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Shoo, Fly

How to repel black flies

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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