Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
I have a house in Kanab with a lot of Desert Poppies and Blue Flax Grass that is pretty tall surrounded by Junipers in the front yard. I think I may have Noseeums. If so how do I get rid of them? I got bit up pretty bad last weekend working in the yard.
Rate This FAQ
Thanks for your question about biting flies. Actually it’s very difficult to control biting and/or nuisance flies around the yard. Usually they like to breed in or around standing water because the larvae (immature flies) require moisture to survive. I wouldn’t normally think of Kanab being a particularly wet area in Utah. The adults move from marshy areas and can become a problem around households. Most females flies require blood to lay fertile eggs and they usually prefer to feed on birds and small mammals. But sometimes they have no choice but to move to larger mammals (us!).
Here are a few tips for reducing biting fly problems:
1. Try to reduce or eliminate standing water around the yard (e.g., wheelbarrows, tires, watering cans, bird baths, kiddie pools, drainage ditches, etc.) to discourage females from laying eggs.
2. Install proper screening for windows and patios to prevent no-see-ums from entering residences and outdoor areas. Most biting midges can pass through 16-mesh insect wire screen and netting, so a smaller mesh size is required.
3. The small mesh size does limit air flow through the screens, and an alternative is to treat screens with a long-lasting insecticide (e.g., permethrin) that will be fatal to the no-see-ums that land on the screen.
4. No-see-ums are very small and weak fliers; ceiling and window fans can be used at high speeds to keep no-see-ums out of small areas.
5. If it is necessary to go outdoors into areas where biting flies are prevalent, wear protective clothing. Long sleeved shirts, long pants will protect arms, legs, and head from bites. If necessary, apply a repellent labeled for biting fly protection. Reapply as needed and as recommended on the label. Most repellents do not work as well for biting flies as they do for mosquitoes; therefore they have to be reapplied more often.
6. Many biting flies are active at certain times. Avoid outdoor activity during these peak biting times. Horse flies, deer flies, black flies, and stable flies are usually most active during the day. Sand flies usually are most active around sunrise and sunset. Most of the biting flies are also most active at certain times of the year. Deer flies and black flies are most prevalent in early to late spring. Stable flies are most abundant in late August through October or November. Sand flies are most abundant during summer months, but may bite at any time during the year.
7. Biting flies usually rest on vegetation or the sides of houses before entering or before biting people. Numbers of biting flies around houses can be reduced by applying outdoor barrier treatments to places flies would contact before biting or entering the house. Be sure to apply all products according to label directions and to locations listed on the label.
Biting flies are usually an area-wide control effort. Meaning, even if you try all the things listed above, flies can travel long distances and still be a problem. I am sorry I don’t have a more definite control recommendation for you. I hope the flies aren’t as bad this year for you. Best of luck,
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- I am interested in beekeeping, and am currently reading several books on the subject. All of the books have said, "contact your local extension office to find out about apiary organizations and to register your hives." I've looked all over your site and can't find anything on this subject for Washington County. Where can I find information on apiary organizations in this area?
- I have seen small white worms crawling on the fround around my home. Can you tell me what they are? They move very very slow and are in a group as they move.
- I have been fighting a battle with snails and slugs for the past 10 years. I can't find diatomaceous earth that is free of serious pesticides and I can use around my vegetables. (It seems to be more like typical non-garden pesticide in the form I find it.) I also wonder about copper barriers and what sort of copper I could use for that.
- I have large burrowing bees or wasps that live in my sandbox. They do not sting but are very annoying. What is the best way to get rid of them?
- Sandy, Utah area (foothill benches. I am seeing sparse (not dense threads or tent-like)spider webs spanning approx 1-2 inches in the crotches of various limbs on scrub oak (no bugs or spiders are visible, however, did recently see only one yellowish/brown spindly pointed legs/body spider on limb which was about 1/2 - 3/4 inch if legs were spread from end to end). I've never seen spider like it before and can't identify on internet or books. Any thoughts, advice, or place to reference on what and how to treat? Scrub overhangs patio and everyone is paranoid to sit under trees. This is only affecting a few trees near pation, not seen on all scrub oak on property.
- My daughter found a strange insect outside today. It 1 1/2 inches long and has the coloring of a wasp. The back part of the body looks like a very large wasp, but the front part and front legs look more like a praying mantis. Just wondering if you could tell us what kind of insect this could be. It was definitely interesting looking!
- What should you use to kill Box Elder bugs?
- I have an indoor ant problem. They are tiny, reddish, with a long petiole before a heart-shaped abdomen. They especially like grease and meat. Raid has been somewhat effective, but new colonies show up in odd rooms (I am in an upstairs condo). Yesterday a new colony found my leopard gecko, and attacked her. Her toes were targeted especially, but when I found her the wounds didn't seem too bad, but she must have been stung a lot since she went lethargic and died later in the day. Most websites recommend identifying the species before trying to control them but I haven't been successful in finding a good identification guide. From what I can tell, they aren't sugar, carpenter, grease, white-footed, or other common indoor ants. Any suggestions?