Outdoor black fly (gnat) control

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Old 04-29-19, 08:27 PM
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Outdoor black fly (gnat) control

We have a black fly problem here, to the point that the state has started spraying bacillus thuringiensis from helicopters to try to control them. The spraying hasn't made a real difference where I live, unfortunately, and I need to do more to make my yard habitable.

I have seen foggers that say they control them, but that seems to be a product that you spray before you occupy the yard. I would like to do a more long-term treatment, so I don't have to spray every time I step outside. Does such a thing actually exist? And are the flies that are bothering me in my yard actually living in my yard (or nearby enough for any treatment to matter), or are they traveling in the wind to get to me? Thanks.
 
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Old 04-30-19, 03:41 AM
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Look up on Google "natural ways to control black fly pest". You'll find several method's to reduce and eventually control the invitation. Seems like removal detritus from nearby bodies of water is a big thing.
 
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Old 04-30-19, 06:16 AM
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I don't have hands on experience with black fly control, but bt is a good and safe treatment though environmental factors will influence its success. They come from moving water, if I'm remembering correctly so I don't think it's going to be a "yard" problem.

A good place for objective and local information will be the County Agricultural Extension Office. Here in PA it is an extension of Penn State; other states will have well qualified people, too. They will usually make a positive identification if you can supply specimens.
 
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Old 04-30-19, 09:53 AM
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Our moving water is a major river nearby, which is what the state is spraying the BT into. Unfortunately, it looks like the flies will travel up to 10 miles from there. Yuck.

I'll see what the state says for yard control. I also picked up an aerosol fogger. If it proves effective, I might upgrade to a propane one.
 
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Old 05-01-19, 05:25 PM
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OK, it's technical question time. The Cutter aerosol fogger, as well as their propane fogger solution, contain phenothrin. In a fog form, that would kill airborne insects by contact... but the products also make claims about repelling insects for 6 hours.

How does that work? Any aerosolized droplets would either blow away or fall to the ground in short order I would assume, so is there typically some other repellent in the mix that doesn't get listed as an active ingredient? Or is phenothrin just that effective that whatever settles on the grass can still repel flying insects several feet up in the air? And if it's a separate repellent, what is it and can I buy it by itself?

For what it's worth, the state recommends wearing insect repellent, head nets, long clothing, and smoke to repel them... But I would rather not have to pretend to be a beekeeper to sit outside.

I've read that permethrin is an effective repellent on clothing and gear. I may try treating our patio umbrella to see if that helps any. But it seems like the "official" response is "good luck." They're not even spraying BTI again this year.
 
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Old 05-02-19, 05:24 AM
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The synthetic pyrethrins, which is pretty much any active ingredient that ends in "thrin" except for natural pyrethrins, will have repellency and residual properties. Flying insects in outdoor environments, in my opinion as well as others, will not be controlled to any appreciable extent by insecticides/repellents. People will use them and claim results, but it is just as likely that an environmental condition such as humidity changes, wind, temp, life cycle pause, will be the cause with no way to measure that.

In mosquito country the pest control operators will use synthetic pyrethrins to treat shrubbery, trees, by directing the spray to resting areas which are usually the underside of leaves. Mixed results from what I hear, though I've never performed such treatment. As you can imagine, this is very chemical intensive as the sprays are broadcast over a large area and repeated regularly.

I too doubt the 6 hour repellency claim as the treatment is outdoors. To me, the chance of success would require a windless day so the aerosol particles have a chance of staying put to some degree. The fact that a laboratory can demonstrate 6 hour repellency does not translate to our yards which have no borders, boundaries, etc. These are strong flying insects. They don't need large bodies of moving water to breed in, I can't help but think that there are suitable bodies of water closer than 10 miles. The "good news" is that they breed in clean water so while we sit inside we can take comfort in that aspect.

The following quite was pulled from the attached link.

"Controlling black flies in the adult stage usually is not practical, unless you wish to obtain temporary relief (hours) on local property. Fogging to control black flies in the adult stage may provide a brief period of relief, but because adults are strong fliers, relief is temporary. Sustained control is not possible using this method."

https://extension.unh.edu/resource/b...ies-fact-sheet

Permethrin is in fact a very good repellent to use on clothing only, for ticks. My wife recently attended a "tick talk" at our local college where they also talked highly about the chemical "picaridin" that the article describes near the end for use on skin. Could be as good or better than Deet. We've purchased both products for our clothing and skin.
 

Last edited by PAbugman; 05-02-19 at 05:27 AM. Reason: additional info
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Old 05-02-19, 06:16 AM
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I'm guessing that the repellency of -thrins is minimal, though, since I've used them to do perimeter treatment around the house, and ants have walked right up to the spray line before turning around. A spray around the edges of the patio would not make a vertical barrier.

Sawyer makes various permethrin sprays for clothing and gear, and their website says that the tent in a campsite is the biggest thing, so treating the tent can help create a larger protected radius. I was envisioning in my head something like string lights, but made with some kind of fabric treated with permethrin. Every few feet around an area would be another source of permethrin. But if its repellency is similar to what I used before, that would be absolutely pointless.
 
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