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  1. #1
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    Deer fly/Greenhead season in Southern NH?

    I'm sorry if this question has been asked before or if I'm posting in the wrong place. Can anyone tell me if there's generally a deer fly/green head season in Southern NH? They've simply taken over in the past two weeks (I think it's the rain) and there are sections of my regular ride (Horsehill Reserve) that are intolerable. I get swarmed by hundreds of them, bitten mercilessly and occasionally crash as a result. Last week one got between my glasses and eye and bit my eyelid. I hate them with an unhealthy passion.

    I've tried all the repellants, as well as tape on my helmet. That catches a few of them, but the rest end up all over my back. What I'm really asking is - when do they go away? Can I expect them to be around for the rest of the summer? I'm going out almost every day, but these guys really sap my motivation.

  2. #2
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    I would try a light, baggy, long sleeve flannel shirt and a head net under your helmet.. May not look like a rock star, but it should help you enjoy the ride like one. Form follows function, desperate times/measures......As you know well by now, you will never outrun them. Good luck. These measures are helping me deal with voracious swarms of skeeters in VT

  3. #3
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    Oh yeah, dont skimp on the repellent especially from the knees down. Ticks are wicked this year. They seem to be getting worse every year actually. Climate change??.....

  4. #4
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    Ticks actually haven't been that bad for me this year, but I have been pretty good with the repellant. I remember hearing something about how they, and other lyme vectors have proliferated as a result of suburbinazation but I don't recall exactly what it said.

    Good call on the net... I've been considering it but I sweat something fierce and I can imagine it's going to be messy. Still better than getting munched though!

  5. #5
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    The Greenheads were absolutely TERRIBLE this morning at Fort Rock. Swallowed one on the ride, too.

  6. #6
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    THey ate me alive last night at 'Horse Hill', but I got 'em back and ate two of them.
    :-)
    Did a quick spinning ride at Mines Falls this morning and no deer flies.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by in the trees View Post
    The Greenheads were absolutely TERRIBLE this morning at Fort Rock. Swallowed one on the ride, too.
    I've definitely inhaled one or two. The worst they've ever been was in the morning a day or two ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by Settertude View Post
    THey ate me alive last night at 'Horse Hill', but I got 'em back and ate two of them.
    :-)
    Did a quick spinning ride at Mines Falls this morning and no deer flies.
    Today I hit horse hill around 11:00 and they weren't bad at all. Of course it was like peddling in a sauna, but I'll take that any day over being swarmed.

    So, any idea as to when I can expect them to disappear for the season?

  8. #8
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    They are not seasonal and can be around right into fall. That has been my experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Mumphry View Post
    I've definitely inhaled one or two. The worst they've ever been was in the morning a day or two ago.



    Today I hit horse hill around 11:00 and they weren't bad at all. Of course it was like peddling in a sauna, but I'll take that any day over being swarmed.

    So, any idea as to when I can expect them to disappear for the season?

  9. #9
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    That's some bad news right there... I guess I'll just do my best to stick to biking mid day then. See you on the trails!

  10. #10
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    Deer fly/Greenhead season in Southern NH?

    And now I never want to go back to Horse Hill.

  11. #11
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    Lol, that's actually how I felt after going Wednesday AM. They've actually been more scarce the past few days, so hopefully they've peaked.

  12. #12
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    Their numbers do seem to wax and wane depending on variables only entomologists can delve. Don't despair.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Quint View Post
    And now I never want to go back to Horse Hill.

  13. #13
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    I'm 5 minutes away from HH, so although the heat is yelling at me, I'm tempted to check out the deer fly population.
    :-)

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    Stay away in the mornings and evenings. Mid day seems best. They're worst in the first part of the loop (traveling counter clockwise). Once you hit the first set of power lines you can lose them, and once I actually had a bunch of dragonflies swarm me to attack the cloud of deer flies that followed me out of the woods.

    Anyway, from there they pop up in the wet portions of the two wooded sections you pass through, and once you leave the second one you shouldn't have any issues. If you find yourself with hundreds swarming you it's best to stop and wave around like a lunatic; blowing seems to help too. Despite what others have said I've had little luck outrunning them, and even if you do they just attack you the second you slow down.

    I love HH for what it is... it's too bad they ruin it. I hit the outer ledges trail, then twister, then finished out the loop for has to be over five miles. Not a bad ride.

  15. #15
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    Since all the new trail work has been done (used to ride back there before it was designated), I've ridden maybe 4 times. Mostly the loop, twister, the ledges and some offshoots. I got confused the other day and ended up riding 7.3 in that heat. I'm way out of shape, so the humidity makes a difference. Anyway--I seem to find the most deer flies when I hit that low spot near the sandy power line where those swoops are...and those suckers do pursue.

  16. #16
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    It's been killer lately. I'm in terrible shape myself, and I generally kill most of my 3 quart camel pack during my 1 hour rides. If you're talking about the area I think you are it's very swampy. It also is right in front of a gravelly uphill section, so it isn't tough for them to keep up.

    If there's a plus side to the sweltering heat, it seems to keep the flies pretty unmotivated. I'm getting my new bike at some point this week, and I'm trying to gear up for a 25 mile ride on Saturday, so whether it's the flies or the heat I'm gonna have to put up with it.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Mumphry View Post
    It's been killer lately. I'm in terrible shape myself, and I generally kill most of my 3 quart camel pack during my 1 hour rides. If you're talking about the area I think you are it's very swampy. It also is right in front of a gravelly uphill section, so it isn't tough for them to keep up.

    If there's a plus side to the sweltering heat, it seems to keep the flies pretty unmotivated. I'm getting my new bike at some point this week, and I'm trying to gear up for a 25 mile ride on Saturday, so whether it's the flies or the heat I'm gonna have to put up with it.
    Cool. Maybe we can ride together one day. I have a new bike coming as well. A Yeti. What is yours?

  18. #18
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    This might sound funny but a buddy of mine swears by putting a bounce fabric softer in his helmet. It keeps the deer flys away!!!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Settertude View Post
    "

    Cool. Maybe we can ride together one day. I have a new bike coming as well. A Yeti. What is yours?
    Absolutely; I just hope you're serious about the out of shape thing. I've been going almost every day for 6 weeks now and I still come out looking like I've been kick-boxing in a sauna most of the time.

    I'm getting a Remedy 29er. I've been on my Gary Fisher x-caliber for 10 years now and while I still love it, it's thoroughly outdated and doesn't handle technical trail well at all. I've been a very casual rider up until recently when we moved out to NH. Yeti makes some really sick bikes; I kind of stuck with a brand that I'm familiar with, but I'm blown away by some of the other manufacturers out there as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by randy35 View Post
    This might sound funny but a buddy of mine swears by putting a bounce fabric softer in his helmet. It keeps the deer flys away!!!
    I think I've heard that before, and I'm going to try it today. I've already tried tape on the helmet, but I got the wrong kind.

  20. #20
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    Musquash is pretty bad. The combination of deer flies and mosquitoes means you don't want to stop at all on your ride. Bug repellent helps a little with both but on my ride this morning I soaked through all my clothes and the repellent just washed away.

    I sprayed my head with my helmet on. After the ride there were several dead deer flies stuck to my helmet...so the repellent definitely works to some extent.

    Bear Brook was even worse with regards to deer flies except for Hemlock which is mostly exposed from the recent logging.

  21. #21
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    I just started up 2 weeks ago after 12 years. My cardio is shot. I need the rest of the season, I suspect, to even hang with the advanced novice crowd.
    My old Proflex 957 is also beating me up.
    Really looking forward to the Yeti. She will treat me right.
    :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Mumphry View Post
    Absolutely; I just hope you're serious about the out of shape thing. I've been going almost every day for 6 weeks now and I still come out looking like I've been kick-boxing in a sauna most of the time.

    I'm getting a Remedy 29er. I've been on my Gary Fisher x-caliber for 10 years now and while I still love it, it's thoroughly outdated and doesn't handle technical trail well at all. I've been a very casual rider up until recently when we moved out to NH. Yeti makes some really sick bikes; I kind of stuck with a brand that I'm familiar with, but I'm blown away by some of the other manufacturers out there as well.



    I think I've heard that before, and I'm going to try it today. I've already tried tape on the helmet, but I got the wrong kind.

  22. #22
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    That remedy has been around for a long time.

    Quote Originally Posted by randy35 View Post
    This might sound funny but a buddy of mine swears by putting a bounce fabric softer in his helmet. It keeps the deer flys away!!!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuyler1 View Post
    Musquash is pretty bad. The combination of deer flies and mosquitoes means you don't want to stop at all on your ride. Bug repellent helps a little with both but on my ride this morning I soaked through all my clothes and the repellent just washed away.

    I sprayed my head with my helmet on. After the ride there were several dead deer flies stuck to my helmet...so the repellent definitely works to some extent.

    Bear Brook was even worse with regards to deer flies except for Hemlock which is mostly exposed from the recent logging.
    Those are both on my list, but if they're even worse I'll likely hold off. Is Hemlock the 8 mile loop? If that's the case maybe I'll just hit that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Settertude View Post
    I just started up 2 weeks ago after 12 years. My cardio is shot. I need the rest of the season, I suspect, to even hang with the advanced novice crowd.
    My old Proflex 957 is also beating me up.
    Really looking forward to the Yeti. She will treat me right.
    :-)
    Sounds like we're on similar ground then. While the cardio definitely comes back slowly, I've been dropping weight like crazy.

    I hear you on getting beat up, but I can now attest to the benefits of new geometry and long travel suspension. I picked up my Remedy today and took her out, rain and deer flies be damned (the latter is not bothered by the former, by the way). I only did half the loop but all the areas that beat the crap out of my knees and wrists before are no issue at all.

    Let me know when you get your Yeti!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Mumphry View Post
    Those are both on my list, but if they're even worse I'll likely hold off. Is Hemlock the 8 mile loop? If that's the case maybe I'll just hit that.



    Sounds like we're on similar ground then. While the cardio definitely comes back slowly, I've been dropping weight like crazy.

    I hear you on getting beat up, but I can now attest to the benefits of new geometry and long travel suspension. I picked up my Remedy today and took her out, rain and deer flies be damned (the latter is not bothered by the former, by the way). I only did half the loop but all the areas that beat the crap out of my knees and wrists before are no issue at all.

    Let me know when you get your Yeti!
    Will do.

  25. #25
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    Ride faster. I read an article stating deer/horse flies have a max speed of just under 10mph. I want to say eat garlic rich foods but that may be for mosquitoes and black flies.

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