Deer Flies are Causing Painful Bites in Maryland!


Deer flies are small flying insects with painful bites found all over the world, and the months of August and September see an influx of these pests. They are blood-sucking pests that bite humans, cattle, horses, dogs, and many other mammals. Female deer flies feed on blood, while male deer flies feed on pollen. When a female deer fly bites you, it is likely to be painful (some describe it as similar to a bee sting), and the fly’s saliva may cause the bite to itch and hurt. Some people might have extreme allergic reactions to the bite.

Deer flies transmit a rare bacterial disease known as rabbit fever (tularemia). Symptoms include skin ulcers, fever, and headache. Tularemia can be successfully treated with antibiotics, but without treatment, it can be fatal.

To deter deer flies, you can use essential oils like pine, eucalyptus, peppermint, and citronella. The best deer fly repellants include Coleman 100 Max Insect Repellent, Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent, 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent, and All Terrain Herbal Armor Natural Insect Repellent.

Pine-oil can be used as an insect repellent for most bugs and flies. Pine oil used to be in the original Pine-Sol but the company  reduced the amount of pine oil.  So, not just any Pine-Sol works. The original formula of Pine-Sol, a widely used pine oil-based cleaner, contained 8-12% pine oil, along with other ingredients but does not anymore. In response to consumer requests for the original formula, Clorox, the owner of Pine-Sol, has made available a product containing 8.75% pine oil. This product is not sold in stores, but is available to online purchasers.


**Breath-O’-Pine has REAL pine oil. **

You can mix 80% Pine-oil with 20% water solution, shake the spray bottle well until it’s at the proper ratio, and spray areas where you wish to keep these stinging pests away. 

August and September months are a busy time for biting deer flies, but the good news is that these pests have a short life span. 

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