Black fly on human.
Photo credit: U of M Dept of Entomology
Black flies. A pesky nuisance for a few months. Head nets. Moving water. Bites that really hurt. Also known as Buffalo Gnats.
All these things happening means its black fly season and you will know it if they breed in your area. Daylight and low wind are when they swarm you the worst. They home in on the carbon dioxide you breathe out and zero in if you are wearing black, blue, or green.
There are a few lucky people that black flies reject as candidates and they do not bite them.
Black flies are a small pest that drive many folk inside, just like it was 20 below zero or 120 of heat. You just have to get away from their constant buzzing and blood sucking biting.
They breed in moving water unlike mosquitoes that need stagnant water.
So how do you get rid of them?
Sorry but this is a tough problem.
Prevention of their breeding: This cannot be done by the homeowner. There are chemicals (Bt formulations) that can be sprayed into moving water that are effective but a professional must do it. In most cases a large scale community or governmental program is necessary to reduce the numbers of black flies. So you need to talk to your local leaders about instituting a control program.
Prevention of their biting: DEET compounds, netting over your head or full body, or stay inside. Do your work at night or buy a giant fan to create a strong breeze as they adore no wind conditions. Buy any repellents that claim to work for black flies and hope for the best.