Biting flies at the beach?

Here is the main forum about Navarre Beach. You will find tons of information, condo/beach house rentals, and discussion about the most beautiful beach in the world. Welcome to Paradise!
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 11:47 am

Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:51 pm

We have been here a few days and just today noticed biting flies which are making it next to impossible to sit on the beach. Just wondering where did they come from? Why are they worse at some times than at others? Is there anything that repels them effectively? Or someplace that is better (like the national seashore)? Thanks!!
Power User
Power User
Posts: 685
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:45 pm

Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:13 pm

Well! Those biting flies are horrible and the last time experienced them was a precursor to tropical storm in the gulf.

We did find and bring every time extra long citronella sticks that you burned like incense. They helped a lot and am sure wouldn't hurt at the beach. As long as you removed the stick when finished. The are about 2 1/2 feet tall. Stick them right in sand and if windy brace them. We also place them in a clay pot full of sand.

Another trick we learned for the deck or outside sitting space was to pour a large capful of cheap tequila. Every morning you had a capful of very drunk and dead black bugs. We would replace the caps through out the day. My initial reasoning is you can rid your flower beds of slugs with beer why not tequila at the beach. :shock:

What not to do!!! Don't chase them around with pepper spray. Ends rather badly for you. :oops:

Good luck! Sure a local hardware store can help. I think they call them "no-see me" bugs.
Power User
Power User
Posts: 685
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:45 pm

Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:14 pm

on the incense sticks sure that Kenny or Pensacola kid will know for sure if ok to use at the beach.
Power User
Power User
Posts: 892
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:11 am

Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:18 pm

Oh you definitely see the biting flies and feel them. They Hurt! They are also called dog flies. I heard someone say they are more prevalent this time of year due to the agriculture north of us being harvested. No clue if that is true.

No see 'ums are probably sand fleas.
Power User
Power User
Posts: 685
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:45 pm

Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:38 pm

see if these will help! they are natural repellent recipes. there's a health food store in downtown Pensacola not far from joe patti's.

Essential Oils
Common houseflies taste through their feet and are drawn to decay and foul smells, including perspiration. Flies do not like sweet smells, which is why you will not often find flies on your flowers and herbs. Essential oils made from fragrant flowers, herbs and plants can be used alone to repel flies. A few drops of essential oils like lavender, peppermint, tansy or eucalyptus, dabbed behind ears or rubbed on arms and legs, can keep flies away from your kids for hours. Washing with strong-scented soaps that include essential oils will also help.
Recipe #1
Mix together:
1 cup water
2 cups vinegar (might not use this on the beach)
1 cup Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil
1 tbs. eucalyptus oil
Pour this mixture into a spray bottle to spray on your kids' exposed arms and legs. Always shake the mixture well before spraying.
This homemade fly/bug repellent is recommended by the U.S. Forest Service.

Recipe #2
10-25 drops essential oil (use lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus and citronella)
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1 tbs. aloe vera gel (optional)
Stir together until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Store in a lidded jar. Dab the mix behind the ears, under the chin, on elbows, wrists, knees and ankles. This mix can also be dabbed on clothing without staining.
A simpler recipe for dabbing on clothes and skin is:
25 drops essential oil combined with 1/4 cup water or organic apple cider vinegar
Shake to mix, store in a lidded jar.
in away is a health food store. make a trip to joe patti's and there as well.
User avatar
Kenny Wilder
Power User
Power User
Posts: 7071
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:52 pm
Location: Navarre, Florida

Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:12 pm

When fall comes to our area, those refreshing weather fronts will move through from the north bringing lower humidity, lower temperatures and the infamous dog fly. The stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans), known as the dog fly in Northwest Florida, is a blood feeding fly that is a nuisance to man, pets, and livestock.

From August through November the dog fly congregates on the Florida Panhandle beaches. This fly originates from farming areas in southern Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and northern Florida wetlands and rides the northerly winds associated with cold fronts that move through our area.

About 70% of the land between Navarre and Interstate 10 are Wetlands. Black Flies also breed there during the summer and warm fall months. Over the past 2 weeks we have had strong winds from the north and northeast, which is conducive to blowing the black flies towards the Navarre Mainland and Navarre Beach. In the past few days we have experienced very light winds, which encourages the black flies to hang around.

Once we have a day or two of strong winds from either the southeast, south or southwest that should remedy the situation. With cooler weather heading our way within the next week or so the black flies should become nonexistent until next summer.

Just my understanding as being certified as a Florida Master Naturalist for beaches, bays and wetlands.
Kenny Wilder ~ Owner/Administrator
Constitutional Conservative
Florida Master Naturalist ~ Coastal Systems and Wetlands
Forum Rules and Regulations (Terms of Service)
Are You Going to Heaven?
User avatar
Power User
Power User
Posts: 1226
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:41 pm
Location: Navarre, FL

Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:53 pm

Kenny nailed it,damned neusance,but.if you noticed the wind was strong out of the north today and my planned beach fishing was delayed. The reservation to the north is full.of wetlands and a strong north wind will always bring the flies this time of year.
User avatar
Power User
Power User
Posts: 7922
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:32 am

Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:18 am

Not sure about burning anything on the beach. More than likely not allowed, but then again, an insect repellant is not a Bon fire. A citronella candle or coil is probably not a big deal.
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 11:47 am

Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:19 am

Thank you so much for all the information. I guess it's always something: algae, jellyfish, hurricanes or flies. Navarre is still my favorite place on earth. The beautiful water and empty beaches this week compensate for the flies (which are not a problem when walking, only sitting). Thanks again for all the helpful replies.
User avatar
Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:58 pm
Location: Atlanta/Navarre

Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:40 am

Can anyone give me a fly report? I'm going to be there next week and I hope they've hit the road. Thanks!
Life is too short to shave with a dull razor!
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:29 pm

Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:18 pm

I'm on my way there now. I'll post a flea report Sunday night!
florida dreamer
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:28 pm
Location: Arkansas

Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:17 pm

Dang flies were there in September when I was there. Their bite hurts like crap too. There used to be something to get to put on to keep them from biting but can't think what it was. That was about twelve years ago.
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 11:47 am

Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:15 am

Day before yesterday the wind had shifted (the beach flags pointed inland) and there were absolutely NO flies at the beach. Not one. It was awesome. Then yesterday the flags pointed out to sea again and the flies were back. The helpful clerk at Tom Thumb directed us to the Deep Woods Off spray and told us it was the only thing that would keep them away. She was right. They did fly around us and would land occasionally but in general did not bite (unless they could find a bit of flesh you had not coated properly with Off).

We also tried suggestions we found on the internet (white vinegar and sitting close to the water) but they did not help. Oddly enough, on our walk yesterday we stopped several places to sit and noticed NO flies in the public beach area by the pier and in one other place. Weird. Was it just coincidence? Do the life guards have a secret weapon?

We also noticed that certain people around us did not seem to be bothered. Does it help if you smoke cigarettes and drink beer? Eat garlic?
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:29 pm

Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:11 am

Good advice about the flies, what can be about dog owners walking there dog on beach like right now 10.10 am.
User avatar
Power User
Power User
Posts: 2054
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:26 am
Location: Navarre - Hidden Creek Estates

Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:01 am

rexy wrote:Good advice about the flies, what can be about dog owners walking there dog on beach like right now 10.10 am.
Don't know if calling a Sheriff Deputy would help - they may, (or may not) enforce the ordinance. If not, I'd complain to the county commissioners?
Cheers, Pete
Go Vikings!
Post Reply