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How to Repel Yellow Flies & No-See-Ums

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Tip

To minimize contact with yellow flies, plan any outdoor activities to occur before or after peak yellow fly season (May and June), when they are the most aggressive. Insect repellent is less likely to deter the yellow flies during their peak season. No-see-ums aren't as aggressive as yellow flies, but are active all summer. To avoid yellow flies on a daily basis, remain inside during the early morning and late afternoon, when yellow flies are the most active.

Warning

To reduce the risk of side effects, always follow the label directions of repellents and insecticides.

Consult a physician about any adverse reactions to bug bites or chemicals.

Yellow flies and no-see-ums are pesky insects commonly found in the southern region of the United States. The yellow fly is a fierce, biting fly that features a small, yellow body. No-see-ums — also called biting midges and punkies — are tiny biting flies that are barely visible to the human eye. Both types of flies gravitate toward warm, humid and moist areas. The bites from yellow flies and no-see-ums are painful and may cause itching, swelling and possible allergic reactions. Use several strategies to repel these annoying insects and avoid being bitten.

Apply a bug repellent containing diethyl toluamide (deet) to all exposed areas of your body to repel yellow flies and no-see-ums. According to the University of Florida’s Department of Entomology and Nematology, deet is the most effective repellent against yellow flies.

Wear physical barriers such as a tightly-meshed head net, long sleeves, pants and gloves where yellow flies and no-see-ums occur in large numbers.

Treat your yard or other outdoor area with an insecticide to temporarily reduce yellow flies and no-see-ums. Products containing permethrin have been proven effective for both types of flies. Purchase these insecticides from farm and garden stores as a surface spray to use on trees and shrubs or as an outdoor aerosol spray for your entire yard.

Replace the standard screens of your home windows with tightly-meshed screens to reduce the incidence of no-see-ums in your home. No-see-ums can easily pass through a standard window screen.

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