Ah, Mississippi. She’s a beautiful state, but the number of biting flies buzzing around the place is an absolute nightmare.
The Mississippi River attracts these flies in droves thanks to the moisture and environment, meaning the closer you live to the river, the more flies you have to deal with.
The last thing you need while you’re trying to relax on your porch is to get bitten and swarmed, so I’ve put together a list of the most common flies you’re going to be dealing with in Mississippi, as well as how you can repel them.
The scientific name for no-see-ums is Ceratopogonidae, although you can also call them biting midges. These are the tiny little things that are quite literally swarming around river banks.
They’re one of the nastier types of fly to deal with, particularly because they’re attracted to human odors and the carbon dioxide that we breathe out.
Preventing no-see-ums from setting their sights on you is, though, I’m not going to lie, is difficult. For some reason, simply splashing different scents around the place doesn’t dissuade the swarm from coming for you.
Instead, you have a few alternative options at your disposal:
- Get some C02 mosquito traps and set them up around your home.
- Install some mesh windows at entry points to your home (an effective strategy for all flies).
- Install air conditioning to lower your home’s temperature. No-see-ums can’t stand the cold.
The horse fly is a rather big and unique-looking fly compared to a lot of the others on this list. They almost look like moths, but don’t mistake the two.
Female horse flies feed on blood, whether that be animal or human, meaning you’re going to get bitten unless you deal with them.
These flies are far more active during the day and are attracted to excessive movement and warmth. This makes them a particular pain if you have farm animals as they can often attack in groups.
Getting rid of horse flies is a bit of a pain and is likely going to require a combination of strategies, but these are one of the more difficult flies to deal with in Mississippi.
Here are the strategies I recommend for trying to keep horse flies at bay:
- Burn citronella oil. The scent that citronella oils and candles release acts as a deterrent to horse flies.
- Clean up the trash. Any bins and animal droppings are going to attract all kinds of flies, including horse flies. Keeping on top of yard maintenance is going to naturally decrease the number of flies you have to deal with.
- Cutting your grass is a great strategy. Horse flies like moisture, and long grass is the perfect moisture trap.
The black fly isn’t one that you’re going to have too much of a problem with, given that they don’t typically feed on human blood. The females may still bite, though, especially livestock.
The black fly isn’t attracted to humans, but that’s not to say one isn’t going to advantage of you being an easy meal.
If you are having issues with black flies, dealing with them is fairly rudimentary:
- Use some natural scents like pine, vanilla, and lavender to repel black fly swarms.
- Try to avoid sweet-smelling perfumes.
- Drinking a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar every day is going to help repel black flies from your skin, although not necessarily your property.
The mosquito is possibly the most annoying of the bunch. We all know about them, and we likely all know what it’s like to be bit by one.
Despite being perhaps the most widely known bloodsucker this side of Transylvania, mosquitos are laughably easy to repel with a few simple tricks:
- Citronella candles are our saving grace, again. The scent is going to repel mosquitos away from wherever it’s lit.
- A fan in your room actually works well to prevent mosquitos from flying, as well as moving the CO2 you breathe away from your body.
- There are a lot of essential oils that mosquitos hate. Lavender, peppermint, and basil are just three of a long list, so you could always burn some of them.
The deer fly sits in between the house fly and the horse fly in terms of size. It’s a big critter but not overly big like some species.
Deer flies are actually a rather large issue for cattle and other animals, but they are also attracted to humans.
Repelling deer flies isn’t too dissimilar to repelling horse flies, so I’m recommending the same strategies of:
- Burning citronella candles.
- Cleaning up after your animals and taking out the trash.
- Keeping your lawn maintained.
If you want to talk about really annoying pests, it doesn’t get much worse than biting gnats. They’re tiny, travel in swarms, and are going to bite you to kingdom come.
These minute bugs love feeding on humans and animals alike, so if you’re keeping cattle, a swarm of these can quickly become a serious problem.
Biting gnats are naturally attracted to moisture, meaning you can typically find them along riverbanks.
Therefore, a lot of my strategies for managing them has to do with managing nearby water streams:
- Keep any waterways clear. Gnats love reproducing and nesting on debris found in rivers.
- Put larvicide cakes into the stream where the gnats are populating.
- Set up barriers near running water. Gnats lay eggs in the water, so blocking the stream is going to prevent them from maturing.
- Lastly, citronella candles tend to do the trick, again.
Sand flies is a bit of a broad term. It’s the name given to any flies found in sandy areas and can even include certain types of horse flies.
It’s unlikely these become an issue for you in Mississippi, but if they do, follow these tips:
- Spray or burn some eucalyptus oil or lavender oil to repel them.
- Citronella oil is a great repellent once again.
- Sand flies are subject to a lot of other natural fly repellents like vinegar.
The stable fly loves to feed off of mammals, whether that’s you or your livestock. They aren’t a particularly big fly, but you still want to fend them off if they ever try to infest your home.
Generally speaking, the stable fly is subject to all of the usual remedies that we’ve already discussed, including:
- Citronella candles.
- Lavender and eucalyptus.
- Catnip oil, and more.