View topic - deer flies, favorite solutions?

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PostPosted: July 8th, 2019, 1:39 pm 
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We had some pretty persistent deer flies on our Canada Day week trip. I was wondering if folks might share their favorite solutions to these sweet creatures.

To start this off, I did hear a bit of crazy ideal lately. A model of a dragonfly pinned to your hat-- person seemed to think it helped....Any thoughts


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PostPosted: July 8th, 2019, 4:17 pm 
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The dragonfly is called the wingman. I have one. Helps a little I would say.

https://getyourbug.com/shop/

These work. IMO

https://www.homehardware.ca/en/4-pack-d ... /p/5045089


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PostPosted: July 8th, 2019, 4:45 pm 
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If they are really bad I cover up.

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PostPosted: July 9th, 2019, 8:27 am 
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Cover up is the best advice; light coloured clothing seems to work better than dark. Also, wear a hat with a brim all the way around. Deer flies seem to be attracted by sunlight on hair and to prefer seeing the sky above them - they don't like to go under any kind of roof, even a hat brim or a canoe being carried on a portage. They generally are not a problem in cooler temperatures and are not usually active unless it is sunny.

Based on the experience of a former colleague of mine, the sticky patches for the back of a cap are very effective (he used to like to display his 'catch' on his office bulletin board, after a walk in the woods). However, if you wear a hat with an all-around brim that doesn't leave the back of your head half exposed, the patch is unnecessary.


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PostPosted: July 9th, 2019, 8:30 am 
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I tried that dragonfly---naaah! \There are 'deer fly patches' sold at CTC etc but duct tape(y'all remember that stuff) doubled over and put on the back of a hat works fairly well.

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PostPosted: July 9th, 2019, 8:43 am 
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Thanks for the ideas. While I can swell up from the bites for a while, they do focus in on my wife. The patches are more awkward for women as they often have much longer hair at the back. Interesting thought on the sunlight on hair. Will playtest a bit on that. I suppose it's better than dealing with windchill and frostbite :)


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PostPosted: July 9th, 2019, 9:43 am 
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wotrock wrote:
... but duct tape(y'all remember that stuff) doubled over and put on the back of a hat works fairly well.


Duct tape is good. I find Tuck tape (think vapour barriers) even stickier.


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PostPosted: July 9th, 2019, 10:26 am 
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Tanglefoot is an extremely sticky spray used to trap flying insects, available in garden centers, also used in monitoring and research. Spray on a dark piece of paper and pin to hat. Probably cheaper than the packaged prepared ones.

https://dianeatwood.com/deer-flies-trap/

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PostPosted: September 13th, 2019, 7:50 pm 
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I also use Tanglefoot with a twist: Deer flies are attracted to the color blue. I brush the sticky stuff on blue solo cups and then dispose of them when they fill up. It took only an hour to collect the following bunch of little buggers:

Image


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PostPosted: September 13th, 2019, 8:14 pm 
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I've studied them for years. Here's what I've found. First they'll land on you. Don't hit them yet. Second they do a little dance while they find the spot that's right for the bite. Don't hit them yet. Third they go into a trance just before they bite. Now hit them with your hat. Land, dance, trance, smack. Then they begin to pile up in the canoe bottom.
P.S. Don't hit them with a baseball cap that has a metal clasp at the back. It can cause real damage to your flesh.


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PostPosted: September 13th, 2019, 8:31 pm 
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The blue hat+cups kinda reminds me of a Red Green DIY solution :lol:


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PostPosted: September 13th, 2019, 8:59 pm 
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vinman wrote:
The blue hat+cups kinda reminds me of a Red Green DIY solution :lol:


I'm honored by the comparison! :lol:


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PostPosted: September 14th, 2019, 8:07 am 
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The deer flies were bad this year, but the reasonably wet spring and summer brought us an abundance of butterflies and dragonflies too so it wasn't all bad. For the biters I tried an OFF product that was a promotion freebie I received, called OFF Family Care. It contains 10% Picaridin rather than DEET. It worked surprisingly well. I used the aerosol type and the deer flies left me alone for the rest of the day. But a single afternoon excursion does not make for a thorough bug test. I'll try it again next deer fly season. Something I'm not particularly looking forward to.
That blue cup thing is not a gimmick, they really are attracted to that colour, but unlike mosquitoes they tend to alight higher up on your body favouring your head and shoulders, so anything from your waist up is a target. (I've been bitten on the arse whilst sitting.) And they will bite through a single layer of fabric. I don't like wearing additional layers on a portage on a hot summer afternoon so I try to wear loose fitting shirts.


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PostPosted: September 14th, 2019, 9:14 am 
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It is surprisingly fun to take a river trip with a blue solo cup on your head. 50% of the people I encounter pretend they don't see anything unusual. The other half ask "What is that?!". If I am feeling devilish I tell them it is an antenna and then paddle off.


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PostPosted: September 15th, 2019, 10:33 am 
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Will give it a try next year....thanks all


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