Combatting horse/deer flies?

Discussion in 'Other Skills' started by Beach Hiker, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker LB 42 Supporter

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    I am in the middle of a lot of outdoor work.
    The horse flies are ferocious, abundant, and apparently I am delicious.
    Any tips or hints for combatting them?
    I have noticed that if I wear a white t-shirt it attracts them faster.
    In any case, I am forced to wear socks, long pants, a hat and a long sleeved shirt.... and it's hot!
    Heeeeellllppp meeeeee!
     
  2. DirtmanDave

    DirtmanDave Supporter Supporter

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  3. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    We have three different types of them around here. Really tiny ones that look like a common house fly but they bite but don’t leave a mark to speak of. A slightly bigger one that has delta shaped wings when at rest. They bite hard and I always get some swelling, sometimes rather dramatic swelling. And finally we have these good sized monsters with metallic green eyes, they bite the instant they alight, and I’ve had severe reactions to them. I have good luck with mosquitoes and black fly repellants but I’d love to find a good repellant for these biting flies—I’ll be watching this thread closely!
     
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  4. tristndad

    tristndad Supporter Supporter

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    20190806_085530.jpg My wife swears by these. She uses them while riding the horses. I still haven't tried them myself, as I enjoy smacking myself on the head fifty times a minute.
     
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  5. Kennebago

    Kennebago Scout

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    I can tell you what NOT to do, at least.

    I got the bright idea one day at the range to smoke a really big cigar really fast, because it always kept flies away from my grandfather.

    Short version is that I really, really regretted it.
     
  6. Doubles

    Doubles Guide

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    Summertime I wear a shemagh under a baseball cap, it keeps them off the back of my head, and shoulder area
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
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  7. Haggis

    Haggis Bushmaster

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  8. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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    We have some kind of deer flies that love to bite the backs of your legs, behind your knees. They drive my dog crazy. Fortunately we don't have many mosquitoes. Around here, people who have to work outdoors in the bugs and thorns (cowboys and forest workers) wear long pants and long sleeved shirts all the time. You never see them wearing shorts or T shirts. The only people running around in shorts and T shirts are tourists or people who don't have to be outdoors a lot. It's usually so dry here that cooling by evaporation works pretty well. I can get my long sleeved shirt wet, put it on, and be pretty comfy for a while until the shirt dries out. Then I get it wet again. I wish I could strip down to minimal clothing in hot weather, but bug bites and flesh ripping thorns are worse than being hot.
     
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  9. bigbore442001

    bigbore442001 Guide

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    This summer in southern New England is horrendous for deer and horse flies. They are visual predators so it seems any kind of chemical barrier is worthless. They see movement and go towards it. I have noted that mid July to mid August is the biting fly season.

    Right now I have noticed that the deer flies have diminished but are not completely gone. I figure in another week or so they will be in the past.

    At the range I found that a Ruger Single Six 22 WRM with rat shot works well on the giant flies.
     
  10. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Permethrin treatment for my hat and shirt. Treat a bandana and hang it off the hat and over your neck to protect it. Pants, socks, and shoes get it too.

    Heard good things before about the fly paper strip things on the hat, but haven't used it.

    Increase your garlic intake (good for you regardless), which helps me with mosquitoes as well.
     
  11. bikerector

    bikerector Tracker

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    I read somewhere that a wide brimmed hat helped since they tend to fly around your head where CO2 concentrations are the highest, as that's one thing that draws them in. Bought a wide brimmed straw hat and it helps a ton. I wear it every time I take the dog out or I risk knocking myself out slapping the things.

    Haven't tried those sticky patches yet. The hat has helped tremendously and only cost $15, plus it keeps the sun off the neck while being pretty breathable. I look like a hick in the middle of the suburbs... so about like I normally do I guess.
     
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  12. designtom

    designtom Men Of Action #43 Supporter

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    How many are we talking about?

    I frequently resort to going on the offensive. I look a little spastic trying to clap them out of the air, but can frequently get three or so of them in 10 minutes.

    Word seems to travel to the rest of the flock/herd/gathering/feeding fest.

    If they re-group ......... it's surprising how fast I can still run .............
     
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  13. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I use Deep Woods Off in a spray bottle/spritz bottle. The horse flies were bad the other day on our hike and I used this stuff. It worked. I hate using the stuff, but this wasn’t bad. I spray it on my palms and smear it on so it doesn’t go everywhere. I also sprayed the brim of my hat top and bottom. That helps too.
     
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  14. Forestree

    Forestree Treeforest Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Insect repellents never worked much for me when the deer flies were out. They will never leave you alone. It would seem that there’s hundreds swarming my head when in fact it’s often only a dozen relentlessly attacking.

    The trolling fly trap is the only thing that worked for me! Here is the link http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/pestalert/deerfly.htm

    You must try this! Most often when hiking the trails behind my home when deer flies were bad, I’d carry an empty blue coffee bucket ( or blue Pringle’s can or solo cup) smeared with tanglefoot and wave it over my head when getting attacked. I’m sure I looked like a total lunatic but it just flat out works. I also did some trolling with my truck in the past as well which helped too.

    The other option is to take a dog and let them be the bait and do the suffering for you....they seemed to like dogs more than me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
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  15. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker LB 42 Supporter

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    Yeah. I'm fully covered until they're gone.

    Man, the ones over here must be in the same union..... exact same schedule!

    Thousands?
    Too many to even try to "ignore" or zen your way forward.
     
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  16. racetrack

    racetrack Supporter Supporter

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  17. MAD Punty

    MAD Punty Supporter Supporter

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    For deer flies, putting a blue cup on your head with sticky stuff on it helps a lot, like this;

    [​IMG]
     
  18. JoeJ

    JoeJ Supporter Supporter

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    I’ve said it many times before - but I’ll say it again. BUSHMAN repellent, sold in Australia. A tube will last you maybe 2 to 4 years depending on how many days you need it.
     
  19. MAD Punty

    MAD Punty Supporter Supporter

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    For the record, this is not a joke. It works.
     
  20. Forestree

    Forestree Treeforest Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I’ve never done the full on hat trap...I knew I’d forget about it about it and end up with sticky hair and hands. I had tanglefoot on my truck from the times a limb would snag the trap off the antenna:D

    I made a trap carrier by filling a blue solo cup with expanding foam and sticking a short piece ( 2ft long) of scrap pvc pipe for the handle. I carried it like a medieval torch. I’d pull off the old cup and stack a new one on as needed. I thought it was a good setup, though still requires carrying by hand. Seems like after you’ve got the flies trapped in a certain area they are completely gone, well at least til you start walking again.
     
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  21. Doubles

    Doubles Guide

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    What is this "sticky stuff"? Any old spray adhesive, or is there a "bait" flavor? :16:
     
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  22. Bush Billy

    Bush Billy Supporter Supporter

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    Has anyone tried placing a drier sheet under their hat? I haven't tried it myself, but someone at my work swears by it.
     

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