I’M JUST CURIOUS: Mosquitoes and black flies – OH MY!

by Debbie Walker

We live in Maine. We know we are going to have to deal with snow, ice and inconvenient road construction. I believe the most difficult of Maine life is the Black Flies and the Mosquitoes and “Oh My” is saying it lightly!

I tend to believe critters are each here for a purpose. So….. of course, I had to do some reading. This is what I found out about these critters

It is the female black flies we are upset with. The males feed on nectar. The females feed on mammals including us.

We know that mosquitoes need standing water to prosper, however, the black flies prefer running water. How do you folks who fish the streams stand it?! We know that from April to July the little nuisances make gardening, boating, camping and any other outdoor activity a nightmare. The one good thing is they don’t follow us into the house or tent, etc. Mosquitoes want us wherever we are!

There is even a song written by Wade Homsworth titled The Black Fly Song. I found the song on YouTube. It was written about Canada but I believe it applies to us as well. It tells about the Black Flies “picking our bones clean”.

I’ll bet woodsman didn’t have to worry about walking into the woods I’ll bet the black flies were more than willing to gang up and carry them in!

In reading various things on the internet I learned (and remember) the only state that doesn’t have black flies is Florida. Don’t get all carried away about how lucky they are in Florida because they have their curses too. They have the dreadful no see ums. You might not see them but you will certainly feel them and their after effects for days. They have fire ants. Horrible little suckers! They have Love Bugs; they don’t bite but will plaster your entire windshield if you do much traveling in May or September. Oh, and they will pit the paint on your vehicle!

Okay enough of that.

Mosquitoes: I probably can’t tell you much about those little suckers! There are several songs about them. Mosquito Song says “Swallow and chew, Eat you alive, All of us food that hasn’t died.” Truthful little song, I am surprised we didn’t learn it as kids!

Body odors entice the critters to you. Sweat, perfume, scents and the higher the body temperature the more likely the critters will find you.

Their only purpose, as I read, is to make more mosquitoes!

My friend, Otis, from Florida, when I was complaining about them, said “What are you complaining about, don’t you people saddle and ride your mosquitoes?” Oh yeah, he is a funny man!!

I read that camping is nature’s way of feeding mosquitoes. I haven’t been camping yet but I have fed a few anyway. But I will tell you that I got Ken to experiment for me. I gave him a couple of dryer sheets and said wear these and see if it works to ward off the bugs. According to Ken they seem to work. I haven’t tried them yet.

I am just curious but not about those critters and I don’t care what their purpose is anymore. I don’t want to deal with them! Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com with questions or comments and thank you for reading!

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