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Black flies are also known as turkey gnats, or buffalo gnats and tend to be annoying to humans and domestic animals in both suburban and rural areas across the United States.

These annoying flies are black and gray and tend to be humpbacked. Black flies range in size from 1/25 to 1/8 inch long and can be found within and around the home. They inflict very painful bites and will attack any exposed areas of flesh on the body. In addition, black flies may bite under areas of clothing where the clothing binds such as collars, cuffs and belted areas. Bites will often swell and itch for a few days to a week, The victim of black fly bites may also experience mild fever, nausea and headaches.

Female black flies deposit their eggs in water that is running swiftly. This includes areas like streams and irrigation ditches. The larvae then develop in the water and will emerge as adult black flies in the spring and summer months. Due to their small size and the penchant for laying eggs in water, black flies may be carried many miles from their original breeding grounds.

The best bet to avoid getting bit is to use an insect repellent on your skin. Consult the various brand labels to find one that suits you. Prevention includes keeping windows and doors tightly screened and spraying outdoor living areas with a resmethrin containing insecticide. Black flies that find their way indoors may be killed with a spray containing pyrethrins or tetramethrin. Swatting black flies on the skin is a sure way to get bitten.