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Thread: Black Flies out in force in Milan 5/7

  1. #1
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    Black Flies out in force in Milan 5/7

    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.

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    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.

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    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    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.

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    Senior Member drewski's Avatar
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    Another useless black fly thread....

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

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    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.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 05-08-2016 at 10:21 AM.

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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    They come in on Snow Shoes and they leave on Snow Shoes.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    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.

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    Senior Member BISCUT's Avatar
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    Don't mind the angry one....he once sent me a nasty PM for some nonsense reason. I find your black fly post relevant.

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    Does the chainsaw have to be sharp to keep the black flies at bay?

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    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    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)

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    We'll see if my dozen or so vaccine shots I got Saturday helps inoculate me for the rest of spring.

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    Senior Member billski's Avatar
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    Biting black flies at about 2000' upwards at Mt. Pemigewasset 4/21/16
    Have boots will travel.

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    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).
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

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    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.

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    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Mosquitoes and Black Flies Saturday hiking to Mt. Israel.

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