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Old 09-04-2011, 09:16 PM
 
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Many years ago I went on vacation and stayed in Woodstock, Vermont for a week. I absolutely fell in love with the state- after living in New Jersey all my life, I felt like I was finally home.

I'd love to live there someday, but the people I know who live there only have negative things to say. They say the winters are so bad you basically can't leave the house, and when it isn't winter the black flies still keep you indoors.

I'm honestly not a cold weather person, and I do plan to visit Vermont in the winter to get a feel for just how cold it is and the conditions. I'm a homebody, so the idea of not being able to go out for weeks at a stretch isn't that concerning to me. But is black fly season really that bad? My friends describe it like a biblical plague of locusts.

And is there anything else I should know to help balance my very romantic mental image of Vermont?
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Inis Fada
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Black flies can certainly be annoying. My house is off in the woods and the year I moved in, on Mothers Day, I was outside gardening. I was eaten up by the little buzzterds. My face and scalp itched for weeks where I was bitten. I might be more sensitive than others, though. Now I wear Buzz Off clothes and a face net when I garden. It helps.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Brandon VT
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It depends where you live. In my hometown of Brandon it was mosquitoes, not black flies, that you have to watch out for. The interesting thing is that if you grow up around mosquitoes and other biting insects, you don't react as severely to their venom. So whereas I would be mildly annoyed by them throughout the months of say, June and July, my friends from the UK would have huge welts all over their body. The worst black flies I have ever experienced were up by Niquette's Bay state park last summer. At one point I had to start jogging down the hiking trail to get rid of them.

In most places they are not that bad. Black flies and other insects to me would not be a determining factor for moving. For you, I would be more concerned with winter. Winters are extremely harsh here. The people who lock themselves in are the ones who have the most miserable time. You MUST go outside, go for a walk, snowshoe, sled, etc. to enjoy the winter weather. Do keep in mind additional (high) heating costs, waking up 2 hours before work to dig out your car, terrible driving conditions, shoveling, purchasing winter clothing, and the risk of slipping.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:22 PM
 
Location: in a cabin overlooking the mountains
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I would describe black fly season as frustrating more than anything else.

After a long hard winter FINALLY you get a nice wamr sunny spring day. And the $&^@% black flies come out. Yes they can annoy you but they don't like it when it gets above about 70 and they don't like direct sunlight. They have a period of a couple of weeks when it is not a good idea to stand still outside but they are (thankfully) short lived!
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:18 PM
 
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In Central New York State where I'm from, we didn't have them. Only mosquitoes. Lots of those. However, when you travel a couple of hours to the northeast, and visit the Adirondaks in May and June, look out! The black flies are out in force. So obviously, topography/weather are factors that dtermine whether you'll experience these pseky bugs or not.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:42 PM
 
Location: Inis Fada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermonr View Post
It depends where you live. In my hometown of Brandon it was mosquitoes, not black flies, that you have to watch out for. The interesting thing is that if you grow up around mosquitoes and other biting insects, you don't react as severely to their venom. So whereas I would be mildly annoyed by them throughout the months of say, June and July, my friends from the UK would have huge welts all over their body. The worst black flies I have ever experienced were up by Niquette's Bay state park last summer. At one point I had to start jogging down the hiking trail to get rid of them.
I am going to beg to differ. In my 4+ decades of existence, my tolerance to biting insects hasn't lessened, despite living in areas with mosquitoes, gnats, beach flies and now black flies. If I forget my face net, I am still getting black fly welts.

OP, it's really a minor inconvenience in the grand scale of things.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:53 AM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,302 posts, read 12,182,159 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParallelJJCat View Post
Many years ago I went on vacation and stayed in Woodstock, Vermont for a week. I absolutely fell in love with the state- after living in New Jersey all my life, I felt like I was finally home.

I'd love to live there someday, but the people I know who live there only have negative things to say. They say the winters are so bad you basically can't leave the house, and when it isn't winter the black flies still keep you indoors.

I'm honestly not a cold weather person, and I do plan to visit Vermont in the winter to get a feel for just how cold it is and the conditions. I'm a homebody, so the idea of not being able to go out for weeks at a stretch isn't that concerning to me. But is black fly season really that bad? My friends describe it like a biblical plague of locusts.

And is there anything else I should know to help balance my very romantic mental image of Vermont?
Quote:
Originally Posted by looking4home View Post
In Central New York State where I'm from, we didn't have them. Only mosquitoes. Lots of those. However, when you travel a couple of hours to the northeast, and visit the Adirondaks in May and June, look out! The black flies are out in force. So obviously, topography/weather are factors that dtermine whether you'll experience these pseky bugs or not.
Yes, the Adirondacks were quite bad even when I lived in Utica as a teenager.

Some people get them badly, others very little or none, just as with mosquitoes. Since getting diabetes, I've become a bug supermagnet from being just a bug magnet when younger. When I went swimming in a lake up in the Poconos of Pennsylvania a coupla years ago, I was attacked as if by a swarm of African bees, much to the amusement of my ex's kids who were little bothered by them. I had to dive quickly into the water to shake them, and then dress quickly while swearing when I got out.

The old standby 75% to 100% DEET works. Nobody likes the stuff, but it does work for that, mosquitoes, ticks, etc. There are some natural products coming out recently that have laboratory proven effectiveness comparable to DEET, smell better, but I don't think they last as long.

Loose clothing can help, but repellent is still needed if you are a bug magnet, (which you might not be). I think skinny people who don't sweat seem not to attract bugs as much.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Vermont
5,439 posts, read 14,745,248 times
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You just have to figure it all out

you might not want to hike at certain times, so you bike or do something else.

I don't actually even know what we have, but they swarm my dog and myself at certain times of the year. I haven't actually checked at higher elevations.
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:25 PM
 
5,818 posts, read 13,274,889 times
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Originally Posted by OhBeeHave View Post
I am going to beg to differ. In my 4+ decades of existence, my tolerance to biting insects hasn't lessened, despite living in areas with mosquitoes, gnats, beach flies and now black flies. If I forget my face net, I am still getting black fly welts.

OP, it's really a minor inconvenience in the grand scale of things.
Bee Have, sounds like they are drawn to you. Five people could be standing around on the deck and I'm the ONLY one they bite!
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:28 PM
 
5,818 posts, read 13,274,889 times
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Daughter lives in southern VT, we are 30 miles west in upstate NY. There is a short session when the flies are about, in fact this year there were hardly any. AFA winters? Her family is out and about every day, no matter the weather. Cross country skiing, sledding, skating. Weather doesn't keep them in the house, just have to dress in layers.

We walk dog all winter, no matter the temperature. 20 or 10, as long as there isn't a wind.

Comparing VT and the Jersey shore? I'll take VT bug wise. Those biting black flies and green heads from Jersey have VT bugs beat.
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