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Thread: Face flies!!

  1. #1
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    Face flies!!

    The warmer weather has brought out the %&$*@ face flies again. They are little gnats that hover in front of my face whenever I'm going slow like all uphills! I've run into them almost everywhere in the west - they're a bother, but don't seem to bite.

    Does anyone know what these little devils are? What do they eat and why do they focus on the top front of all moving critters? Perhaps attracted to moisture or our tears?
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  2. #2
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    Gnats maybe? As bad as they are out here, growing up in North Carolina, they are not even close to what you deal with there! Gnats, flies, and mosquitos as big as birds!

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    Gnats. Once the weather gets warmer and dries out the terrain, don't they usually go away? I know they love sweat and slow speeds though. Hate 'em!
    Last edited by chuckha62; 02-09-2018 at 10:05 AM.
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    Those were usually out in the summer most of the time in Northern AZ, usually the worst on the hotter days when you are sweating a river. Came to hate them and occasionally sucked one in down the hole.

    Now it's freaking mosquitoes. I'll take snakes over mosquitoes, at least snakes want nothing to do with you.
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  5. #5
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    They're nothing compared to time flies. Those buggers will KILL you in the end!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    They're nothing compared to time flies. Those buggers will KILL you in the end!
    Well, ya know... Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

    I'll be here all week.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    Gnats maybe? As bad as they are out here, growing up in North Carolina, they are not even close to what you deal with there! Gnats, flies, and mosquitos as big as birds!
    Growing up in NC we called them "dog pecker gnats".
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    They have surfaced up on Tam. They usually don't start to resurface until the thermals hit the mtn and the weather stays warm at night in the thermal zone.

    For some reason they like shade I've noticed and don't like the sun and go away in the sun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vuduvgn View Post
    Growing up in NC we called them "dog pecker gnats".
    Where in NC?

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    Quote Originally Posted by vuduvgn View Post
    Growing up in NC we called them "dog pecker gnats".
    I don't even want to know why.
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  11. #11
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    I’ve found that a little faster than 5MPH up hills keeps them from swarming your face…… but maintaining 5MPH up a hill is no easy task.
    one by nine works just fine but single speed is all ya need

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    Where in NC?
    Up the hill from Brevard (Pisgah) in Cashiers/Glenville.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vuduvgn View Post
    Up the hill from Brevard (Pisgah) in Cashiers/Glenville.
    I know it well. I grew up in Fayetteville/Ft Bragg.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker View Post
    I’ve found that a little faster than 5MPH up hills keeps them from swarming your face…… but maintaining 5MPH up a hill is no easy task.
    Sooooo, eBike?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Sooooo, eBike?
    Nah, just lots of training up steep prolonged climbs (during the winter, before the flies come out to play). Singlespeed is a great training aid for going up climbs that don’t exceed 20% grades. Eventually you will get faster.
    one by nine works just fine but single speed is all ya need

  16. #16
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    I hiked the same area with my wife today (great marriage, gotta pass up the bike once in a while). We were again swarmed with face flies. They were especially bad on the dogs and lined their eyes drinking tears. I caught a couple in my hand and they had stripped abdomens - I think they actually could be a bee!

    These things seem to be attracted to motion. When we had lunch or rested, they would disappear only to blossom again when we started walking. I think that they are attracted to moving masses and fly to the upper front end looking for eye juice to suck. They also seem to be more numerous where the soil is cracked and the ridiculous heat has brought them all out at once. I tend to see them everywhere!

    At least they don't bite. However, the %*$&$ ticks are out too and my wife had to remove two from my armpit.
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  17. #17
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    You poor bastids...so glad I'm only dealing with 15 deg F and snow / ice.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturge View Post
    You poor bastids...so glad I'm only dealing with 15 deg F and snow / ice.
    It's supposed to be cold here on Monday.....

    Face flies!!-screen-shot-2018-02-08-9.56.22-pm.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker View Post
    I’ve found that a little faster than 5MPH up hills keeps them from swarming your face…… but maintaining 5MPH up a hill is no easy task.
    It's 2mph for mosquitoes, so a bit easier. I've cruised by people being absolutely ravaged, but had the same issues when I've stopped in a few places for lunch. Those gnats on the other hand, yeah during a climb, they usually hang with you unless there is a wind. Wind for the win.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by telemike View Post
    They were especially bad on the dogs and lined their eyes drinking tears.
    Say wut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    It's supposed to be cold here on Monday.....

    Click image for larger version. 

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    OK so...you have to deal with 'face flies' AND temps as low as 62 deg F? You guys are just crazy!
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    Well, ya know... Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

    I'll be here all week.
    Pa dum pum. Clap clap
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  23. #23
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    You need a tail and big ears to keep em at bay.

    They like carbon dioxide so don’t breathe too much.

    We have a trail here at Saratoga Gap called Charcoal Road and it is notorious for it. 2 miles of steeeep road with bugs buzzing your face.

    They have horse flies too that will bite you. Misery.

    Actually eBike works well
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  24. #24
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    Yesterday, I caught a few of these "face flies" around Freckles face and eyes. They had a banded abdomen. Searching google images, I think that the insects are "sweat bees". These bees live in small colonies off of tunnels and cracks in the soil and are useful pollinators. They can be aggressive when threatened. Sweat bees are found almost everywhere and there are many species in some areas. As I observed, they cluster around soil cracks. I think the unseasonably warm weather brought them out all at once. By the way, the ticks are out too!

    One of the bees in the literal cloud around Freckles face stung my finger. This morning, there was a small area of missing skin and a scab where this diminutive bee stung my finger. It looks like a very potent necrotic toxin. I've attached a picture I just took (36 hours after being stung. Nasty!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Face flies!!-bee-sting.jpg  

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  25. #25
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    Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker
    I’ve found that a little faster than 5MPH up hills keeps them from swarming your face…… but maintaining 5MPH up a hill is no easy task.
    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Sooooo, eBike?
    Well, last Wednesday I was going "a little faster" than 5 uphill at Coe on an e-bike and those flies had no problem staying with me. I'd say that 7 or 8 mph is the required velocity to lose them for sure. A little bit of a breeze makes a difference to be sure. Ever notice that most breezes on uphill trails are tailwinds? (thermal activity, heat rises)

    Maybe at Coe the gnats are in better shape due to all the climbing they have to do!
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moe Ped View Post
    Well, last Wednesday I was going "a little faster" than 5 uphill at Coe on an e-bike and those flies had no problem staying with me. I'd say that 7 or 8 mph is the required velocity to lose them for sure. A little bit of a breeze makes a difference to be sure. Ever notice that most breezes on uphill trails are tailwinds? (thermal activity, heat rises)

    Maybe at Coe the gnats are in better shape due to all the climbing they have to do!
    They probably use Bear Mountain as their training grounds!
    one by nine works just fine but single speed is all ya need

  27. #27
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    Yesterday went to top o Tam and there were many many butterflies. Way more than should be this time of year. They were everywhere. Very cool tho.

    We need a good pineapple connection for a few days.

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