Subscribe or Renew Membership Subscribe Renew


PrunierHIC's picture

If you also have to deal with these pesky biting S.O.B.'s do you have anything that works. Avon skin so soft? Should I go on vacation and have my help finish the job? Anything that could help would be great.



All Things Wood                                                                        

Stephen Prunier Carpentry


All Things Wood                                                                        

Stephen Prunier Carpentry


(post #61798, reply #1 of 21)

DEET continues to be the product of choice that will last the longest duration.  Some recent studies have shown some other products to be reasonably effective against mosquitoes for shorter (sometimes much shorter) periods; however, they didn't mention anything about deer flies.  A recent study has shown that it appears that DEET is relatively safe for adults.  I don't remember the conclusions exactly, but something to the effect that about the only side effect over all the years it has been used was a relatively low incidence of skin rash.  Unfortunately, DEET is less effective against deer flies than it is against skeeters...

There is a discussion of various repellents at:


Edited 7/7/2004 7:32 pm ET by CaseyR

(post #61798, reply #2 of 21)

" Ben's" repellant..almost pure DEET..try a bait shop


Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks

Repairs, Remodeling, Restorations.   

(post #61798, reply #3 of 21)

Bens sounds like something I used in the past. I'll pick some up thanks.  I have been using Off with deet but I can't tell if it realy works

It wasn't to bad last week but this week it's crazy


All Things Wood                                                                        

Stephen Prunier Carpentry


All Things Wood                                                                        

Stephen Prunier Carpentry


(post #61798, reply #6 of 21)

I hope that links.  Jungle Juice 95% deet.  I've been told not to get it on anything nylon, and don't wipe the sweat from your eyes right after putting it on, kinda hurts.  this stuff worked for me at an alpine lake known for flies, they didn't bite but they still buzz you close and annoy ya.

(post #61798, reply #11 of 21)

When spraying 100% Deet on your neck or face, be sure to remove your glasses if they have plastic lenses. Any overspray on the plastic lenses could fog them permanently.

(post #61798, reply #12 of 21)

Good point. Another thing to watch out for is your watch--if the "crystal" is plastic, it will get fogged, too.


"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy

(post #61798, reply #13 of 21)

I seem to remember a number of articles on DEET saying not to use products containing over 30% DEET.  However, that may have been before the latest studies saying that DEET seems to be safer than they had originally thought. 

Some additional articles on DEET from the popular press:

(post #61798, reply #4 of 21)

" Ben's" repellant..almost pure DEET..try a bait shop

Make up your you want to repel them or do you want to bait em?

Here we have Boone and Crocket quality Moose Flies and the only thing that works on em is a 30-06 metal jacketed tracer bullets. The bullet doesn't kill em but the heart burn will.

My vote for DEET ladened repellant as well.


(post #61798, reply #5 of 21)

yeah, I heard about a pilot in Alaska..put in 50 gals, before he realized it was a


Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks

Repairs, Remodeling, Restorations.   

(post #61798, reply #7 of 21)

do not wear white.

(post #61798, reply #8 of 21)

This will trap the little bastids so you can torture them to death at your leisure or smash 'em quick with a 2lb sledge, as you prefer.

To keep them away,

This product line is 100% natural and works as well or better than DEET; but you need to re-apply relatively often. I have used this in BAD bug conditions: clearing thick brush and logging in late spring when the black flies, mosquitoes and deer flies are out in force. It works. You do need to use their shampoo and soap as well as the spray-on lotion; the perfumes or other scents in standard shampoo and soaps can attract the bugs.



'Y-a-tu de la justice dans ce maudit monde?


How now, Mighty Sauron, that thou art not brought
low by this? For thine evil pales before that which
foolish men call Justice....

(post #61798, reply #9 of 21)

Move to higher altitude

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming....

                                                                   WOW!!!   What a Ride!

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"

(post #61798, reply #10 of 21)

FWIW, my BIL inspects pipelines and spends alot of time in the bush. He says some of the welders wear "Bounce" dryer sheets in the back of their hats.

It has to be the ORIGINAL BOUNCE SHEETS, no substitutes. Works for black flies and skeeters, why not deer flies? It won't protect your whole body, but it may stop them from eating the back of your neck and ears.


(post #61798, reply #14 of 21)

Darn deer flies – I liken them to having the ferocity and tenacity of a wolverine with the sensory skills and accuracy besting the latest LASER guidance system, and the unstoppable speed and penetration of a LASER guided bomb.


Lots of strong DEET a wide brim hat with mosquito netting no bare skin and you might slow them up for a while.


One evening while I was working on a sub-floor installation I was blessed with the largest swarm of dragon flies I had ever seen. Some of the assistants I had were jumpy about them. I had realized and I pointed out to them that the dragon flies wouldn't hurt you they were attacking and eating the zillions of other biting insects that would have carried us into the bush and sucked us dry. After that special evening I considered starting a dragon fly farm and selling cases of them to construction workers so they could work in the summer heat without thick protective clothing and irritable chemicals needed to survive the spring/summer curse of the wee ones.

Upper Michigan

(post #61798, reply #15 of 21)

I used to work as a raft guide up in maine and the only thing that would work was the DEET in an orange bottle (bens)  the only thing is that the DEET will MELT coated urethane products (rain gear, linings of tool bags etc...).  The other thing that was super scary about the DEET was that after using it for about 4 weeks,  I did not have to reapply the fifth week because it seemed to come out of my skin or gear was so soaked with it... 

Black Flies are number 1 and 2 on the list of things I hate and would love to see wiped off the face of the earth.

Poison Ivy and mosquitos are next on the list



(post #61798, reply #17 of 21)

Out here on Islesboro we only get about fiove or six black flies a year, the mosquitoes are variable according to proximity to shore and breezes and rainfall, but the deerflies are killers when they come into seasaon. Lasar guided smart bombs are no less destructive or painfull.

I use Deet for them, the Ben's in the small direct application juice, not spray. It works almost as welll to just put it all over my hat and cuffs as to do it everywhere, to avoid any skin irritation, but I should qualify that.

I seem to have the body chemistry that repells mosquitoes. I used to think it was because I ate a lot of honey but haven't done that for the last couple years and the mosquitoews still leave me alone. I canhave fifty of the buggers swarming around me but only get one or two bites while folks around me are doing the slap and run dance.


 <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!



Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #61798, reply #16 of 21)

It's deer fly season here too, and either I've been lucky or Natrapel actually works. It's citronela in a spray bottle.

A dog helps too - they're hotter, put out more CO2 (bait) and like to eat deer flies.

(post #61798, reply #18 of 21)

Old fashion flypaper on the rolls that you unwind carefully and hang around the site where you are working. You can speed the process along by putting blood on the paper (the source is your choice). They flock to blood. It's satisfying to see them by the dozens buzzing angrily while stuck in their death throes.

Hang the paper high enough that you don't run into it. That's a real mess.

You can also hang flesh e.g. dead fish, over a container of water. I don't know why but they fall in. I add a drop of soap to lessen the surface tension.

(post #61798, reply #19 of 21)

Found the following here:

A few years ago, several Ohio State University Extension agents field tested TRED-NOT DEER FLY PATCHES as a non-chemical control method. Some reported good results of these odorless, non-chemical, adhesive patches. The patches are three inches wide by six inches long, and are worn on the back of a cap to trap and hold biting deer flies. Patches worked best when moving. For more information, contact DETEX, 6910 W. Ten Mile Road, Leroy, Michigan 49655. Prices are 12 patches for $12.00, 40 patches for $25.00 and 80 patches for $40.00. Shipping is free and within 24 hours.

Persons hiking, picnicking, camping or involved in outdoor activity should protect themselves with repellents such as N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (Deet, Off) or permethrin. Deet-based repellents are effective for a few hours, but the user should not apply indiscriminately since human allergies can develop. Permethrin-based repellents applied only on clothing usually last longer. (Follow label directions.)

Can't vouch for the above but these work!!! see this website
possably if the attractor was installed up wind of a job site?



(post #61798, reply #20 of 21)

On the "fun with deer flys" subject- in childhood my uncle showed us how to make what he called "helicopters" out of them. 

He stuck a carefully chosen weed up their "tailpipe" and (if skillfully done) they could only fly straight up. 

It's fun at least once. 

Sorry I don't have the answer to your problem.  I remember when the wind was coming out of the woods in the UP every bite got infected.  I feel your pain. 



(post #61798, reply #21 of 21)

DEET in as high a concentration as necessary. I find that I tolerate DEET best if I have just eaten and have some blood running through the liver to detox any DEET that makes it into my circulation.

For modest bug work, fly and skeeter, I've done pretty well with the SPF 30 Sport-type sunblocks that don't come off with sweat. It is actually the feel of the substance that the skeeters don't like, so maybe the base-solution of the sunblock is similar to DEET. YMMV with flies.

I had deet once take the anodizing off a black tripod. My fingerprint is still visible on one of the tubes. That was on the Chincoteague National Mosquito refuge in July. Never again.

Piffin, I am intrigued that you don't see flies on Isleboro. Was that toungue in cheek? We have a place off Penobscot Bay, and after one trip in June during fly season, it was back to late August vacations.