To get rid of deer flies, you have to attract them. Yes, I said attract them. Watch my video here and see what I mean as we make a deer fly trap.
Every summer, I walk out of the house and am bombarded almost immediately with deer flies. They fly around my head dive-bombing me. While my Labradors lie in the yard, the deer flies land between their eyes, on the bridge of their nose, and bite them.
So I had to figure out how to get rid of deer flies. Its been an interesting learning experience.
How to get rid of deer flies
There are two methods I use to get rid of deer flies. The first one is a DIY deer fly trap, the second is a store bought solution. The DIY trap is more fun, but the store bought solution is quick and easy.
BTW, if you are interested in the 12 volt drill - driver I use in the video, you can buy it here: cordless drill combo
A while back I ran across an article on the Univ of Florida website about deer flies with this odd photo:
Of course I was immediately intrigued. I went out and bought some blue plastic cups and the sticky glue (affiliate links) to apply to the cups. I hacked together a few deer fly traps, using blue cups, dowel rods or sticks, and a few of my less favorite hats.
Depending on the day and weather, I filled up the cups with deer flies. From what I understand, there are a finite number of deer flies in any given area, so if I could knock down the population in my yard, I could work in the yard with little interference from deer flies.
I learned that the blue cups with sticky stuff only work if they are moving. You can't just stick on on a pole and put it in the yard. The cup has to be in motion. You can attach the pole/cup to the front of your tractor, lawnmower, or walk around carrying the pole. Or put a cup on your head.
Deer flies wait for something to fly by them, even though I think they are prowling around the yard. It is the female that bites you. The males eat pollen. You can get some protection by using a DEET based spray, and wearing long sleeve shirt and pants. Deer flies attack on the highest part of one's body first.
I have read that some people will walk around the yard perimeter several times, pole + blue cup above their head, collect up all the deer flies, and then work in the yard. Sounds good to me.
The second way to get rid of deer flies:
Much simpler. Buy these deer fly patches. Don't think you can just use that double stick carpet tape in your shop, it won't work. The tape works by taking advantage of how the deer fly attacks. From up above, usually on a the tallest part of one's body.
Read more about deer flies and the patches here.
You go out in your yard, you wanna do some work, right? And immediately, you are dive-bombed by deer flies. Me too, we're in the same boat here, and I keep thinking, "Is there a way to kind of "knock them back, keep them from dive-bombing me, "keep the deer flies at bay?" I have two ideas on how to do this. One is pretty cool, one is store-bought. Well, let's try these and see what happens, ready? Let's go.
GardenFork: making things, making food. If I can do it, you can do it. All right, down in the GardenFork research facility, AKA my shop. Don't look, it's kind of a mess, but that's like me, right? Maybe your workshop's like this too. Deep research, I've learned things about deer flies. They're attracted to the tallest thing around that's moving. They're also attracted to different colors, so we want to attract the deer flies, not repel them.
So how do we attract them and keep them to this? This stuff, have you ever used this stuff? It is like the super stickiest thing I have ever dealt with. It's used for, you put it on tree bark to keep caterpillars from going up into a tree, things like that. We're gonna use it to stick deer flies to a cup. But our other challenge is, I mean, am I gonna? Well, I could be like that, I guess. Do I have any elastic? But here's my thought. Hat, cup on hat. All right, how do we get the cup onto here? A little sewing, maybe. Great, elegant, isn't it?
Oh, there we go. Okay, what's your secret for threading needles? Ooh, look, I did it, oh my gosh. All right, thread, needle. So my thought here is to sew this onto here. Does that look weird? It does look weird, but they're deer flies. I mean, do you want to live with deer flies? No, all right. So you want to put this between the two threads you pulled through. I have another idea, do you? It might work. This here, let's see. Hm, did that work? No. And I got the staple stuck, nice. Oh, that didn't work. There we go, all right, let's press on. Right in there. Ooh, did that work?
That did work, except it's sticking out the side. It's sticking out the side of the hat. Well, that might work. It's, uh, kinda centered. A little off, but I'm a little off, too, right? Ooh, I did it, holy cow. All right, step two now. Very important because this will stick to you.
By the way, the second tip is a little simpler. Stick to the end, I'll share that one with ya, okay?
Application wand, should we call that? Look at that stuff. It doesn't have to go on super thick because we're just catching deer flies, right? Uh oh, it broke. One of the staples came loose. My hands are coated, well, the gloves are coated. I just kinda smoked my hat with goopy stuff, so I'm gonna try and maybe I could reattach that with some thread. I don't know. In and through.
I gotta take off the gloves to do this. I've got it through there twice, so I'm gonna loop it around and tie this off for our experiment. Um, yeah, it's a thing. But there's already deer fly around me. He's buzzing around me. Let's see what happens. They're buzzing around the camera more, so maybe if I put the camera down lower so they will... How do I know that they've stuck on there? Will you tell me? Maybe I should just kinda do some gardening. I could hill the potatoes. What's it look like? Are there any stuck on there? How do I look?
- Camera Operator: A fly.
- Deer fly, score one for Eric.
- Camera Operator: Just one.
- How do I look?
- Camera Operator: Dashing. You look a little peculiar.
- You could probably keep your neighbors guessing like, maybe thinking that you're like one of those tin foil hat kind of guys, which I am.
- Camera Operator: Mhm, we don't have to guess. Yeah, let's check back in a few minutes.
- Well, I was gonna do some gardening, but I have another idea for a second attractant type cup.
- Camera Operator: On top of that?
- So you don't have to...
- Camera Operator: Wear it?
- Wear it. They move, they go towards things that are in motion, and supposedly are blue in color. They also attack from behind. They attack from behind to get to your neck.
- Camera Operator: It just flew on there and he is never coming off.
- Oh, there's one on there?
- Camera Operator: Yeah.
- How cool is that? You just have to have a blue cup on your head.
- Camera Operator: Score two for Eric.
- But, it's peace of mind. It's like, I get so tired of being bombarded, you know, when you're in the garden or wherever. I mean, there's one flying around you right now and I just get the...
So I'm gonna bring out a second idea and I'm gonna do some gardening and see what works better.
We're gonna prepare a second cup here. I've been thinking about this and I'm like, "Let's make a video." I mean, GardenFork's all about, hey, let's try this and see what happens, right?
And if we can have a home-made deer fly, not repellent, attractant, actually, to get rid of them, neutralize them, then wouldn't that be a thing?
I accidentally got some of this on the camera That's a bad thing. Oh, I still have my blue hat on, don't I? Yeah, very complimentary there.
Next, dowel rod. This centered in there, hold on. There you go. Yeah, tip number one, don't wear your blue cap hat inside. We're being dive-bombed. I have my dowel stick here. Deer flies are attracted to things that move and are tall.
Not yet. You know, this morning, there were tons of them when we walked the dogs in the woods. Should I go in the woods?
We got one! Maybe if you had this on a spring and it could kinda jiggle in the wind and that would attract, because they're attracted by the motion.
At my friend's house. I want to show you his blue cap results, and at the end here, the simpler solution. I love the blue cap and the Tangletrap stuff. Tangle stick stuff. Deer flies are already around me here. That is amazing, isn't it? Look how many are on there, and his application was much better. Uh oh, I've been caught. So I have the tub, like the margarine tub, of sticky stuff. This is the rubber cement can version of PVC glue, and I'll link below to this stuff, but this works.
So a little simpler than the hat and the blue cone, wait for it, is the tape. This is a pre-made piece of double-stick tape. Carpet tape won't work, by the way. Goes on the back of your hat and this works. Boom, they land on the back of your head, done. You can garden, you can do whatever you want. I'll link below to the information for that tape. Meanwhile, let's continue our time together here. Right here should be another video. Eric's world: cooking, gardening, DIY. You and I, together, right here.