Two days ago I took this photo of my recent encounter with the New England black fly.
It visits us each Spring and I soooooo look forward to becoming deformed by it’s bite. Apparently only a lucky few of us are affected with swelling from the bites and I am lucky enough to be one of those people. Not every bite swells like this one that resulted from one bite on my upper arm. Some of them only swell to 1/3 this size, and some remain a single red blotch and don’t swell at all.
I’ve been told that only the females bite, or is it the males? And also, someone said I will probably build up a tolerance so the bites won’t swell so badly. I’ve tried regular bug spray, but it doesn’t work at keeping the black flies away.
UPDATE: Finally I found bug spray that works at keeping the black flies away. Unfortunately I didn’t discover it until just before I moved away, but the Eucalyptus Lemon Bug Spray works on No-see-ums too, which we have here in Florida.
I have yet to figure out why some of the bites become giant red, itchy blotches. I wake up in the night and just have to scratch all of them. Between fly bites and hot flashes I am really not sleeping well lately.
Working in the yard has become a battle. I must dress in long sleeves, gloves and head-net (those are cute), and even then they will crawl inside my clothes and bite. My stomach presently has a 4 inch wide red mark where a bug crawled under my shirt to nip me.
I feel compelled to get outside on nice days and get some gardening done so I endure the bites, but I am counting the days until the miserable pests disappear for another year.
One thing I have noticed is that they will not follow me indoors. I can be inside the garage or the woodshed – with doors wide open – and never get any black flies near me. If they end up inside my car, they fly near the windows trying to escape, but don’t bother me. They are so tiny. How do they know the difference between indoors and outside?
For me, it’s a good idea to be outside when the black flies are less active, which is early in the morning and late in the day. Thankfully they are gone by the beginning of June.