I always forget about these terrible things until I go out on that first hike. The swarms can be awful and htey are just voratious!
It seems to me that not much seems to work on these creatures other than screens and staying inside until dark.
Although incredibly annoying - unless you have an allergic reaction Black Flies are not known for carrying disease.
I ahve had some luck with All Terrain Herbal Armor Natural Insect Repellent which did work on mosquitoes and other biting flies for me.
I have collected a few natural remedies for bites and stings for you here as well as some natural home made repellents, most of which rely on essential oils and witch hazel.
Easy homemade Mosquito repellent!
Essential oils: choose from Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Cajeput, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Catnip, Lavender, Mint
Natural Witch Hazel
Mix several drops of any of the above essential oils in a spray bottle and fill the rest up with water (or a mix of water and vinegar, or a mix of water and witch hazel). Spray away!!
via Helpful Tips & Tricks on Facebook
Deer ticks, on the other hand are known for carrying Lyme Disease.
In tick-infested areas, your best protection is to avoid contact with soil, leaf litter and vegetation. However, if you garden, hike, camp, hunt, work, or otherwise spend time in the outdoors, you can still protect yourself:
1. Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily.
2. Wear enclosed shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
3. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants.
4. Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors and check again once indoors.
5. Consider using insect repellent. Follow label directions.
6. Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails.
7. Avoid contacting vegetation. Avoid sitting directly on the ground or on stone walls.
8. Keep long hair tied back, especially when gardening.
via NYS Health Department's Publication:
Be Tick Free - A Guide for Preventing Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease Myths: 9 Things You Should Know About The Tick-Borne Disease
Stings kill twice as many people as snakebites and account for about 100 deaths each year. Some stings are incorrectly diagnosed as heart attacks or other causes. Death can result from a simple toxic effect if a person is stung 30 or more times. More often, death results from allergic reactions that can be triggered by a single sting.
Sting allergies are poorly understood, but are basically a body’s reaction to protein in the sting venom. An estimated one percent of the human population is allergic to insect stings. Often an allergic individual’s sensitivity will increase over time. Common symptoms of sting allergies include swelling away from the area of the sting, hives or shortness of breath. Pain, local swelling and itching are normal reactions and not cause for alarm.
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