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Question: anyone else being driven mad by tiny non-biting black flies?

They're driving me mad!

For the past week, in most of my gardens, I'm encountering teeny tiny black flies, in swarms, which like to land on my arms and legs, driving me mad with the tickling.

They're not biting: I have no bites to show for their loving attention, just exhaustion from having to slap them off, and flap a hanky around to get them off me, somewhat in the style of a mad morris dancer with overtones of Bavarian lederhosen-wearing schuhplattler. But without the ledehosen, of course.

I've stood next to other people in various gardens, and they are completely unaffected, while I am flapping and cussing in a somewhat unladylike manner.

Anyone know what they actually are, and how to dispel them? I'm always well annointed with insect repellent but they don't seem to care: they just love me, cherish me, and want to be close to me.

Comments (6)

  1. Grower


    Nope !!! You must the tiny black bug goddess! I have noticed several on me recently but not swarms of them. They really really tickle and sometimes can't see them they are so small, very annoying i agree.

  2. Grower

    Rachel the Gardener

    Hmm, I'm not sure if I really want to be the goddess of tiny black bugs... but at least I'm not the only person who has encountered them!

    One of my Clients called them "elephant flies" because, she said, they have a long proboscis (if you look at them through a hand lens) but when I googled that, all I got were references to Dumbo!

  3. Grower


    Haha! Dumbo indeed !!

  4. Grower

    Rachel the Gardener

    Aha! I've found the answer, they think I'm a rose!

    While I was surrounded by a cloud of them yesterday, I noticed they were all over a nearby rose as well.

    I've tried not swatting at them, and have observed that they land on me, walk around a bit (tickling like crazy) then fly off. They definitely don't bite.

    Anyone know what they actually are?

    • Question: anyone else being driven mad by tiny non-biting black flies?
  5. Grower


    😆 Beautiful rose :) They have good taste!

  6. Grower

    Rachel the Gardener

    Ha ha!

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