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Old 18-05-2022, 08:42   #1
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Maryland/new jersey Fly attack

While transiting north along the coasts of Maryland and New Jersey we and other boats were descended upon by hoards of biting flies. We were 10-20 miles off shore with no seaweed or flotsum to speak of. Does anyone know what these miserable creatures are and how they get so far out to sea. Any advice on how to get ride of them would also be appreciated. They are driving us insane.
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Old 18-05-2022, 09:29   #2
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Re: Maryland/new jersey Fly attack

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Originally Posted by GinoDelG View Post
While transiting north along the coasts of Maryland and New Jersey we and other boats were descended upon by hoards of biting flies. We were 10-20 miles off shore with no seaweed or flotsum to speak of. Does anyone know what these miserable creatures are and how they get so far out to sea. Any advice on how to get ride of them would also be appreciated. They are driving us insane.
We call them green heads. They get blown off the marshes in westerly winds. Bug repellent can help. A change in wind direction will help the most. Sorry I can't offer more help/hope.
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Old 18-05-2022, 10:31   #3
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Re: Maryland/new jersey Fly attack

They are a annoying, but fairly slow. Everyone on board should be armed w/a good fly swatter and know how to use it!
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Old 18-05-2022, 10:35   #4
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Re: Maryland/new jersey Fly attack

I actually have employed a swatter in each hand and arrived in NYC with hundreds of carcasses. We use the mosquito bug screens and drapes that every tropical cruiser has.
Consider yourself part of the food chain
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Old 18-05-2022, 10:37   #5
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Re: Maryland/new jersey Fly attack

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Originally Posted by GinoDelG View Post
While transiting north along the coasts of Maryland and New Jersey we and other boats were descended upon by hoards of biting flies. We were 10-20 miles off shore with no seaweed or flotsum to speak of. Does anyone know what these miserable creatures are and how they get so far out to sea. Any advice on how to get ride of them would also be appreciated. They are driving us insane.
Oh, don't I get you! I'm covered with bites!!

Here's my solution. I use it for skeeters and greenies in New England. It's coming next time I go south.

Fry 'em. Two double-A batteries.
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Old 18-05-2022, 10:40   #6
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Re: Maryland/new jersey Fly attack

Don,
Are you good w/both hand/arms?

We never arrive at our destination w/the kill, but toss them in for fish food.
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Old 18-05-2022, 12:37   #7
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Re: Maryland/new jersey Fly attack

A bit early for Green heads.

We do have no see em's at this time of the year.

No see em's are just annoying. You need to use bug stuff like skin so soft.

Greenheads are a special kind of evil. Bug sprays do not work. They just dont suck your blood, they first rip off your skin. They are armor plated, so just a standard swat does not work for them. You have to swing for the fence to kill them.

Then we have mosquitos too.

I am a life long close to the NJ shore resident. Currently sailing out of Brigantine Yacht club. I know the bugs intimately.

At least there are no Ticks or Chiggers on the water.
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Old 18-05-2022, 13:02   #8
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Re: Maryland/new jersey Fly attack

Holy SSSS!!! I thought we had it bad in S Florida! Armor plated blood sucking flies!!! Keep them up there!
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Old 18-05-2022, 15:44   #9
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Re: Maryland/new jersey Fly attack

Avoid the Delaware River, they're what you experienced times 100!
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Old 18-05-2022, 16:12   #10
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Re: Maryland/new jersey Fly attack

These aren’t green heads I don’t think.

Pretty sure these are those stupid, annoying flies that look like houseflies. All fine and dandy, until you are standing there at the helm and one starts biting your ankle.

If you spend a lot of time offshore sailing in the Northeast, you’ll run into these all the time. They are quite a nuisance.

Whatever these are, they don’t exist on land or very close to shore.
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Old 18-05-2022, 16:18   #11
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Re: Maryland/new jersey Fly attack

Holly molly!!! It happened to us when transiting from Deltaville to Cape May. Boat interior was packed with them flies.
When at anchor, we went all the way into the forepeak and pushed them thru the hatch. But with minimal success, we have had to smash ten’s of them and wash interior completely.
Not a great souvenir!!
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Old 18-05-2022, 16:27   #12
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Re: Maryland/new jersey Fly attack

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Holy SSSS!!! I thought we had it bad in S Florida! Armor plated blood sucking flies!!! Keep them up there!
Yes, afraid so. Many times had little blood trails from the bites and unfortunately for me I also would develop large and very itchy welts from the bites. I miss NJ for a lot of reasons but I certainly don't miss the greenheads?

NJ doesn't have gators so we at least have that. :-)
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Old 18-05-2022, 19:19   #13
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Re: Maryland/new jersey Fly attack

I agree you will need to take special precautions keeping them out of the interior of your boat. But, some will get in. We use flyswatters and the battery operated device that attracts flies with light and electrifies them. Our observation was the flies take off jumping forward so we could improve our kill rate knowing the direction of their next move.

We've experienced swarms of biting flies sometimes when we pass some freighters and some islands. I'm sure the windspeed and direction are contributory for how we're impacted. Besides the wind pushing these insects so far offshore, I'm inclined to think they have adapted to the environment and now reside offshore even though, like you note, there are no notable seaweed or other vegetative islands about.

Once we were a few miles offshore on Cape Cod Bay and a small flycatching bird landed in the cockpit. He wasn't afraid of us and we were fascinated to see how effective he was capturing flies. Unfortunately, he was a small bird and eventually ate his fill. Then, we were left to our own devices once again.
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Old 18-05-2022, 19:33   #14
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Re: Maryland/new jersey Fly attack

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These aren’t green heads I don’t think.

Pretty sure these are those stupid, annoying flies that look like houseflies. All fine and dandy, until you are standing there at the helm and one starts biting your ankle.

If you spend a lot of time offshore sailing in the Northeast, you’ll run into these all the time. They are quite a nuisance.
Sounds like the flies on and around Lake Michigan (and probably the rest of the Great Lakes) about mid-summer. Too fast to swat by hand, but if you don't kill them they just bite someplace else. Good news is 'OFF' and 'Repel' work to keep them a bay.
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Old 18-05-2022, 19:55   #15
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Re: Maryland/new jersey Fly attack

Long island sound - smaller, biting flies, not greenies. The come in ones and twos, nonstop. I once had to stop before entering port jeff to rig the wash down hose, hundreds of carcasses washed away before going on to pick up a buddy.

They know when you’re busy with your hands full, too. That’s when they go for the ankles. They always go for the ankles. Evil MF’ers…..

I’m sure Hell is full of flies.

Noseeums, on the other hand, tend to be near estuaries, tidal areas, stuff like that. Particularly onerous at sunset, and I know from personal experience they are unreasonably attracted to wet varnish.


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