When boating in areas infested with lake flies, it’s important to take precautions to avoid the nuisance caused by these insects. Lake flies, also known as midges, are small insects that emerge in large numbers and can cover boats, docks, and surrounding areas. While they are harmless to humans, their presence can be a significant nuisance, making it difficult to enjoy boating and other water activities.
Understanding Lake Fly Infestations
Lake fly infestations are a common occurrence in many boating areas, and they can cause a lot of discomfort for those who are not prepared. Understanding the life cycle and habitats of these insects can help boaters take the necessary precautions to avoid being bothered by them.
Lake Fly Life Cycle
Lake flies, also known as midges, are small, two-winged insects that are often mistaken for mosquitoes. They have a short life cycle of only a few weeks, during which they go through four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
The eggs are laid in water, and the larvae hatch and live in the water for several weeks. During this time, they feed on algae and other small organisms. The pupal stage lasts only a few days, after which the adult flies emerge and mate. The females then lay their eggs in the water, starting the cycle anew.
Lake Fly Habitats
Lake flies are most commonly found in bodies of water with high levels of organic matter, such as decaying plants and animals. They are also attracted to light and can often be seen swarming around street lamps and other light sources.
Boaters should be especially cautious when navigating in areas with a lot of vegetation, as this is where lake flies tend to congregate. They should also avoid areas with high levels of organic matter, as this is where the eggs are most likely to be laid.
In order to avoid being bothered by lake flies, boaters should wear long sleeves and pants, as well as hats and sunglasses to protect their faces. They should also use insect repellent and avoid using bright lights at night, as this can attract the flies.
The Role of Clothing in Lake Fly Infested Areas
Protective Function of Clothing
When boating in areas with high lake fly populations, wearing the right clothing can make a big difference in one’s comfort level. Clothing can serve as a protective barrier between the individual and the swarms of flies, reducing the number of bites and overall annoyance. Long-sleeved shirts and pants are recommended, as they provide more coverage than short-sleeved shirts and shorts. Additionally, clothing made of thicker materials such as denim or canvas can be more effective in preventing bites than thin fabrics like cotton.
Choosing the Right Material
The material of the clothing can also play a role in its effectiveness in protecting against lake flies. Synthetic materials like polyester and nylon tend to be less attractive to flies than natural materials like cotton or wool. Clothing made of synthetic materials can also be treated with insect repellent for added protection. It is important to note, however, that some individuals may have skin sensitivities or allergies to certain synthetic materials or insect repellents, so it is important to choose clothing that is comfortable and safe for the individual.
Recommended Clothing for Boating in Lake Fly Infested Areas
When boating in lake fly infested areas, it is important to wear proper clothing to protect oneself from bites and potential diseases. Here are some recommended clothing items for boating in these areas:
Head and Face Protection
Wearing a hat with a brim and a mosquito net can help protect the face and head from fly bites. A hat with a brim can also help shield the eyes from the sun’s glare. It is also recommended to apply insect repellent to the face and neck area for added protection.
Upper Body Clothing
Wearing long-sleeved shirts made of lightweight, breathable fabric can help protect the arms from fly bites. It is also recommended to wear shirts with collars to protect the neck area. Additionally, wearing light-colored clothing can help prevent flies from being attracted to dark colors.
Lower Body Clothing
Wearing long pants made of lightweight, breathable fabric can help protect the legs from fly bites. It is also recommended to wear pants that are tucked into socks or boots to prevent flies from crawling up the legs. Additionally, wearing light-colored clothing can help prevent flies from being attracted to dark colors.
Wearing closed-toe shoes or boots with socks can help protect the feet from fly bites. It is also recommended to wear light-colored footwear to prevent flies from being attracted to dark colors.
Additional Protective Measures
In addition to wearing appropriate clothing, there are other protective measures that can be taken to minimize the risk of being bitten by lake flies in boating areas. Here are some additional measures to consider:
Using insect repellent can be an effective way to reduce the number of bites from lake flies. When choosing an insect repellent, be sure to look for products that contain DEET or picaridin, which are the most effective at repelling biting insects. Apply the repellent to exposed skin and clothing, and reapply as needed according to the instructions on the product label.
Wearing protective netting over the face and head can be an effective way to prevent lake flies from biting in areas where they are particularly dense. There are a variety of products available, including hats, hoods, and face masks, that are specifically designed to protect against biting insects.
Avoiding boating during peak lake fly activity can also help to reduce the number of bites. Lake flies are most active during the early morning and late afternoon, so boating during midday hours may be less risky.
Other Protective Measures
There are a variety of other protective measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of being bitten by lake flies, including:
- Using fans to create a breeze and keep the flies away
- Covering exposed skin with long-sleeved shirts and pants
- Avoiding wearing dark colors, which can attract biting insects
- Keeping the boat moving to reduce the number of flies that can land on the boat
In summary, proper clothing is essential when boating in areas infested with lake flies. These small insects, while harmless to humans, can be a significant annoyance and distraction to boaters, potentially leading to accidents and collisions. Wearing appropriate clothing can help prevent lake flies from landing on the skin, eyes, and mouth, reducing the likelihood of distraction and allowing boaters to focus on operating their vessels safely.