Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Although you can be bitten by a yellow fly at anytime or any place, they are more numerous near large bodies of water and tend to remain in or near forests and seldom attack far from the shelter of large shrubs and trees. They will bite domestic animals too, but the fly's preference for shade makes it less of a pest to cattle and horses in open pastures. They are also most likely to bite from March to November in our area with the peak season being from April to June...so we are in prime biting season!
Mosquito repellent is only slightly effective with DEET being the most effective. Commercial DEET containing repellents sold at most hardware and grocery stores under the trade names such as "Backwoods Cutter, Off, Ultrathon and Skintastic may help some. Permethrin containing products labelled "for application only to clothing", such as Coulston's Duranon Tick Repellent and Permanone Tick Repellent, may be effective as well. However, nothing will appear to work well when swarmed by multiple flies.
If you are bitten, use a topical anesthetic like benzocaine or lidocaine on the bite mark. This should ease the itching. For inflammation, you can try an antihistamine (Benadryl or Caladryl, for example) or hydrocortisone, such as Calecort or Cortaid. These are all over-the-counter treatments.
While the only sure methods of protection from yellow flies are gloves and headnets, there is some hope for you on the trail. By mid-June, most of the yellow flies will be gone from our area and then we can worry about other minor problems. Like the humidity.
Posted by Trail Blog at 6:20 AM