For those of you who are not familiar with black flies, they are
small biting flies that literally chew a hole in your skin to suck
blood out of you. They like to crawl before they bite, so
they will land on you and then proceed to crawl up your arms and
legs (inside your shirt sleeves and pant legs) and then bite. They especially like to crawl up into your hair
a little ways and bite you on your scalp. The bites itch
tremendously, and readily bleed. Sometimes a swarm of them can hover
around you and quite literally drive you nuts.
They are only active during daylight hours, and a good wind will
blow them away.
Black Flies can be a major factor in your visit to
this region. Black flies are most plentiful first thing in the
spring, right after the snow melts. There's usually a few days to a
week or two before they really get going in the spring. They will be
most plentiful in June and July. You may or may not see a lot of them in May
-- it depends on the weather, how warm it is, etc. They gradually decline in numbers
throughout the summer. Sometimes they are mostly gone by August, but
sometimes they last into September. It all depends on the weather
Insect repellent is necessary for most people to stay outside in
the summer. Tucking your pant legs into your socks can sometimes be
effective. Also wear a hat (but they will bite you along the edge of
your hat where it contacts your scalp). Bug hats with netting and
so-called "bug shirts" can be effective as well. Part of the
strategy of dealing with black flies is to not be annoyed with their
buzzing about your head. If you can deal with that, then you can
focus your attention on the ones that are actually trying to bite
you. As well, try to be out in open areas where there is some
I have been up in this area in July and been unable to
stay outside for more than 20-30 minutes before they drove me back into my car.
And on another trip in early September I found them to be still plentiful enough
to cause me some discomfort.