Useful Tips: Dodging Deer Flies

We returned from our trip to full-blown deer fly season. The fact that our grass didn't get cut for three weeks certainly didn't help either.

As soon as you get into the open, there are fleets of deer flies in full attack.

That's one of the things that seems consistently typical. When we used to go camping, around the same time of the year, you had a choice. You could either get chewed up by mosquitoes in the bush or by deer flies anywhere along the roads.

I already wrote about deer fly patches.

Those work quite well, but we forgot to buy them before coming back so right now we don't have any until we can order some.

I found a solution for myself, which involves being fully wrapped up in clothing, so only my face and my hands are sticking out. And yes, my hands still get chewed up. But it definitely reduces the real estate they can attack.

The dogs are always my main concern.

Not having to fight them off myself, I have my hands free to try and keep them off the dogs. But right now it's almost impossible task.

Cookie, of course, coming back after three weeks, and after a long ride wanted to run around and have fun. What to do?

I tried taking her into tall grass and bushes. It was a hot sunny day and mosquitoes weren't too bad. And it worked!

As long as Cookie was playing in the tall grass and bushes, deer flies weren't bothering her.

If you're shorter than surrounding vegetation, they either don't see you, or can't get to you, or both. Plus if the odd one makes it all the way to Cookie's body, it gets brushed off quickly. I wonder if that's why they call them deer flies - because they only go after critters that stick out over vegetation.

So that's our tip for dodging deer flies. How do you dodge deer flies?

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  1. I actually looked this up earlier today after a particularly bad walk we had. We've been lucky in Michigan that the mosquitoes aren't bad this year, but the deer flies have been insane. I've never seen anything like it. I think I'll try walking Laika in some of the fields around here a couple times to see if that's any better. I can wear long sleeves, but that poor dog is pretty much defenseless from those things.

    1. Yeah, they can get pretty insane - and the dog is like a magnet walking through a hardware store. They actually feel like they are glued ...

      This method has been working for us. The vegetation needs to be relatively thick and definitely taller than the dog. Tall but thin doesn't cut it. It can be grass, bushes, even trees. The thicker the better. For some of those who still come exploring I use my end of the leash, folded, like a numb chuck to fan them off.


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