Black Flies in NJ, NYC & Eastern PA

Black Fly Control in New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, Connecticut, and Delaware

Facts

  • Black flies are a threat to recreation and tourism in certain parts of the country.
  • Over 250 species live in North America.
  • Homes and properties near waterways are most likely to have issues with these pests.

Appearance

What Do Black Flies Look Like?

Size: Small, less than half an inch in length
Color: Dark brown to black
Characteristics: Little to no hair, broad wings, and short legs

Food

What Do Black Flies Eat?
Black fly larvae eat organic matter like algae and bacteria in fresh water. Once they become adults, they consume plant nectar. Only female black flies feed on blood prior to reproduction.

Biology

Females lay eggs either directly in running water or on floating debris. After hatching, black fly larvae attach to items at the bottom of the stream. Their development takes place underwater and relies on temperature. Depending on the species and climate, larvae can mature in as little as one week or after six months.

Detection

  • Look for swarming pests near fresh, moving water.
  • Notice a greater abundance of the pests from April through September.
  • Check for bites on livestock, people, and pets.

Problems Caused By Black Flies

Black fly bites and swarms can seriously impact quality of life for visitors and local residents. In addition, females that take blood meals can transfer diseases to humans, though this is rare in the United States. The insects will attack any exposed skin, and bites result in swollen, itchy welts. Allergic reactions can also occur.

Signs of Infestation

Infestations of black flies can be hard to detect because the pests only appear at certain times of the day and year. Noticing bites and groups of these flying insects are usually the only signs of a pest problem. Residents who live near water or keep livestock may experience frequent swarms.

Prevention Tips

Wear light-colored clothing and avoid perfumes and scented products to deter these pests. Reapply repellents regularly based on the product directions. Wearing a hat, long sleeves, and pants is the best defense during peak black fly activity, as the pests cannot bite through fabric.

Tips for Removal from Home

Black flies typically only come into houses by accident. Keeping window screens in good repair prevents the pests from coming indoors. Homeowners with serious black fly problems can benefit from contacting pest control specialists for help with removal.