Black flies are known in Maine to be a nuisance, a pest, a painful companion of the outdoors for much of May and June. Their bites cause enough irritation to keep hikers and bikers off of the many beautiful Maine trails. But what if I told you, that you should appreciate being "chosen" by the black fly who bites you?

Did You Know Black Flies Found in Maine Are Also Called Buffalo Gnats?


No, not because of buffaloes or bison. I thought that, too (also, American buffaloes are actually bison. That's a different topic, but they should be called 'bison gnats'). Back on why we should feel grateful to be chosen to be bitten by the 'buffalo gnats."

Black Fly

When a black fly feeds on your blood, they are completing their reproductive cycle. So, in a twisted way, if you're able to accept it, you are a part of a beautiful process. That massive, itchy, painful bump shouldn't be viewed as an inconvenience nor misfortune, but with gratitude that you were able to help a family grow.

Still, How Do You Avoid Being a Part of the Black Fly Reproduction in Maine?

Broken Heart

Ok, you didn't bite (pun intended) on being a grateful blood donor to the black flies. How do we avoid the biting? There a several great suggestions. Cover your skin. Protect your face (they love to swarm this area). Bug spray is a cliche go-to. Avoid any sweet-smelling material and try eating garlic.

Wait, garlic - like what's used to ward off other, albeit fictional, bloodsuckers?

Woman in a vampire costume for halloween

Yes, this article recommends garlic in your diet as a preventive measure against black flies. Whether willing or not, love bites, and here's to hoping these black flies' love lives fizzle out quickly this season.

Plants That Deter Mosquitoes and Other Bugs

Gallery Credit: Emily Claire

11 Bugs You Can Survive On (Eat) If Lost in the Wilds

In the event your GPS sends you wildly off course and you find yourself stranded deep in the heart of nowhere, rest assured you can survive, nay, thrive on a diet of insects and other creatures found underfoot, underground, and under logs.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

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