my wife called me at work today saying the backyard was littered with biting flies. ( i told her to go in the front yard. i laughed, her not so much) i digress. my girls have welts from the bites. the front yard seems to be safe for some reason... ( i was right) but as soon as you walk into the back yard you get attacked, is there any kind of remedy or chemical that is safe for the girls but will get rid of the flies. im not sure what type they are. ive read online something about pennies in a clear bag with water? Ive also been told about diatonatious earth. apparently if you spread in on the ground they land in it and its toxic.. i don't know. all i know is the little buggers ( the flies not the children) hurt i want to get rid of them any suggestions?
Jul 17, 2013, 08:19 AM
I would first try to determine exactly what kind of flies these are. If you can post a photo, someone might be able to help. There are numerous insect ID sites, some of which are pretty thorough.
Alternatively, capture some of the flies and take them to your state's local agricultural extension service (usually affiliated with a university) for ID.
What works for one insect might not work for another.
Avon's Skin-so-Soft is known as a mosquito repellent but I don't know if it will work on flies. You probably know that DEET has toxins and shouldn't be used on children (or adults for that matter, IMHO).
Citronella and some lemon scented grasses are considered repellents, but again, I don't know if they work on flies.
Years ago we used to get fly or flea traps that contained very sticky paper as well as a lure. Once the insects landed, they were trapped.
Another alternative, and I write this seriously, is to quickly purchase some carnivorous plants.
Or Google "carnivorous plants, flies". If you can determine what kind of flies these are, you might be able to narrow down which specific plants will help.
I realize that plants are a small solution, but at least they're safe to humans.
I'm wondering why the flies are in your back but not your front yard. Is the back yard woodsy, less open? Are there sources of water? Without knowing what the flies are it's kind of hard to determine whether there's something in your back yard that might be conducive to their colonizing there.
I have noticed that the "no-see-ums" are particularly active this year, but I've never been bitten by them. I do recall being bitten by flies years ago. My best recollection is that they were common houseflies, which surprised me because I didn't think they preyed on humans. To the best of my knowledge I'm not a ripe juicy fruit or decaying vegetable that might appeal to them.
I've never heard of the penny solution, but I suppose it's worth a try. Diatomaceous earth has in my limited knowledge been primarily used for insects that prey on garden plants. I don't know if it would be effective on flies.