Thank you for all the comments on Lodi. A wealth of information and experience.
On the subject of black flies, Victoria, yes, we do have Avon here too and I have tried Skin so soft, it works very well. Deep Wood also works as a number of other insect repellents, to different degrees, but not completely. Insect repellent is more effective for mosquitoes. Even covered with insect repellent, you still get a swarm of black flies around getting thicker by the minutes and hovering about, trying to land, and some are quite clumsy and cannot help falling in your eyes, you ears or get stuck in your clothes and your hair by accident. You have to wear a hat, long sleeves and turtle neck and after a while they drive anyone crazy, as they do collect around even though they cannot find a place to bite because of the insect repellent.
As compare to this, I have discovered that a fire keeps them away. They seem to be distracted from you and they don't hover around, and you can do a job that requires concentration in a still position without feeling annoyed all the time. As long as you stay within let say ten feet of the fire, there is virtually no black flies and they don't «bug you» as the expression goes. A little insect repellent on top of this is the finishing touch to earn your right of working outdoors in these parts, at this time of year.
I must add that mosquitoes behave differently. As Victoria mentioned they don't bite but sting and suck blood but they are not so effectively repelled by smoke but insect repellent on the other hand works well for mosquitoes.
I must add, that black flies are not around at night, just during the day and early evening. They disappear just before nightfall.
Mosquitoes show up mainly at the end of the day and stay all night. Of course, they overlap a little bit too...
All right, enough depressing thoughs, thank you again for the good advices.
Hélène, zone 3
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