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Yellow Fly Season
Warm and wet conditions along the panhandle are providing the perfect breeding ground for yellow flies.
Why their bites cause so much discomfort, and what you can do to fight back.
Jim Carmack/Channel 3 News
"Yellow flies. They're just plain nasty. Ask anyone who has been bitten by one and they will tell you how much they hurt. But why are they so mean? And is there anything we can do to stop them?"
Beth Bolles/UF, Escambia County Extension Service
"They are a true fly. And they just have an interesting characteristic that the female needs a blood meal in order to continue her egg development."
Ok, so kind of like a mosquito. Doesn't sound so bad.
"But unfortunately, when they bite, they actually have kind of a razor-like mouth part, and so to get that blood meal they make a nice cut on you and people have a really severe reaction a lot of times."
Because they're classified as a "nuisance" pest, Escambia County does not actively treat for yellow flies..
"They're hard to get rid of because they're everywhere."
So what can you do to avoid the blood suckers?
"We just try to keep them at bay as best we can with the use of repellants, when we're outside trying to cover up if we have a big problem with them, or using some interesting type traps."
Interesting indeed. We found one homemade remedy on the internet that involves a beach ball, black spray paint, and some sticky stuff called "tangle-trap".
Jon-Micheal Hart/Barnes Feed Store
"You take a beach ball, and you take the spray paint, you blow the beach ball up and you paint it black, you hang it up and then you spray the tangle substance on it."
The combination of the black ball and motion in the wind attracts the yellow flies to the sticky surface. Then they're stuck.
"That way they don't bite you no more."
And it must be working, because Barnes was sold out of tangle trap today. But more is on order.
"Now if you don't want to deal with the sticky stuff, there are still some old fashioned products that work pretty well."