During an invertebrate survey at Randall’s Farm, I suddenly experienced a familiar buzzing around my head with regular attempts to use it as a landing pad, and I knew that the time of year had arrived when I would have to start dealing regularly with this character again:
It’s Chrysops relictus – the Twin-lobed Deerfly – and it’s after blood…my blood! I can cope with males, because they only gaze at you from a flowerhead as they feed on the sugary nectar, but females have a more malicious intent.
Those mouthparts are sharp and custom made for sawing into flesh in order to extract the blood that it needs in order to ensure that the developing eggs mature fully. The Deerfly specializes in extracting its blood from the back of the neck, which is very sneaky as far as I’m concerned. They do give you warning, though: flying like Spitfires around your head before softly landing so, if your radar picks them up soon enough, you’ve got a chance of swatting them. But I warn you, they don’t give up easily.
Which is why I was fascinated to come across the following product advertised in the United States:"If you have one of our deer fly patches on the back of your cap, they will immediately be trapped when they land. The patch will not stick to your fingers, but will still trap the deer flies. It's all small-scale jungle warfare.
Offered in packages of four or 12 sticky patches, each measuring 2-1/2" x 5-3/4". One patch will stay effective for several days."
Is this a wind up? And, if it isn't, where can I order a set from??