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8 Responses

  1. Boreas says:

    “…Palmer says. “They need a particular range to maximize their growth,” he says, noting that the ideal range for water temperature is between 20 and 30 degrees Fahrenheit.”

    Wouldn’t that be ice?

  2. Boreas says:

    Wouldn’t killing larvae and reducing blackfly numbers in an area using Bti also ultimately reduce numbers of their natural predators in the same area? Seems like a losing battle plan.

  3. James Marco says:

    Boreas, Yup. I am sure she meant air temperature and not water temp. So, that part of the article is senseless. The best I have ever been able to measure flowing water was 34F. The air temp was -15. I would guess Janet means around 45-55F, which is more consistent with my experience with the critters.
    She also doesn’t mention permethrin. Sawyers is pretty good. It is not a repellent, but black flies don’t like it. They get a dose and within a few seconds they fly off, literally loosing interest in feeding. Works well on mosquitoes and ticks, too. I limit DEET to my hat, hair face and hands. Everything else is pretty much covered up. They MUST eat through your skin, to drink the resulting blood with their mouths, they do not have a proboscis like a mosquito. Stay out of the brush. You’ll stir up a swarming party in no time.

    No, killing larva with Bti leaves them available for fish. Gotta feed the brookies, hey ha… But, there is some detriment to fly eaters (warblers, swallows, etc.) They don’t have the afternoon feast. Generally, anytime below 55-60F you will be fairly safe and not swarmed by them. Just an occasional bunch that are a little slow to eat. Below 55F, they start looking like zombies, stuck to something, but very sluggish. Nights are great, non of those pests.

  4. Boreas says:


    The natural predators I was thinking of were other small aquatic invertebrates that feed on the larvae while in the streambed. But, as you say, brookies gotta eat as well. Will fish eat dead larvae?

  5. James Marco says:

    Yeah, brookies don’t care. They take my poor offering of wet flies. Hell, I have seen them eat pine needles from cedars. Maybe they are after the caddis flies, but I doubt it. One fish I caught was bulging. He had a piece of rotted wood almost half his size in his stomach. I have no idea what he thought he was eating. Crabs, hellgrammites, etc all eat detritus. I’m sure they do well on larva…either dead or alive. I thought about it back when it was introduced. But, they cannot kill them all. What would an ADK spring look like without the blackflies?

  6. Ray says:

    Mosquitoes hunt by smell and mosquito repellents clog up their noses work well for mosquitoes.

    Black flies, deer flies and horse flies hunt by sight and hence mosquito repellents don’t work on them.

    There is some evidence that a zebra’s stripes reduce fly bites. My next experiment is to try a refery’s striped shirt.

  7. Don Boink says:

    Thanks for the info on black flies. Missing from the advice part are a couple of remedies I found effective working on my camp thirty years ago. Skin-so-soft did a good job . I’ve also heard that the paper put in the drier called Bounce is good to rub on skin and put in your collar.
    Nice warm weather is the biggest help.

  8. Warren Harman says:

    I live just outside the blueline and our town treats with BTI. However, when hiking or fishing within the blue line I’m at the mercy of the female blackfly. I’m a proponent of DEET mainly on my clothes and I do get bit. However, I have a remedy for taking the itch and pain away from a bite. Spit (or otherwise wet the bite) and sprinkle on meat tenderizer (either Adolph’s or McCormack’s) and rub it in. The itch will be gone until you rub it again which will require retreatment. This remedy also works on mosquito bites. Having a remedy for the consequences of a bite helps to relieve the mental anguish caused by the blackfly or mosquito.

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