We just received this question from a reader: How do we get rid of black fly larvae? We are happy to answer his question and provide some general information about black fly larvae.
Black flies have a variety of aliases, including “buffalo gnats” and “turkey gnats”. Black flies feed on the blood of mammals. They bite livestock, poultry, wildlife, and humans. There are over 1,000 species of black flies around the world, and over 200 in the United States. The bite of a black fly can cause a variety of different reactions in humans. For some, the only symptom is a small puncture mark at the bite site. Others contract “black fly fever” and experience nausea, fever, headache, and swollen lymph nodes. While this doesn’t sound ideal, livestock face more serious potential threats from a black flies than humans. Livestock are at risk to contract transmissible diseases through these vector flies. Livestock have even suffocated from numerous black flies crawling into their noses. Finally, black flies can cause death from blood loss in livestock from extreme biting.
Black fly larvae develop in unpolluted flowing water for 1-6 months. The larvae stay attached to stationary objects in the flowing water. The most effective natural way to get rid of black fly larvae is to physically alter the habitat of the larvae. This could involve adding rocks or boulders to change the flow of the water, or removing the stationary objects. Depending on where our reader lives, there might be a state agency that handles the management of black flies. Our reader might want to look into professional options if he feels threatened or extremely irritated by black flies and their larvae.
To summarize, one of our readers asked us about getting rid of black fly larvae. Mature black flies feed on the blood of mammals, biting livestock and humans. We think our reader should attempt to alter the flowing water source the larvae are residing in, or he can consider calling a professional agency to handle the situation.