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Defeating The Deer Fly

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Old 07-02-2012, 07:07 AM   #1
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Default Defeating the Deer Fly

If you have ever camped up in the Adirondacks in the summertime, then you have definitely met the Deer Fly. It is related to the common horsefly and I can tell you first hand that they are the most miserable creature in the woods. They are relentless. Even black flies are not this ferocious. With the dark spots on their wings, and their painful bite, it isn't hard to identify them:


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I had read some literature by Dr. Russell Mizell about a deer fly trap he designed which is basically a blue bucket covered with a sticky substance. The flies are attracted to the blue over any other color, especially when it is in motion. He surmised that a blue solo cup attached to your hat would work just as well.

As much as I like science, I was not going to be seen walking around with a buzzing blue solo cup on my head, so I decided to buy a blue hardhat instead. A quick shopping search at Amazon and I found this one for $6.40:


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I then purchased some Tanglefoot Tangle-Trap sticky coating:


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My sons and I went up to our yurt in the Adirondacks last weekend and we had a bunch of wood to cut from trees that have either fallen down or were leftover from logging. I wore the hardhat during our first couple hours and here is the video of the result:

How to beat deer flies.mp4

It was neat to watch them work. First the flies would circle your head like they always do before they attack, and then all of a sudden they would be gone. You knew they just landed on your hat lol!

By the end of the day, the entire hat was covered. We were joking that my afro was about to fly away if I didn't hang on to it. Another thing we noticed is that only one of us had to wear the hat. We were sitting around a small camp fire at a neighboring camp (my cousins) and the deer flies that had been mauling them all day stopped and just swirled around my hat leaving everyone else alone. When I would take the hat off and set it down, they would go back to biting us.

I am thinking an old style batting helmet or a catchers helmet may also work, but they are usually much more expensive than a hard hat, though a bit more stylish.

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Last edited by Jafo; 06-09-2014 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:24 PM   #2
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I bet you look fly in that hat!

It's neat to see that it actually worked. That will make your time at the camp much more pleasant!
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:00 AM   #3
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You should have seen me swimming in the river with that hat on lol..
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:18 AM   #4
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Default Ive trapped over 11,000 deer flies

And here's another homemade method to try on those nasty deer flies.

Ive trapped over 11,000 deer flies in the first 5 weeks of the 2012 deer fly season in Michigan using my version of the trolling deer fly trap developed by Dr. Mizell. My trap uses an umbrella, blue cups, and Tangle-Trap (purchased through Amazon). Check out my blog for how to make and use this easy effective trap. I've also posted my trapping data there. Happy trapping!

Trapping Deer Flies in Livingston County, Michigan
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UmbrellaGirl View Post
And here's another homemade method to try on those nasty deer flies.
Hahaha! That's awesome.. Now you need to automate it somehow on clothesline or something where it trolls the umbrella around the yard!

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:41 AM   #6
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This is Righteous!!! Next time I head back to Maine in the summertime, I'm bringing me some tangle trap and a blue hard hat. I hate those stinkin' flies!!!
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: Defeating the Deer Fly

If you dont have a hard hat and out of desperation I have used a baseball cap with a big patch of regular grey duct tape on the back and smeared the tangle foot on that....it also works pretty well
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: Defeating the Deer Fly

I had to order two more hats last week because my sons had their friends up at camp for the weekend with us. The Deer flies are mad right now. It was the only thing that saved us.

If you have never had any experience with Deer flies before, they are vicious. One of the boys decided he didn't need the hat, or a shirt, when we went down swimming in the river. This was the result:

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So now we have four hats up there, and they are 85% covered with Deer flies and black flies. Boy I can't wait until fly season is over! :P
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:29 AM   #9
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Default Re: Defeating the Deer Fly

Man that looks nasty i am glad we don't have to deal with them here.
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: Defeating the Deer Fly

Deer flies peg my piss off meter. Thanks for posting a technique to deal with the little mothers besides chugging Jim Beam.. lol.
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