Black Flies Prove To Be A Menace This Spring

Published On: Sep 09 2011 12:13:54 PM PDT   Updated On: Jun 07 2011 06:41:34 AM PDT
SPOKANE, Wash. -

They may look like small houseflies but don't be fooled; it's the season for black flies and they can be quite the menace, biting people, drawing blood and catching some by surprise.

People are definitely taken aback when they find a big bug bite and blood along with it, and the Spokane Health District has been fielding more calls about biting flies, which they think are black flies.

They're known as black flies or buffalo gnats, and they're known for being annoying, drawing blood and scaring a few people.

"It injects a little bit of anticoagulant, which is the same thing people take as a blood thinner. Then after they bite you then you have blood running down," Central valley School District nurse specialist Cheryl Sampson said.

Sampson says she's gotten calls from almost every school about the gnats. The flies draw blood for food, a lot of times biting around the ears, scalp and neck. .

The health district says in Washington the flies don't transmit diseases to humans but they certainly are a nuisance.

According to Raymond Vanderlouw, who works with Pest Solution Professionals, this spring they're

To keep them at bay, you should make sure your window and door screens are intact as well as wear long sleeved, light clothing when you're outdoors. The flies are most active during the day, especially at dusk and dawn.

Cheryl Sampson added that both Calamine lotion and Cortisone cream can both help ease the itching associated with the fly bites.