Protect against swarming yellow flies

Published On: Jun 03 2014 04:16:33 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 03 2014 06:40:00 PM EDT

A health alert regarding yellow flies.They're slightly smaller than mosquitoes, and people in Saint Johns County say they're everywhere!


It's the season for yellow flies and residents in St. Johns County say they're everywhere.

The pests lurk in the shady areas of retention ponds and can be found in shallow standing water and reproduce in muddy areas.

"It's still water, it's not moving, there's a lot of organic matter, you see plants," said Christopher Bibbs, mosquito control specialist for the Anastasia Mosquito Control District.

Bibb said those are the perfect places to get bitten by a yellow fly. He said the flies look like normal flies, except they tend to be a shade of yellow. They're also a bit needy.

"They tend to stalk people," Bibbs said. "A lot of people don't understand that when they're being attacked by these flies there's usually only just a couple. So when you're walking around an area, there seems like there's a lot. They fly by, you look down, you see it on you, it's gone. You look down, it's gone. It's probably the same one. They're very aggressive."

So how do you avoid them? Bibbs said drain any standing water found in your yard, such as bird baths, rain barrels and tires. You can also cover up with long sleeves and jeans.

Workers at Ace Hardware said you can try tying a dark beach ball to a tree and spraying it with Tanglefoot. The only problem is, it's going fast.

"We've sold out within two hours of every day that we've gotten in," assistant manager Peter Breckwoldt said. "We get two trucks a week. People have their names on a list to get it. We could have sold 50-100 more cans, aerosol cans if we had had it."

Experts said there are other options. If you're out gardening with your gardening hat on, you can use a double sided tape and put it onto your hat so the bugs will stick to your head. Experts said the yellow flies tend to gravitate to the upper part of your body.

Ace Hardware hopes to get more of the Tanglefoot in by mid-June.

Bibbs said if you've been bitten by something and you think it may be infected, see a doctor.


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