Re: Black fly advice…

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#314
Steve Boal
Member

In general, black flies in the north woods are at their worst from mid May through mid June, sometimes later. Although the season varies with location and the temperature cycle of the particular year, May 29th to June 4th is pretty much a sure bet for large, near peak, numbers of black flies. They are fascinating creatures. They reproduce in cold moving water. The time of hatching is influenced by water temps, thus the surge in late spring. There are many species, and some feed exclusively on individual animals species. They are mostly active in the day and will not bother you at night (unlike mosquitoes). Wearing light colors can help – they tend to be more attracted to dark colors. Some people say dark blue is the worst. Strong DEET is an effective deterrent, but you will still likely get some bites and inhale them too if they are swarming thick. If they are swarming thick head nets and bug jackets can make life much more comfortable. Some people can tolerate black flies more than others. But in general, you will find the north woods fairly empty of fellow paddlers from late May to mid June, because of the black flies. A few paddlers I know love to paddle at this time because the woods are full of singing birds and are empty of people. These folks are loony. You can learn more about them at these links and many others as well: http://www.gdg.ca/fichiers/docs/want-to-know-more-black-flies-2-.pdf , http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2013/05/bug-season-tips-for-avoiding-black-flies.html , http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/publichealth/insects/blackfly.html