Throwback Thursday - Black Flies ‘89

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 12:46 PM EDT
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Outdoor activities are a staple of the warmer months here in the county, but there is a small nemesis that often over shadows these enjoyable moments - the infamous black fly. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard has this week’s Throwback Thursday.

For many of us today, the mention of a black fly might be a passing nuisance during a hiking trip or a barbecue party, a minor inconvenience solved with a dab of bug spray. But for some these pesky bugs are more than just annoying—they can be fatal. In this week’s Throwback Thursday, we dial the time machine back to 1989 where WAGM Reporter Susan Raff gives us an in-depth look at this tiny terror, teaching us that sometimes the smallest creatures can have a huge impact.

Whether we’re camping, Barbecuing, canoeing or just getting a bit of fresh air, we can’t escape the practically invisible black fly. We spray ourselves with insect repellent, we swat endlessly hoping the specs of toxic poison will take the hint and go away but to no avail, the black fly stays by our side.

“There are some bugs that are attracted to color, and they are attracted to perfumed types of things. Women who wear perfume, hairspray, that sort of thing. So, I imagine if you’re outside or planning to be outside you should stay away from that kind of thing”

The treacherous insect is a nuisance to most of us but for others, it can be a serious matter.

“Bites can be fatal in certain persons who are allergic to it and not aware that they are allergic. Once you become aware that you’re allergic to the bite there are desensitizing treatments, allergy shots, that can be given but if you happen to be the unfortunate one that is not aware that you’re allergic and you get a single bite it can be fatal.”

Those new to Maine, and especially infants can sometimes be the most vulnerable to black fly bites. If you notice swelling or shortness of breath, you should contact your physician right away. But for those who aren’t in danger by the toxic insect, only annoyed and frustrated, insect sprays and smoke can help keep flies at a distance, but to truly escape Maine’s nasty spring insect, means staying inside.

Susan Raff, Channel 8 News