Many of us who work or play outdoors always seem to know when Summer is right around the corner, ‘cause that’s when those annoying and usually painful bites occur from Deer Flies and Yellow Flies. This year is no different and may be even worse than previous years for some of us.
The female lays her eggs preferably on aquatic vegetation above water or saturated soil. She could lay as many as one thousand eggs. Now that’s a lot of eggs! Hatching takes place in about a week. As the larvae hatch, they fall to the moisture below where they will feed on organic matter they find in the wet soil. When the larvae are ready to pupate, they move to a drier area of the soil. They will stay in the pupal stage for about three weeks…Misery is just around the corner!
The males are usually the first to emerge and wait around for the females (Sounds familiar). When mating is completed, the female is ready to seek out a warm blooded host, such as you or me or maybe your dog or cat. She injects an anticoagulant into the wound she just sawed on your ankle and then sops up the blood with her sponge-like mouth parts.
Activity normally begins in late May and continues through September. Her favorite feeding time is two or three hours after sunrise and then again for a couple hours before sunset.
Now that you know everything there is to know about these Flies, you’re probably thinking, how do I stop these (insert expletive) from torturing me? Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot you can do other than wearing protective clothing and applying insect repellents.
If you want to try trapping them on a sticky blue Solo cup or a big black ball, do an internet search using your favorite search engine and type in “Trolling for Deer Fly Trap.” Some say they work very well.