what do you use for deer flies?

11:22 a.m. on July 18, 2013 (EDT)
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my work schedule has confined me to day hiking this summer.  darn.  a lot of early morning hikes and walks, though.

what do people use to deal with deer flies? particularly in new england, they have been swarming my head.  i wear generous amounts of deet, which doesn't seem to bother them, and a hat, which at least keeps them out of my hair.  do they dislike anything??

12:08 p.m. on July 18, 2013 (EDT)
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I deal with more black flies than deer flies but these days I wear full coverage clothes treated with Permethrin and have taken to carrying a headnet to use when they stop respecting my personal space. I use a lot less DEET now than I used to.

1:01 p.m. on July 18, 2013 (EDT)
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I have no idea if this really works, but I have read someone saying that a dryer sheet inside your hat will repell all kinds of insects.

 

At the very worst, you won't smell too bad.

1:42 p.m. on July 18, 2013 (EDT)
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Ed G said:

I have no idea if this really works, but I have read someone saying that a dryer sheet inside your hat will repell all kinds of insects.

 

At the very worst, you won't smell too bad.

 Someone may correct me, but I've always believed that flowery scents, like dryer sheets, attract insects, not repel them.


DEET won't keep biting insects from buzzing you. It keeps them from feeding on you. I rarely use it, as mosquitoes don't seem to feed on me all that much.

I agree that treating your clothes with permethrin is a first line defense. A hat & head net complete the set (Though I resist a head net until I have absolutely no choice.).

3:23 p.m. on July 18, 2013 (EDT)
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A rope.

To tie to myself and the nearest tree. Nothing works on those damn monsters!

4:31 p.m. on July 18, 2013 (EDT)
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cork-hat.jpg

 

??

6:00 p.m. on July 18, 2013 (EDT)
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Say what?

7:35 p.m. on July 18, 2013 (EDT)
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Deer flies, those are the ones that resemble houseflies and bite like dogs? We call them stouts. Do not like them, me. I don't suffer from the bites, but their persistence makes me bonkers. The way they hover two inches from your face and keep pace with you for miles. Annoying little buggers.

I know a trick! Chemical-free, too!

Buy or craft the most realistic life-size dragonfly you possibly can. Pin it to your hat. Dragonflies prey on these flies, and the flies aren't stupid. Or at least not suicidal. Bingo, no more deer flies!

The fake dragonfly seems to help somewhat with other biters, too, but really works a charm on the deer flies. Also works on their bigger, even nastier cousins, the moose flies.

8:36 p.m. on July 18, 2013 (EDT)
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I inherited a pretty nasty allergy to deet, this stuff has been quite effective for me. It seems to help out with most of the nasties, and hasn't damaged any gear. The second item, the 8oz. Herbal Armor spray is what I've used for the last several years. It does have a citronella odor, and I DO feel like I'm wearing that guy's hat. 

http://www.allterrainco.com/ecommerce/natural-insect-repellents.html

10:45 p.m. on July 18, 2013 (EDT)
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permethrin. And  for myself for some odd reason.. not showering for several days. woohooo

11:38 p.m. on July 18, 2013 (EDT)
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My hand! I pinch em when I feel their bire. Horse flies are worse they don't just bike they take home a steak stripped off my skin!

11:39 p.m. on July 18, 2013 (EDT)
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Option A:

flame-thrower.jpg

Option B:

M1A1-Firing-svg-01.jpg

Option C:

nuclear-bomb-explosion2.jpg

and finally...

Option D:


Whiffle-Ball-Bat.jpg

12:50 a.m. on July 19, 2013 (EDT)
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Option C only makes the next group of animal life start from scratch.:)

8:04 a.m. on July 19, 2013 (EDT)
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Options A & B only work on the front half of you.

Funny we're talking about this. I took the family swimming last night, my poor wife and oldest son both got bit by a Horse Fly. They're the only insect I know that you can slap really hard, and they'll still fly away from you--no chance to finish the kill.

8:46 a.m. on July 19, 2013 (EDT)
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Andrew,

I am a distributor for a company called Skin By Nature. They offer two natural insect repellant options, Neem Oil Soap and Scram cream. I've used the Neem Oil soap and I can tell you that it is very effective! I hear the Scram is awesome, but I haven't tried it yet because it just came out. Since you are the first to mention anything about this, I will be glad to send you one of each of the products if you PM me your address.

-Ashleigh

6:31 p.m. on July 19, 2013 (EDT)
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I have dealt with all sorts of the biting, flying insects with common names such as bulldogs, moose flies, deer flies, no-see-ums, black flies, stouts. There are many myth repellents, Skin so Soft, Vitamin B, etc. as well as less toxic repellents than DEET. Most don't work well, if at all, except for DEET. DEET will not keep them away from you, but it will keep them from biting and last a long time. However, in the Barren Lands, I use a bug shirt(Original Bug Shirt) which is a tightly woven cotton shirt with netting over the face. gthey also make bug pants. I don't have stock in the company, but it is the best I and most of my Norther paddling friends have found.

9:28 p.m. on July 19, 2013 (EDT)
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Well, I was fixing to recommend a composite formula, Sawyer Broad Spectrum (formerly Sawyer Gold) which contained a fly repellent but I no longer see it listed on their website. I used it for years with good success although it had a strong odor.

DEET is not as effective as Permethrin or Picaridin at repelling biting flies based on what I read (and my experience in the southeast US).

Like Erich, my best advise for biting flies (and other pests) is to start with good protective clothing treated with Permethrin, there are several clothing brands on the market that are pre-treated. Or you can buy your own Permethrin (spray on or soak in) and treat your clothes yourself - tightly woven fabrics work best. It is highly effective and if you do it yourself can also be applied to hats, boots, and shelters. The Sawyer brand seems to be quite popular in the southeast and is available online or at most sporting goods stores as well as Walmart. 

Protective clothing works around the clock (unless you take it off) and provides a mechanical barrier to biting insects. A treated shirt, pants, hat & bug net on your head, will provide a formidable barrier to biting insects.

Then if you wish you can also use a time released DEET like 3M Ultrathon (34.34% DEET) or Sawyer Ultra 30 (30% DEET). The time released formulas last longer with less absorption into your skin than standard DEET products. Products containing 100% DEET are more effective initially but have a higher skin absorption rate and will damage synthetic clothing and plastic, nylon, or polymer gear.

OR...instead of the DEET based repellents, you can use a Picaridin based product like Sawyer Premium 20% Picaridin which is fairly odorless and safe on synthetic clothing and gear. This is what I have been using this summer and I find it more effective than DEET for flies.

When flies are not a major problem I prefer 3M Ultrathon (DEET).

Here are a couple links:

3M Ultrathon

Sawyer Products

Forestry Suppliers - bug suit 

Forestry Suppliers - bug cap

You can find simple bug nets for your head at many sporting goods stores but I find that wearing a full round brimmed hat with a bug net large enough to fit over it to keep the net (and flies) away from my face works the best for me.

 

 

11:18 p.m. on July 19, 2013 (EDT)
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My dog just follows them with his eyes until they get close enough and snaps them up out of the air and eats them. Don't know though, ya gotta be pretty fast...

Rick, your flame thrower pick made me laugh. I've been know to be driven to the point of madness by hoards of mosquitos & blackflies when working in the yard and grab a can of automotive starting fluid and a lighter. The trick is, you point it straight out from you and spin in a circle a couple times. My wife thinks I'm nuts and my neighbors don't talk to me anymore but I feel strangely satisfied afterwards. LOL. - I'm not allowed to play with Tanks anymore and I have an allergy to radiation so the nuclear option is out.

11:35 p.m. on July 19, 2013 (EDT)
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LoneStranger said:

I deal with more black flies than deer flies but these days I wear full coverage clothes treated with Permethrin and have taken to carrying a headnet to use when they stop respecting my personal space. I use a lot less DEET now than I used to.

 This is what works best for me too!

This time of year in the southeast US the bugs can get very thick in places.

Sometimes the swarms look like storm clouds!

11:40 p.m. on July 19, 2013 (EDT)
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Islandess said:

Deer flies, those are the ones that resemble houseflies and bite like dogs? We call them stouts. Do not like them, me. I don't suffer from the bites, but their persistence makes me bonkers. The way they hover two inches from your face and keep pace with you for miles. Annoying little buggers.

I know a trick! Chemical-free, too!

Buy or craft the most realistic life-size dragonfly you possibly can. Pin it to your hat. Dragonflies prey on these flies, and the flies aren't stupid. Or at least not suicidal. Bingo, no more deer flies!

The fake dragonfly seems to help somewhat with other biters, too, but really works a charm on the deer flies. Also works on their bigger, even nastier cousins, the moose flies.

 That's very interesting, the dragon fly imitation might also work as a dry fly (lure) for fly fishing.

6:29 p.m. on July 25, 2013 (EDT)
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Hey all! I'm originally from Ontario Canada, where the deer flies are big enough to carry away a small dog. What I've found remarkably effective is the deerfly patch. It's a piece of double sided tape that you stick to the back of your hat, and is skin toned to attract them to land there instead of on your actual skin. I can personally attest to their functionality! The freaking things are awesome! And it's remarkably pleasing to see the little buggers trapped on the tape fry as you toss em into the fire at the end of the day. Ha! Take THAT!!!

Here's a link.  --->http://www.deerflypatches.com/

Cheers!

November 21, 2014
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