GreenHEAD Flies

salt marsh greenhead flies

Folks on the east coast all know summer follows spring, and we also know all too well that  greenhead flies will soon make their annual visit to the region. 

Greenhead flies hatch in batches of 100 to 200. They appear in early June. They are active for about three to four months up and down the eastern coastline.  The green-eyed, horsefly-sized blood sucking winged vampires don’t discriminate; they pester fishermen, kayakers, sunbathers and swimmers, and can ruin a backyard party near the beach/bay and salt marshes. The greenheads are strong flyers. If they can’t find a meal in the marsh, they go out searching the surrounding areas (beach, campground, golf course, horse farm, cattle farm or your back yard), they can fly for several miles inland until a good target is located. Hint: check the weather and wind direction before your planned day at the beach. If the wind is out of the west for more than 24 hours, plan another day!

Many communities throughout United States are using our to control greenhead populations. The black greenhead traps strategically placed around a property have been proven to be very affective in helping to kill off the greenhead fly population. 

Greenhead flies are attracted to our black boxes. 

Some seasons are worse than others and a lot has to do with how mild a winter we have. We all know this was probably one of the mildest winters in history, and not much snow in most areas so when it comes to greenhead fly volumes it could be sky high this summer. Last summer there were reports that there were fewer greenheads than usual, but other years, the numbers have soared.

Greenhead flies like hot, steamy weather and it’s the first brood hatching that can be the worst. That comes around the 4th of July.  The biggest hatchings happen when it's dry and warm on and around the salt marshes around that time of the first hatching.

As far as how to keep the greenheads from biting, there is no surefire solutions, but wearing light colored clothing and covering up helps. Don't wear black or dark colored clothing as the greenheads are definitely attracted to black/darker colors. 

Greenhead flies have been around since the dawn of time, they may have been around to suck a dinosaur's blood.