Good News About Black Flies

That headline must have grabbed your attention. No, I haven’t come across a solution for killing them off. That would be way too negative. There are actually more of them in New England, and in particular, Maine. A report in today’s Boston Globe indicates that cleaner streams and rivers in Maine have resulted in surge in the black fly population. A lot of good has come from cleaner waterways in recent years. More black flies is one result, and also a reminder that as nasty as they are, they are a critical part of the food chain. Anyone who has hiked in Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine, knows that these critters will gobble you up for no real reason at all. Just because.

It is crazy to think that early pioneers poured kerosene and other toxic liquids into the water in an effort to kill of black flies. The Globe article says that Pennsylvania still spends taxpayer money on black fly management. They put a bacteria in the water that has a toxin that kills the flies. Kudos to officials in Maine who say that adding toxins simply causes future problems. Old school would be to wage a war against another organic being. New school is dealing with it in a natural way. So if you are hiking, biking, or running in the North Woods, just suck it up.

For more information, be sure to check out the Maine Blackfly Breeder’s Association. Not a joke.

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