of weeks now, but since the rain they are really going crazy.

      I took an allergy pill last night. Not benadryl, I really need to remember to buy some of that!, but a seasonal. I feel much better and less itchy this morning. It never occurred to me that I might be having an allergic reaction, but it makes sense. All the other bugs that bite me make me welt like crazy!

      I can handle the mosquito season. They don't come on quite so thick, and don't last as long either. Deer flies hurt more when they bite, but don't attack all at once.

      Because winter's too cold! lol

  2. Makes me thankful for our lake flies; they don't bite. Of course, they are soon followed by mosquitoes all summer long.