How to Survive the North: Black Flies

From The Weather Network:

Black fly larvae can be found in nearly every type of flowing water. Once adulthood is reached, the flies take to the woods or forested areas, which oftentimes takes a bite out of summer camping fun.

If you live in Southern Canada, you’ll want to keep your insect repellent on hand from early May until mid-June when black flies are most prevalent in this region. Farther north, black fly season can run from early May throughout June and July. In Canada’s far north meantime, ice cold rivers force black flies to keep under wraps until late July or early August.

Some other tips to keep in mind: black fly numbers, and their tendency to bite, increase as sunset approaches. They also love dark colours, particularly blue, purple, brown and black. So if you’re going to be outdoors in the evening hours, the lighter the colour of your clothes the better.

One strike against black flies is that they cannot bite through clothing. However, it seems they have mastered the art of crawling under clothing and biting in inaccessible places, such as the ankles and belt line. Tucking your pant cuffs into your socks will help prevent them from biting your ankles. You can also now purchase special jackets containing deet to help keep the flies at bay.

Ugh, the majority of my clothing is dark. No wonder they seem to love me regardless of my buy spray. And black fly bites can cause river blindness. The majority of these cases happen in sub-Saharan Africa, but the thought of a parasite being spread by black fly bites makes me itch all over.

2 Responses to “How to Survive the North: Black Flies”
  1. pam says:

    hey girl, sorry to hear about the black flies!! Especially since you brought a couple of pounds of deet up with you. I feel you!–Black flies are totally unacceptable. talk soon on skype pam

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