Since we're getting into fly and mosquito season around here, I thought I'd take a minute to share a quick tip for coping with those annoying deer flies that like to circle around your head. This doesn't help with mosquitoes (rub some catnip on yourself or use some Herbal Bug Out Repellent to help give them the slip).
Deerflies are Tabanids and are also called a Marsh Fly, Sheep Fly, Yellow Fly, Pine Fly, May Fly, and Salt Marsh Greenheads. Whatever you call them, they're just plain annoying. My youngest was complaining every time he was out mowing that they were after him, dive bombing his eyes and circling his head. (The females are the guilty parties. They're after your blood, and their bites really itch.)
A while back my husband told me a story about when he was a Boy Scout and they were traveling through a swampy area in Canada being plagued by deer flies. Their guide plucked a muddy fern and set it on top of his hat. The flies started circling the fern instead of his head, and they were one their way without flies in their faces (after everyone else also set themselves up with ferns).
We're short on ferns around here, but we did happen to have some peacock feathers. I took my son's hat, a little duct tape and a couple of feathers, and set him up with his own personal deer fly deflector.
Voila! No more flies in the eyes. He hasn't been bit or bothered by deer flies since he started wearing this hat. Plus, I think he makes those feathers look good. 😉
You can also buy deerfly patches that stick onto your hat to trap the little buggers, and larger sticky traps for biting flies to keep near your barn, stable or campsite. The patches might work well on a pant leg or wrist if the flies are really bad and going after any exposed skin.
Update: Tom B. shared another handy option on our Facebook page for those who are driving tractors:
“My uncle has a cattle ranch in Canada. The land is completely flat, and he is also plagued with deer flies when he's out on his tractor. His trick is tying a red rag to a tall plastic pipe strapped to his tractor. Always works. They go after the tallest thing around.”
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