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View Full Version : Black Flies out in force in Milan 5/7



peakbagger
05-07-2016, 07:38 PM
The black flies were around last weekend but they swarming today in Milan up near York Pond road. When I was running a chainsaw they cleared out but when hauling splits they were swarming. I must have breathed in 100 of them. Deet kept them for biting but they were persistent. I got in my truck and probably killed 50 of them once the door was closed. One nice thing with black flies is unlike mosquitoes, when they are trapped they immediately go into escape mode while mosquitoes keep attacking.

I guess this lines up with the standard wisdom that black flies come on Mothers Day weekend and depart on Fathers day weekend.

egilbe
05-07-2016, 08:54 PM
Noticed them today at my brother's place in Turner, so now it's officially Spring! I didn't think they were that horrendous, no bites that I noticed, just the annoyance of flying around my face and ears.

CaptCaper
05-08-2016, 07:09 AM
Out in Lancaster too..at my house were usually they aren't so hoping for the best season instead of the worse with all the other critters coming out soon as well. Hopefully the warm winter hasn't allowed them to come out in a major way.

drewski
05-08-2016, 08:19 AM
Another useless black fly thread....

Why not a thread "how to sharpen a chainsaw" something constructive

peakbagger
05-08-2016, 10:18 AM
Why another "useless black fly thread"? Because that's a frequent question I get from folks from down state. Many hikers clear out of the woods until the black flies diminish and many appreciate the warning when they show up in the spring

On the other hand if you want advice on sharpening a chain saw, I highly recommend the Husqvarna roller filing guide and I tend to open up the clearance on the rakers well above the recommended amount except when I am felling as it makes it a bear to start a plunge cut.

skiguy
05-08-2016, 11:55 AM
They come in on Snow Shoes and they leave on Snow Shoes.

Hillwalker
05-08-2016, 12:49 PM
Why another "useless black fly thread"? Because that's a frequent question I get from folks from down state. Many hikers clear out of the woods until the black flies diminish and many appreciate the warning when they show up in the spring

On the other hand if you want advice on sharpening a chain saw, I highly recommend the Husqvarna roller filing guide and I tend to open up the clearance on the rakers well above the recommended amount except when I am felling as it makes it a bear to start a plunge cut.

I concur on the roller file guide. But the file condition is really important. I sharpen my chain daily, and more often when dealing with dirty logs or when cutting low to the ground and brushing.

Now, on the subject of Black Flies or Buffalo Gnats here is my acquired and manufactured knowledge of these beasties after living with them for the past 76 years here in the New Hampshire and Maine woods.

1. They are sensitive to the average daytime temperatures. They appear when the average gets to around 60 F and will remain active until the temp starts to be above 75. At those higher summer temperatures they then are normally found only at the higher mountain tops where the daily averages don't get consistently above 75 to 80 degrees.

2. If you happen to be bitten a large number of times in the early spring, they seem to not bother you too much after that. My father used to claim that your body built up some kind of natural chemical defense against them. He would do that self-inoculation ordeal every year because he was an avid Fly Fisherman and was against using repellents. He claimed that the Trout could detect their use and avoid the fly. I remember fishing with him in the 40s and 50s when he would be bug free and I would be in the midst of a cloud of the little biting buggers. He claimed that without that "natural" repellent the "Indians" would have never survived living up here.

3. IMHO Black Flies are solar powered. Ever notice that the head of a Black Fly is over-sized compared to its body? That's where the moniker "Buffalo Gnat comes from. And, as everyone knows, they are not active at night, and not much on cloudy days. But on sunny days with lots of solar energy available they are ferocious and many.

4. I was on a rescue turned recovery in the Pemi - Thirteen Falls vicinity around 1984 or 5 where the young guy was lost for several nights in the dense swampy area that the Thirteen Falls Trail (Old RR bed) bypasses, and he apparently died from allergic reactions due to thousands of insect bites. This was in early summer. So I would conclude that they can also kill.

5. WARNING: Several grains of salt might well be taken with the reading of my "Black Fly Natural Facts", written on a wet and boring Sunday afternoon.

BISCUT
05-08-2016, 10:10 PM
Don't mind the angry one....he once sent me a nasty PM for some nonsense reason. I find your black fly post relevant.

TJsName
05-09-2016, 10:45 PM
Does the chainsaw have to be sharp to keep the black flies at bay?

Hillwalker
05-10-2016, 04:49 AM
Does the chainsaw have to be sharp to keep the black flies at bay?

Yes, but more important is to mix 10% Permethrin with your gas just like you would 2 cycle oil. (just kidding)

TJsName
05-16-2016, 11:37 AM
We'll see if my dozen or so vaccine shots I got Saturday helps inoculate me for the rest of spring.

billski
05-22-2016, 10:23 AM
Biting black flies at about 2000' upwards at Mt. Pemigewasset 4/21/16

DayTrip
05-23-2016, 07:42 AM
Saw my first black flies SAT climbing Madison. They were sporadic and eventually started flying in my ears but weren't biting. I spritzed a little Benz on my hat and shirt sleeves and they disappeared for the rest of the day. Was quite a few on summit too landing on my pants and clothes where I hadn't sprayed but no bites. (It was dead calm on summit).

TJsName
05-23-2016, 08:24 AM
Some flies at White Ledge campground Sat AM, and some in the woods. Nothing compared to my experience the week before on Slippery Brook (no bug net needed). Mosquitoes were prevalent on the low section of Middle Sister trail.

CaptCaper
05-24-2016, 07:03 AM
Mosquitoes and Black Flies Saturday hiking to Mt. Israel.

peakbagger
06-05-2016, 10:01 AM
I haven't been to Milan this week but the blackflies were mostly absent on Bonds traverse yesterday. Seems a bit early this year.

Amicus
06-05-2016, 03:22 PM
They were also conspicuous by their absence on a hike yesterday to Speckled and Durgin Mtns. from the south, Stoneham, Maine. It seemed that their season had ended early, as it was warm and intermittently sunny - their kind of weather.

CaptCaper
06-06-2016, 06:53 AM
Just a few up the Kinsman trail to Bald Peak Saturday ... I was pleasantly happy. Hiked up along the West Branch Peabody into the Gulf Wilderness and nothing as well.

billski
06-12-2016, 11:19 PM
I met a total of 2 black flies and one skeeter during a total of 7.5 hours in the woods today. Guess I'm uglier than I thought! then again it was cold and raining off an on.

SpencerVT
06-27-2016, 08:37 AM
My wife and I hiked the 3 Loon Lake Mountain peaks in the Adirondacks yesterday. Worst bugs I have encountered in years. Giant horseflies that devoured us for 6 hours. The minute you stopped for even a second you got swarmed by 50-100 of them. It was like a biblical plague of bugs man.
I think I have to go to the Red Cross this morning to get some blood to replace everything I lost yesterday!!

billski
06-27-2016, 10:38 AM
My wife and I hiked the 3 Loon Lake Mountain peaks in the Adirondacks yesterday. Worst bugs I have encountered in years. Giant horseflies that devoured us for 6 hours. The minute you stopped for even a second you got swarmed by 50-100 of them. It was like a biblical plague of bugs man.
I think I have to go to the Red Cross this morning to get some blood to replace everything I lost yesterday!!

Sorry to hear about the blood donation If it's deerfly or horse flies, try these two sided adhesive tape products. I've been using them for about 5 year. Last saturday I was clearing a trail surrounded by beaver bogs. The deerfly were tremendous and I didn't get bit once. You take this tape, put it on top of a hat that you don't care about. Turns out this kind of fly (ONLY this kind) always circles your head, then does a test landing on your head. The second landing it is in for the kill. But, it hits the tape and voila, one less for you and me, one less to lay eggs! I caught about 60 deerfly. The only thing is that those that get stuck to the paper with their feet will continue to buzz around on the tape, and it sounds like a million flies! And this tape is sooo cheap. go here: eBay, then search for Deerfly Patches, TredNot Deer Fly Patch Odorless repellent

skiguy
06-27-2016, 11:42 AM
Sorry to hear about the blood donation If it's deerfly or horse flies, try these two sided adhesive tape products. I've been using them for about 5 year. Last saturday I was clearing a trail surrounded by beaver bogs. The deerfly were tremendous and I didn't get bit once. You take this tape, put it on top of a hat that you don't care about. Turns out this kind of fly (ONLY this kind) always circles your head, then does a test landing on your head. The second landing it is in for the kill. But, it hits the tape and voila, one less for you and me, one less to lay eggs! I caught about 60 deerfly. The only thing is that those that get stuck to the paper with their feet will continue to buzz around on the tape, and it sounds like a million flies! And this tape is sooo cheap. go here: eBay, then search for Deerfly Patches, TredNot Deer Fly Patch Odorless repellent

Not sure if it is true but I have heard that they are attracted to movement. Such is the case when you try swatting at them they seem to get worse. In addition to the fly patches you can add a beanie propeller to create movement in order to bait them in. http://www.biconet.com/traps/deerflyPatch.html

billski
06-27-2016, 11:56 AM
The fly patches for sale on the web site you linked to are vastly overpriced. Go to eBay.

All I can tell you is that we didn't move like the wind. We were brushing and moving logs and trees all day. Our walking pace was glacial. That's where I caught 60 of the buggers.

I do know that placement on the cap, on the back of the head, just below the crown is essential. That may have to do with motion, I don't know.

skiguy
06-27-2016, 01:23 PM
A web search on this subject certainly does not lack a drought of "Rube Goldberg" contraptions.:rolleyes::D

billski
06-27-2016, 01:35 PM
A web search on this subject certainly does not lack a drought of "Rube Goldberg" contraptions.:rolleyes::D
Agreed. But this one works. Just deerfly. Been using it for five years. Look at the photos.

billski
07-09-2016, 05:48 PM
Damned black flies were out again yesterday. Pretty big fellas too.

kltilton
07-11-2016, 07:33 PM
I was working on Bog Loop today and the deer flies were out in full force.

billski
07-12-2016, 07:13 AM
Yeah, it seems like the deer fly are stronger than the black fly crop this year.

Flearoy
07-14-2016, 09:45 AM
In May I camped in Wilson's Mills, Maine, and encountered black flies like I've never seen in my life. I slathered myself in Deet and it barely made an impression on them. It was impossible to spend any time outdoors. They did disappear at sunset. Returning to my site I would have to sprint from car to tent and even then they mobbed me. I fled the site at 5:00 a.m. on the last day and they were out even at that hour. My error may have been that I chose a scenic site on the Megalloway River. Kayaking at Aziscohos I didnt encounter any. Lesson learned!