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  Hiking in Maine:
 

What about those Black Flies and other Flying Pests I have heard about:

 

Black Flies are the unofficial Maine State bird - according to Maine Humorist, Tim Sample. Knowing how to cope with them will make your visit to Maine much more enjoyable. Insects can provide a challenge for even the most perfectly planned weekend outing.

Black Fly season lasts, on average, from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July. The season will start earlier in some parts of the state, especially southern Maine, and end later in northern Maine. Black flies are mostly found in wooded, wet areas with with large amounts of standing water. Summer breezes are your best insect repellent as the flies like hot calm days.

Black fly likes to crawl on you before it bites and can leave a bite that iches and swells. While some people may have quite a reaction to them - the bites are more annoying than harmful.

The best way to prepare for them is to dress in long sleeves and pants. Tuck your pants leg into your socks so the black flys do not crawl up your legs and put a rubber band around your shirt sleeve. Put a bandana around your neck to prevent them from crawling down your shirt. The less skin exposed the better off you are. Bug netting is also a good defense if you plan on spending long periods of time in wooded, wet areas.

Bugs on average will not bother you when you are hiking. They will become a nuisance when you stop. If you do wear shorts be sure to have long pants close by when you stop. If you decide to wear long pants and shirts when you hike be sure to wear comfortable clothes that breathe. Cotton is an ideal fabric for that.

Mosquitoes and minges (no-see-ums) are not as relentless as the black fly but can leave just as nasty a bite. These insects also go after exposed skin. Insect repellents work well.

If you must use an insect repellent - try to use a product that contains more than 80% DEET. Be sure to follow the products directions carefully. Products that contain 90+ % of DEET are desirable. Typically, DEET SHOULD NOT be applied directly to the skin. And remember, a small amount goes a long way.

Also be sure to have a tent that has proper netting and all the zippers work. Tents should have "no-see-um" netting.

The staff of maineoutdoors.com does not take responsibility for the number of bug bites you recieve while you are visiting Maine.

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