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Thread: Black Flies?

  1. #1
    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
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    Default Black Flies?

    What is this black fly thing u's talk about on the SOBO. are they like green heads in jersey?

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    no. black flies bite like a mofo

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    We who live in Blackfly country don't usually think about such things in winter, out of sight, out of mind.
    But seeing U asked:
    From wiki
    Regional effects of black fly populations

    • In the wetter parts of the northern latitudes of North America, including parts of Canada, New England and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, black fly populations swell from Mid-May to July, becoming a nuisance to humans engaging in common outdoor activitites such as boating, camping and backpacking.
    • In Canada, black flies are a scourge to livestock, causing weight loss in cattle and in some cases, death. [1]
    • The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in the United States, operates the largest single black fly control program in North America. The program is seen as beneficial to both the quality of life for residents and to the state's tourism industry.[2]

    Ecology

    Eggs are laid in running water, and the larvae attach themselves to rocks. They use tiny hooks at the end of their abdomen to hold on to the substrate, often using silk holdfasts and lines to move or hold their place. They have foldable fans surrounding their mouths. When feeding, the fans expand, catching passing debris (small organic particles, algae and bacteria). Every few seconds, the larva scraps the fan's catch into its mouth. Black flies depend on lotic habitats to bring food to them. They will pupate under water and then emerge in a bubble of air as flying adults. During this emergence, they are often preyed upon by trout.
    Black flies are univoltine, which means that they spend the winter in the larval stage, often under the ice, where they slowly mature.
    The Canadian Shield is characterized by an abundance of lakes and swift-flowing streams and hence offers optimum conditions for black flies to lay their eggs. The Canadian Shield is notorious for the abundance of black flies in the summertime.
    WALK ON

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    No. They are little blood eating bastards about the size of the letter "t" here. They swarm in the spring. Some people aren't as allergic to their bites as others. But the reaction can be severe. Lots of swelling, ulceration, festering, etc for some people.

    http://www.mainenature.org/blackfly/blackflyinfo.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_fly
    "That's the thing about possum innards - they's just as good the second day." - Jed Clampett

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsy View Post
    Regional effects of black fly populations
    So the first weeks in September would be more comfortable for The Long Trail? April?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteWhips View Post
    So the first weeks in September would be more comfortable for The Long Trail? April?
    Sept is a great time to hike in the NE, April is a bit early..... unless you don't mind various late winter conditions....
    WALK ON

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsy View Post
    Sept is a great time to hike in the NE, April is a bit early..... unless you don't mind various late winter conditions....
    Yeah, it's a trade-off: Freezing rain vs. flying swarms of carnivorous insects. I got TLT on my calendar for September. But I'm not going on a three-week trek without getting several several more weekends under my shoes first. My backpack sits by the door from April Fools to Halloween.

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    I do a lot of camping in Michigan’s UP, the black flies can drive you crazy up there. Permethrin on all clothes and Sawyer’s “Broad Spectrum” work very well. The Broad Spectrum has DEET and 2 other things that are made to repel flies (MGK-264 and MGK326.)

    Broad Spectrum & Permethrin has allowed me to enjoy the outdoors in places that use to drive me nuts before. You can enjoy the outdoors when others will run for their tents. In the 3-years since using these 2- sprays I have not had one person come up and ask why the bugs don’t bother me. I know I would ask if I were in their position.


    Now if I could just keep them away from my food when eating….



    PS this is an unpaid endorsement, But if you make this stuff and read this, I’m willing to take except some money for saying your stuff works great. Just e-mail me and I will let you know where to send the $$$

  9. #9
    As in "dessert" not "desert"
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    The black flies should be pretty much done by August. Still some mosquitoes, though.

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    I was camping near Kinsman Pond one time and the black flies got so bad in the evening we had to retreat into the tent and wait for it to cool down. Once the temp gets low enough at night they just disappear

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    Temps under 50F or any decent breeze will keep them away.
    "That's the thing about possum innards - they's just as good the second day." - Jed Clampett

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    At the time, You WON'T know they are biting and you WON"T feel them biting, you will see a drop of blood here and there on ocassion. they like to get into your sleeve band or sock band, where it is a little tight.

    Later, You WILL know they bit you and you WILL feel where they bit you as you will itch like crazy. Apparently they have a screw style probiscus and they inject you with a tiny bit of chemical that allows your blood to run freely. It is theis chemical that casues you to itch like crazy later.
    .....Someday, like many others who joined WB in the early years, I may dry up and dissapear....

  13. #13

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    Black flies are only bad if you let them or if you aren't prepared. If you are starting a late May or early June SOBO on the AT just carry 100 percent DEET, a tent and head net and you'll be okay. Like others have already said, if it's breezy and the whether is cooler, they won't be a problem at all.


    Just Jim

  14. #14

    Default We Have Them Too!

    Quote Originally Posted by kayak karl View Post
    What is this black fly thing u's talk about on the SOBO. are they like green heads in jersey?
    Karl,
    If you've ever been anywhere along the New Jersey shore in the summertime when the breeze is from onshore and across a salt marsh before getting to you, then you know what the black flies in Maine are like.
    Just talk to any surfcaster worth his time in the sand.
    Grumpy Ol' Pops

    Hold onto dreams, for if dreams die, life is like a broken winged bird that cannot fly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteWhips View Post
    Yeah, it's a trade-off: Freezing rain vs. flying swarms of carnivorous insects. I got TLT on my calendar for September. But I'm not going on a three-week trek without getting several several more weekends under my shoes first. My backpack sits by the door from April Fools to Halloween.
    Definately hit the LT in September. Did the northern part from Sept 1-12 in 06' and it was delightful-no bugs, warm days, cool nights, few people, prety good all around..
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  16. #16
    But I believe, yes I believe, I said I believe
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    Black fly season in Maine can be tough if you have never experienced it, you start to get used o it after a while. They will be everywhere if you go through the Wilderness in June on a SOBO.

    Kirby

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    Quote Originally Posted by A-Train View Post
    Definately hit the LT in September. Did the northern part from Sept 1-12 in 06' and it was delightful-no bugs, warm days, cool nights, few people, prety good all around..
    I'm looking forward to it. My business is dead in September, anyway. My tentative plans are to get public transportation up to the Canadian border and SOBO back to Massachusetts.

    I've yet to even buy the guide, so at this point it's all pretty vague.

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    Which is worse?

    A black fly on the inside of your glasses, or in your sweaty ear?


    Kayak Karl is itching to know.

  19. #19
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    I absolutely hate 'em in my beard.
    "That's the thing about possum innards - they's just as good the second day." - Jed Clampett

  20. #20
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    If you wear only a button down shirt, put a piece of duct tape over your naval.....a prime black fly dinner zone! Believe it or not.
    Other skin folds , behind the ears and neck area too, any place exposed and untreated will do if prime areas are not available. BTW, you will feel them crawling on you but may not feel them bite.
    WALK ON

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