Those nasty black flies are back

Those nasty black flies are back
Lauren Lyden
Viewer Lauren Lyden's son, who was bitten by black flies over in mid-town Coeur d'Alene last year.

Spokane Regional Health District has received an increasing number of calls about black flies in Spokane County. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself.

Bites from black flies, also known as buffalo gnats, do not spread disease, but they do cause bleeding and itching.

Black flies are more likely to bite animals and people near running rivers and streams. The flies are most active on cloudy, humid days with low wind.

To avoid being bitten, you can take the following precautions:

-Stay away from areas where black flies are active during the day, especially at dusk and dawn

-Wear light-colored long pants and long sleeves, especially whites and tans. Also wear a light-colored hat.

-Consider using insect repellant

If you are bitten, you should clean the bite and avoid scratching the reduce the risk of infection. Bites can cause swelling and numb soreness. The pain and itching from a bite is the body’s response to the fly’s saliva.

The flies are typically dark in color. They attack around the eyes, ears, scalp, and occasionally on exposed arms and legs. They also crawl into sleeves, under neckbands, around boot tops, and beneath the rims of hats.

You can find more information on the flies here.