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Re: [nafex] Black Flies

I am not much troubled by mosquito bites, but black fly bites swell up
an inch around the center, and hurt for a couple of days.  I can't
imagine braving swarms of black flies to graft!  Hélène, you have my


"victoria l. caron" wrote:
> Helene,
> Do you have Avon products in Canada? If you do, the Skin-So-Soft bath
> oil is the best ever for black flies. It is a big seller for the black
> fly season here because it is so effective, much better than any of the
> 'deep woods' type repellents. I use it for the horses and dogs too. Just
> float a couple of ounces in an small bottle of water (like a water
> bottle) shake and use. It does not mix with water, but the water helps
> spread it so you don't need so much. If you can't find any let me know
> and I will send you some.
> For those of you lucky enough to not have black flies, here is a quick
> comparison to mosquitoes. Mosquitoes inject a little blood thinner then
> suck our blood like right up a straw. Black flies on the other hand
> actually chop/chew a hole in our skin and proceed to mix their saliva
> and blood thinning enzymes with our blood until they have made a big
> bloody mess. They then feed on this spilling blood. Believe it or not,
> this is not as easily felt as a mosquito's little bite, so the blood
> often continues to flow without clotting and you finally notice it as it
> trickles down. These bites often cause anywhere from localized swelling
> to general allergic reactions. Luckily, except in extensively wooded
> areas, the black fly season lasts anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks depending
> on the weather that year. A hot late spring will often 'burn them off.'
> vic zone 3 NH
> "H.Dessureault" wrote:
> >  Here in zone 3, the bark is getting loose on the apple trees and buds
> > are starting to swell, as we had a few days of clement temperature. I
> > started grafting this morning which is very early for me as I usually
> > graft around the time when the apple trees are getting close to
> > blooming (2nd to 3rd week of May), also the time of black flies (sic)
> > which can be quite ferocious around here sometimes. Anyone who has
> > ever struggle to complete a graft with a cloud of black flies hovering
> > in front as well as in the eyes, will know what I am talking about.
> > You just feel like running away after a while, and too much protective
> > clothing and nets are cumbersome and annoying. For a few years, I have
> > used an old fashion solution, a smokey fire. Since I almost started a
> > grass fire one year through a hole at the bottom of an old enamel
> > container converted into a portable fire pot (supposedly for safety
> > reason), I now use a beekeeper's smoker. Safe, easy to move around,
> > last a while without much attention, and works wonder to keep the
> > multitude at bay.A friend insists that I am grafting too late (I go by
> > the book) so I decided to spread the effort over a few weeks this time
> > (a few grafts now and then) and maybe keep, not a thorough record, but
> > at least a rough idea through percentage of take.This morning I
> > realized that there is an added bonus in grafting early... No black
> > flies. Hélène in Québec
> >
> >
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