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Black Fly - Protection

Personal Protection
 
Although the Pennsylvania Black Fly Suppression Program is effective at controlling adult black fly populations in participating counties, here is a list of some things that you can do to help protect yourself:
 
Activities
  • Avoid black fly infested areas during daytime periods of peak adult activity.
  • Schedule outdoor activities during mid-day hours, when black flies (gnats) are usually not as active.
  • Stay indoors on warm, cloudy, humid summer days, and before summer thunderstorms, when gnats are most aggressive.
Clothing
  • Wear light-colored clothing because black flies are attracted to dark colors.
  • Wear hats, pants and long-sleeved shirts for maximum skin protection, because black flies don’t bite through clothing.
  • Tuck in shirts and pants to prevent adults from crawling under clothing.
  • Wear glasses or goggles to help prevent adult black flies from entering your eyes.
  • Additionally, an insect head net can be worn for protection in areas of high black fly populations.
Repellents
  • Use insect repellent products, such as DEET and citronella oil to deter black flies.
  • Re-apply repellents every few hours to maintain maximum effectiveness.
  • Remember that smoke from punk sticks, campfires and tobacco products repel black flies.
  • Don’t wear perfumes, colognes, deodorants, hairsprays and other toiletries, which may attract black fly gnats.
If Bitten...
  • If you are bitten, avoid scratching, which can worsen allergic reactions to the bite.
  • Contact your family physician if you experience an allergic reaction to black fly bites.
Please remember to contact the PA-DEP Black Fly Suppression Program if you experience black fly problems.