How to Prevent Deer Fly Bites

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Female deer flies feed on the blood of mammals. They are vicious biters with a very painful bite. Using razor like portions of their mouths, they cut through the skin and then suck the blood for several minutes. Bites from deer fly can also transmit diseases such as anthrax, anaplasmosis, hog cholera, and others. Deer flies are most abundant on bright, sunny days that have little wind.

  • Wear light colored clothing. Deer flies are attracted to dark colors that are moving. Wearing dark colors on warm sunny days draws the deer flies to you.

  • Protect your head with a light colored baseball cap or other hat. Deer flies are known for going after the head and scalp to bite. When they get under your hair it can be difficult for you to get at them to remove them.

  • Cover as much exposed skin as possible. Wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants with tapered fitting cuffs and ankles limits the amount of skin exposed for deer fly bites. Gloves can also be helpful.

  • Use an insect repellent than containes Deet to prevent deer flies from biting you. Apply the Deet to all exposed areas of skin including your face and neck. Use care not to get it in your eyes. Apply the repellent to your clothing as well.

  • Purchase a nylon head net which covers your head, neck and face. Head nets allow for clear vision while providing a physical barrier to prevent deer flies from being able to bite.

Tips & Warnings

  • Deer fly repellents are commercially available for use on animals. These repellents contain Permethrin. Permethrin is not to be used on humans, as it can be harmful.
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