According to the University of Maine's Cooperative Extension's information: "Generally black fly bites cause some itching and minor swelling from the first few bites of the season, following which an immunity develops, with subsequent reduced reactions. Nonetheless, even individuals who have lived all their lives in black fly country and are exposed every season, can have greater effects if they get an unusually high number of bites on their first exposure of the season, or have some significant change in their physical condition or medical status."
Here are a few tips on how to avoid them:
- Black flies are most active during daylight hours, and particularly on cloudy days. They are active in the early morning and evening right after sunset (peak time). Black flies are active right before a storm - but hide during rain or cold.
- Light shades such as orange, yellow and light green are less attractive to black flies than dark shades such as blue, purple or red. But black flies can't bite through clothing - so wear long pants, a long-sleeve shirt.
- Avoid wearing perfume, aftershave, or perfumed personal products when you're outside - they are drawn to the scent. And, unlike mosquitoes, which breed in standing water, black flies breed in running water.
- If you do get bit, soak yourself in a baking soda bath (about 1 cup for a full tub) to help ease the itchiness.
- Insect repellents work to keep them away. Be sure you put it on your neck, ears, face, wrists and hands.
- And if all else fails: You're safe in your house. Unlike mosquitoes, black flies won't go inside your house (or in a tent).