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In response to wash the boat, mine is washed EVERY time a fish comes on board with bleach/water mix in a safe ratio. Boat washed EVERY time it comes out water as I trailer it. Used therma cell, insect repellent, so far, layer up or just don't go! Have same problem on bass boat with the little biting bastards. I am not into chemical warfare or endangering myself/others/environment. Would love to find something that actually works and won't have any long term effect!

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7 hours ago, wishinfishin said:

I just bought a bottle of ultra shield eco friendly at tractor supply, safe for the family but doesnt say you can spray yourself with it. I think all the ingredients are a plant oil. Hope to try it next weekend , see what happens.

It was $20.00 

Has a faint citronella  scent to it, I just use a very small spray of it to my socks and it works great !

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I'm heading to Tractor Supply today to see what kinds of fly traps they sell. Something I can hang off my bow rail if or when the flies show up. I fished at Cranberry Lake (NY) yesterday and for half the day there were no flies to speak of. Then they came out of nowhere. The wind was light and steady out of the north, and never changed direction, so I'm not sure what attracted them to us. I'm going back to Cranberry Lake tomorrow and I'll report on my test of different repellants.


Here's is what the Farmers Almanac says about our black fly nemesis.


Mosquitoes are a much-dreaded fact of summer throughout the world, but anyone who enjoys the outdoors in Canada and the northernmost U.S. states knows that the real enemy of the wilderness wanderer is the malevolent black fly.

Black flies, also known as buffalo gnats or turkey gnats, are small flying insects that feed off the blood of humans and other animals. Though tiny — they reach a maximum length of 1/8” when fully-grown — black flies are a formidable foe.

Most prominent beginning in about the middle of May, and continuing to make the outdoors a miserable place to be well into June, or even July, black flies do not spread disease among humans, though their bites are painful, itchy, and slow to heal. They can cause severe allergic reactions in some, up to and including death. Because black flies tend to swarm their prey, a single victim can receive numerous bites in a short period of time, increasing the likelihood of a dangerous reaction. For this reason, some U.S. states try to control black fly populations for public health.

Unlike mosquitoes, which breed in stagnant water, black flies lay their eggs in clean fast-running water, such as rivers and streams. Female black flies lay hundreds of eggs in or near the water, so they are very common in wooded areas near bodies of water.

Repelling Black Flies

  1. Black flies can be difficult to repel. The simplest way to prevent getting bitten is to protect your skin by wearing long sleeves and pants at all times when outdoors. Because they are attracted to dark colors, it’s also a good idea to wear light-colored clothing, such as khaki, tan, or white.
  2. One particularly annoying habit of black flies is their tendency to swarm the face. This occurs because they are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale. A good way to protect your face is to wear a hat with attached netting, specially designed to protect the head and neck from black flies.
  3. Some recommended natural repellants include vanilla extract, lavender, and the extract from pine branches — just break open a young branch and rub the moisture from inside on your skin.
  4. Avoiding wearing sweet smelling perfumes, and indulging in candy or soft drinks when outdoors can also help to reduce your risk of attracting black flies.

If you find that these home remedies are not effective, you may need to move up to a commercial insect repellent. Sprays containing DEET are often recommended, though their effectiveness against black flies is unpredictable — some even report that DEET sprays attract black flies. Repellents containing Permethrin are more likely to be effective, but they are also more toxic than DEET sprays, and can be harmful to fish, cats, and beneficial insects such as honey bees.

Soothing the Itch
If you do get attacked by black flies, there are a number of things you can do to soothe the itch:

  1. Wash the affected area with soap and warm water
  2. Avoid scratching the bites as much as possible. Scratching can break the skin, increasing the risk of infection.
  3. Apply a topical agent, such as aloe vera, witch hazel, or a gentle over-the-counter remedy, such as calamine lotion, which can also help. If the itching persists, or is very bad, an antihistamine cream may be needed.
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I made screens for the boat windows and keep the curtains on, rigged up a Honda Civic cooling fan that pulls fresh air into cabin . Still get a few inside but it's better than bleeding to death!!! Wish I could send a big box full to my ex wife !!!!!

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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1 hour ago, sandwick50 said:

So, the question is, what are they?  They look like a common house fly, right?  Stable fly,

greenhead, snipe fly?

From what I can tell and others have mentioned is the majority of the troubles come from the Stable fly.  I have seen plenty of deer and some MONSTER horse flies on the lake but they are easy to deal with.  Stable flies are the ones that swarm your ankles and harass your dog... look like a small house fly.  Their bites hurt but dont have much of a lasting effect for most far as I know.   I say far as I know because I am allergic to them, have to wear pants with thick socks on the lake.


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I reluctantly bought a tin of shoe cleaner/waterproofing off a guy at the hamburg show.  He claimed it had eucalyptus in it and would keep the flies off.  I'll have to check next time I'm in the boat what it's called, but, it did work well.  We also had pretty good luck with the buggspray product. 

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2 hours ago, RD9 said:

I'd pay a hundred bucks a bottle. Only stuff that works. 

I just bought a case, how many you want for $99 a bottle. :rofl:


Tried the Buggspray the other day. It works but doesnt last 4 hours.

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I was looking on line for bug spray, one highly talked about is called Bens, that's it. So I clicked on it with all 5 stars from every walk of life said it's great. Cabela's handles it. I'm going with that stuff, a lot of hunters in heavy tick areas, fishermen that fish down south in the bay area's all gave great reviews. Check it out Bens.. Bug repellent at Cabela's!!!

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Go to youtube and watch a video on the bug a salt rifle.  You load about an ounce of table salt in the rifle, pump it once and blast them into oblivion.  It really makes the time between bites go fast.  Several of my fellow boat owners have purchased them and we all love them.  About 40 bucks.  Good way to burn off the aggression when the fish aren't biting.  Best Father's day present I got this year !!!

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