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runningBlack Fly Season

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Black flies swarm over the North East from May to mid-June. They breed in fast flowing water. Like the mosquito, it is the female that bites, but since the males swarm around the females, they can be a bigger nuisance. Any exposed skin or openings in clothes or your ears or your nose...all are potential fresh meat for the hungry female. After the bite, bleeding may continue for a while.

While it seems like they must have HUGE teeth, they actually have a mouth like a horse fly, blade like and piercing. The bite is usually a bloody spot, surrounded by a swollen area. Then it becomes itchy and irritated for days afterward. Flies have been known to kill livestock and other animals.

Black Flies don't like wind and are only active during the day. It is said that they prefer the shade, so if you stand in the sun, they are less likely to swarm. This hasn't been my experience, however.

To protect yourself, wear light-colored clothing since they are attracted to the darker colors. The flies like dark blue cloth the best- like blue jeans. A female fly can bite for three weeks before she dies. Repellents can offer relief but the flies will bite no matter what repellent that you use. A hat with netting is good protection against swarming and biting black flies. Full-body netting is better but a little clumsy.

Staying indoors and working on websites has been proven an effective way to avoid Black Flies.