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Shoo, Fly

How to repel black flies

Question:

What is the best black fly repellent?

Submitted by - Andy, West Henrietta, New York

Answer:

Repellents that keep mosquitoes off often also work for black flies (DEET still rates as the most effective). But with black flies, there are no guarantees. Sometimes they defy everything except a trip to Antarctica, squirming their way beneath layers of clothing to find a feeding spot. Black flies cannot, however, bite through tightly woven clothing and cannot work their way under cuffs that fit snugly. They can’t get through mosquito netting either. On the web, you can find suggestions for homemade black fly repellents, and you might find one or two that work for you. But I’ve never tried one, and so I can’t recommend one (Editor’s Note: Look for a gear review of black-fly repellents in the near future!). —Buck

1 Comment

  1. Eric

    My limited research and extensive experience lead me to believe that for mosquitoes, nothing beats DEET; for black flies, DEET works better than anything else, but may not work all that well, at least not for very long. Other repellents like citronella, dryer sheets, vanilla, SSS, etc., etc., etc., may work somewhat but are less effective and don’t last as long. I think for some “home remedies” the placebo effect may be at work. As always, “individual results may vary”. Also, individual body chemistry may come into play. For ticks….good luck.

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