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Black Flies?

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Black Flies?

We're coming to Bar Harbor on June 15 and we're wondering how bad the bugs will be then. I see a previous request for a black flies status update, but was wondering if you've had warmer weather since then so that the black flies will be about gone when we come. We're from Michigan, so used to mosquitos, but it would be nicer to have fewer bugs. Anyway, can't wait to get there!

Bar Harbor, Maine
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for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
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3,888 posts
13 reviews
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1. Re: Black Flies?

That they will be gone by the 15th is, alas, a vain hope. They are out now; we wear bug nets when doing any extended yard work. I haven't been in the potentially more buggy parts of the park recently, so I really can't tell how how bad they are now. Perhaps others can.

Generally, they stick around (some of them, anyway) until about the last week of June/first week of July.

Atlanta, Georgia
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92 posts
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2. Re: Black Flies?

don't know how it will be next week, but I just returned and didn't see any black flies at all. It was a wonderful trip!!!

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3. Re: Black Flies?

Do bug sprays work to help keep them away?

Bar Harbor, Maine
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for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
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3,888 posts
13 reviews
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4. Re: Black Flies?

Insect repellent works. I know that the DEET-based stuff works; I have no experience with the other forumulations. Considerable has been written that clothes dried with Bounce (or presumably, other fabric-softener sheets) tend to repel the little beasts.

Winter Harbor, Maine
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56 posts
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5. Re: Black Flies?

In all the years my husband and I visited Bar Harbor, we never knew about black flies. It's only since we bought a rental property in Winter Harbor and do gardening work out in the lawn that we know about black flies. You should be fine when in town - the black flies are a bother when you're in the woods and lawns, not right next to the ocean and not in Bar Harbor village.

Insect sprays with DEET do work, but read the label before applying to children's skin.

Have fun!

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6. Re: Black Flies?

Thanks everyone! We actually will be hiking or biking at Acadia most of the time. We do have bug spray with DEET already, for the mosquitos here in Michigan. I'll try using the dryer sheets also. By the way, I haven't heard one bad thing about Bar Harbor from anyone who's been there, so I know it'll be a great trip.

Bradley, Maine
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685 posts
14 reviews
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7. Re: Black Flies?

You won't have a problem biking. The only ones that can bug ya will be late july/august the giant horse/deer/moose flys. Generally the wind keeps them down pretty good. Just for "scouts sake" always be prepared and get a can of the good "super deet" stuff that's like 70% deet. you may grow an extra toe but the bugs won't bite it!

Bristol, Indiana
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388 posts
22 reviews
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8. Re: Black Flies?

We will be visiting May 10 through May 16. When do you have Black Flies? We are from the midwest and have never been out east, so if this is a stupid question, I appologize in advance. Thanks

Bar Harbor, Maine
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for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
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3,888 posts
13 reviews
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9. Re: Black Flies?

Trina-David---

It's not a stupid question---but there is not a really good answer.

Black fly larvae principally live in streams; they develop into adults (think mosquitoes with jaws) and emerge from the water as the streams begin to warm, sometime (usually) in mid to late May. A lot depends on what kind of spring we have. Right now, I would say that the emergence will be late this year, but a couple of weeks of really warm weather could change that.

Generally, the peak of black fly season is in June, but it's not unusual to see a few in mid-May, especially near streams or in other lowland habitats.

Don't be alarmed. A good insect repellant will fend them off. Moreover, because they emerge from streams, if you are hiking/walking at higher elevations, you shouldn't be bothered. Also, they aren't very good at negotiating wind, so open or wind-swept spaces tend to be black-fly free. (Here at our home, they congregate in the shrubbery, not in the open spaces.)

If you do happen to get bit, the anti-itch gels or the "itch sticks" do a good job.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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10. Re: Black Flies?

Random info: in all my years growing up in Maine there is one thing that has repelled black flies better than anything else. Avon Skin-so-soft! I know, it sounds wierd, but try it.