All Things Gardening forum: Insect repellent - especially for flies

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Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
Jun 5, 2013 3:49 PM CST
Oh, I have never seen such bad flies! Deer flies, horse flies and I don't know what kind of flies!

I am coming inside with huge nickel sized welts on me.

I know you are not supposed to put Deet right on your skin - but I find that I am doing it! I am using Deep Woods formula insect sprays and still seem to be "eaten alive"

Now, realizing that my house is in a clearing in a woods, over looking a pond, out in the country.

Does anyone have any TRIED and TRUE solutions for me? Products that work? Strategies? This year, I am desperate! Blinking
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Jun 5, 2013 9:02 PM CST
Spalding Labs fly predators. Not too sure if they work for those biting flies, but since we started using them, our barn is essentially fly free. Of course, they're really recommended for people with livestock and you don't mention if you have critters, but if you have neighbors with animals, it might be worth looking into. Website is here:
https://www.spalding-labs.com/

Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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daylily
Jun 5, 2013 11:13 PM CST
Nearest neighbor with any livestock is at least a mile away. They have a couple horses. Other than that, cannot think of any livestock near me.

Looking at the website, not sure if they are the same kind of fly.

What I have the most of, I have always known as "deer flies" they are bigger than a house fly, with spotted wings. Oh, man, their bites hurt, then ITCH!!

What I call a horsefly is huge, probably close to 2" wingspan. I am a bit allergic to them. Bites last for weeks. I don't see many of them. Whew! It is mostly deer flies.
[Last edited by daylily - Jun 5, 2013 11:26 PM (+)]
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jun 6, 2013 1:11 AM CST
Farnam Bronco E and/or Farnam Bronco Gold, this is a spray for horses, but will keep flies, gnats, mosquitoes, etc. away from dogs and people, also. You can get a 32 ounce spray bottle for less than $7; it's even cheaper if you buy the gallon size.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: doglover
Illinois (Zone 5a)
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doglover
Jun 6, 2013 4:31 AM CST
Is it eco friendly? Do you know what it is made of? Thanks
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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daylily
Jun 6, 2013 6:47 AM CST
Greene, thanks! I didn't think about using that type of repellant. I have a couple farm stores near me. I will see what they have.

The deer flies are really active for a few weeks a year. Then it's mosquitoes.

I suppose everywhere a person lives, there is something!
[Last edited by daylily - Jun 6, 2013 8:31 AM (+)]
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Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Jun 8, 2013 5:25 AM CST
Most Horse repellent is not meant to be put on human skin.
Dear flies tend to go for the head first and I have worn a hat that has been sprayed with repellent.
you can also try lightweight long sleeves and spray the clothing, but most animal (horse) sprays have an oil base that may stain clothing.

Good luck deer flies are nasty persistent pests.

If you have outside dogs or cats that get bit on the ears a lot I have found a bit of Mentholatum/Vicks vapor rub keeps the flies away.
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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daylily
Jun 8, 2013 7:43 AM CST
Thanks, Cinda. I do have an old cotton ball cap that I spray with repellant.

I have certain clothes that I wear outside that are stained anyway - so a few more stains would not hurt. Thanks for the reminder that I should not put it on my skin. I try not to put the regular Deep Woods type spray directly on skin either.

I have not been to the farm store yet. Have not tried working outside again, yet, either!

Maybe I will put Vicks on my own ears! Whistling
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jun 8, 2013 7:15 PM CST
To those who may have misread my message earlier, and just to clarify - I did not say to put it on skin. Duh. Just spray clothes, hats, shoes, socks, etc. I thought that would be understood by most people but whatever...

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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daylily
Jun 8, 2013 8:44 PM CST
Greene, no problem from me! I had horses years ago. I knew not to put it on skin.

Nice though for the reminder for those who might not know.

I really am glad for the suggestion of using horse fly repellant. I don't know why I never thought of it. I am sure it will work much better.
Name: Bk
South Georgia (Zone 8a)
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QueenEmma
Jun 22, 2013 3:02 PM CST
I have lived in the woods with the bear flies, deer flies, gnats & house flies that bite. Summers in South Ga. are usually damp and muggy. I said that to say this ....Permethrin (may not be spelled correctly 38 percent and put in a hose end sprayer or hand sprayer (hand sprayer 1 tablespoon to qt. water) and spray the area you are going to be in for a while and they usually will stay away. Got this from a hog farmer years ago and it works. The color of clothing matters to but I forgot the colors not to wear. yellows and red I think.
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Jun 22, 2013 3:14 PM CST
I stick to white, green, beige and grey clothing for working outdoors. Smiling

Welcome to ATP, Emma! Welcome!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
Region: United States of America Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Daylilies Garden Photography Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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daylily
Jun 22, 2013 4:26 PM CST
Thank you, Emma!

And, yes, welcome!

The flies have slowed down a bit. I did check at the local farm storm but the horse sprays were about $20 so I wanted to be sure which one to get.
Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
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gingin
Jul 5, 2013 1:55 PM CST
My legs are covered in red "polka-dots" from the yellow flies here. A friend swears by witch hazel scented alcohol...haven't tried it myself so no clue if it works.
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Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
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RoseBlush1
Jul 5, 2013 5:00 PM CST
I am going to be watching this thread. My neighbor keeps horse and unofficially his own private deer herd. The flies are terrible. I'd like to find a solution, too.

For the itch and the hurting of the bites, I have found that the aloe vera sold as a sunburn remedy works immediately for the fly bites, yellow jacket stings and most spider bites ... I haven't been bitten by a poisonous spider, so I can't say anything about that.\

The plant juices of the aloe vera work, too, but they leave a yellow stain on my skin. The store product doesn't cause that problem.

Smiles,
Lyn
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Name: Jelinda AKA jojoe Ivey
Thomson,Ga. (Zone 8a)
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jojoe
Jul 6, 2013 8:57 PM CST
I live in the south & usually have hot,humid summers and the biting critters are bad.This year it has been raining constantly and the bugs are even worse than usual.I started using Bayer advanced products first on my plants and then the hubby started using it to spray outside the house,yard,ant mounds.

http://www.bayeradvanced.com/insects-pests/products?page=2
Here's a link to all their products we use the complete insect killer on the yard.We are having so much rain it's been really hard to deal with bugs.I am careful when i buy this product for my plants or bushes not to buy a systemic product.There's a lot of controversy over systemic insecticides.
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