How to Combat Biting Flies

Follow these tips to help stop biting flies from ruining your time outdoors.

How to Combat Biting Flies

Biting flies can ruin your time outdoors. Unfortunately, there are many different types of biting flies: deer flies, horse flies, stable flies, black flies, biting midges (a.k.a. "no-see-ums"), and sand flies. Regardless of species, they all have one thing in common -- they're out for blood. What's more, coming inside isn't even a guarantee that you're safe from biting flies, since they can get inside your home. But you can combat these winged nuisances. Follow these tips:

Clean Up & Treat Your Yard

While controlling weeds and pruning shrubs won't get rid of biting flies, it will likely reduce their numbers. That's because thick plant vegetation provides shelter for insect pests. If you plan to host an outdoor event or like to spend lots of time outside enjoying your backyard, it's also a good idea to treat your lawn, landscape, and the perimeter of your home with Ortho® Bugclear™ Insect Killer For Lawns & Landscapes Ready-To-Spray or Ortho® Bugclear™ Insect Killer For Lawns & Landscapes Concentrate beforehand to help control biting flies. Be sure to follow label directions.

Seal Cracks Around Your Home

If biting flies are getting into your home, try to determine how they may be getting inside. Be sure to seal cracks, repair any broken screens, and use weather stripping around doors. You can also create a barrier by treating around your windows, doors, and other points of entry with Ortho® Home Defense Max® Indoor Insect Killer with Extended Reach Comfort Wand®, following the directions on the label. Unfortunately, if you have a problem with biting midges, they are so tiny they can get through window and door screens. The best solution is the keep the windows and doors closed when they are active.

Improve Air Circulation

When the air is stagnant, biting flies may seem worse. If you're spending time on the deck or patio, consider plugging in a large fan. This might not help if you happen to be weeding the garden or mowing the lawn, but if you're simply trying to read or relax outdoors, the air movement might bring some reprieve from these biting pests.

Burn Candles or Torches

In some cases, burning candles or torches can deter biting flies from attacking you and your guests in your outdoor living space, as the smoke can keep them at bay. However, if you have a severe biting fly problem, you'll likely need to include other prevention methods as well.

Cover Up

If biting flies are attacking you while you work in the garden or mow your lawn, take care to wear light-colored long-sleeve shirts, long pants, and a hat. You might even want to adorn your hat with netting material to prevent biting flies and gnats from getting to your face.

Use Insect Repellents

If you are planning a backyard barbecue, doing some hiking in the woods, or spending time on a beach where biting flies are present, you can also spray yourself with an EPA-approved insect repellent that contains DEET. Be sure to follow the directions on the can or bottle. That may just keep biting flies at bay and prevent them from making you miserable!