68
      Friday
      84 / 60
      Saturday
      85 / 62
      Sunday
      87 / 64

      Black flies: a losing battle

      Lifeguard Ian Blotter gets his share of black flies. His work day at McCarty's Cove in Marquette is a non-stop battle with the seasonal pests.

      "It drives me crazy," said Blotter. "I come down here for eight hours, trying to watch the beach, but the black flies are everywhere. They don't seem to stop, they just keep coming."

      That's because he's in the middle of their territory, and they're not going anywhere, anytime soon.

      "Black flies generally start out in the Spring and go through right about until we get frost and snow," said Michael Leach, a manager at Wilderness Sports in Ishpeming. "The more water you see, and sand, you're going to find a lot of black flies there."

      Facebook fan Amanda Riggers writes, "We live in the land of bugs and ticks, not much you can do but deal with it. The price we pay to live in such a beautiful place."

      But if you can't beat them and have to join them, there are some things you can do. Most of you suggested using a repellent that contains a high Deet content. Kristal Popour says, "I usually buy the bug spray with 40 percent the better. But if you're not a fan of the chemicals, try the natural route.

      "We also have lemon eucalyptus, which is organic, that works pretty well. It repels bugs as well," Leach said.

      Back at the beach, Blotter says he's found the perfect method: just keep moving.

      "A lot of times when you're standing still, they'll find you. Right along the shoreline they're usually really bad, or if you're just sitting, not moving, they'll usually find you as well," Blotter said.