Friday, July 6, 2012

I've trapped 9,521 deer flies in just the first 29 days of the 2012 deer fly season!

I'll be posting my final tally of trapped deer flies at the end of this deer fly season, but for now I want to share the results I've obtained during the first four weeks of the season.  I've been having a great deal of fun catching deer flies each morning on our property, and the first 29 days of this deer fly trapping season have indeed been very productive and rewarding.  At this rate, I will have trapped 10,000 deer flies after just two more days of strolling around with my umbrella trap!

The 2012 deer fly season in Livingston County started early, in keeping with the rest of nature this spring.  I wasn't sure what to expect with respect to the number of deer flies that we might see this year, given that our Winter was the-Winter-that-wasn't and that Spring was early and hot and dry and breezy this year.  And certainly the Summer of 2012 has gotten off to a very dry and scorching start.  But none of that has deterred the deer flies!

So I pulled out my deer fly trap umbrella on June 8 and got down to business.

Here is a table of the data I've collected during the first four weeks of this deer fly season (June 8 to July 6, 2012).

Here is a chart of the number of deer flies caught each day.  Notice the spike (676 deer flies) that occurs on July 5th.  Earlier that morning (around 4:15 AM), we finally received some very long overdue rain.  And it was a pretty good downpour.  Not enough to turn the brown grass green or make it feel like something other than dry straw, but I guess it was enough to excite the local deer fly population!

Here are two more charts.  The first chart plots the number of deer flies caught vs. temperature.

The second chart plots the number of deer flies caught vs. % relative humidity.

In a later post, I'll describe and show pictures of our property and indicate exactly where I walk when trapping deer flies and will explain how long I walk around during each outing.  I'll also explain a bit about, and will show pictures of, the area in which we live in order to give you an idea of the type and extent of deer fly breeding grounds that are around us.

Don't forget to check back in about four weeks (deer fly season is usually eight weeks long) in order to see my final tally.  Will I trap 15,000 deer flies?

Got questions?  Got comments?  Got feedback?  Click the blue "# comments" link below and say something!


  1. Impressive tally thus far! I appreciate the detail of your data recording as well. Interesting that weather conditions seem to have no correlation to fly count - however, one could conjecture that our weather has just been too much of the same this summer - hot, dry and sunny. The spike after rainfall is certainly interesting though.

    My wife and I just bought some young-forested land down in Washtenaw County, and were dismayed to find how horrible the deer flies are. With a blue solo cup attached to my ball cap, (coated with tanglefoot, of course), I have been able to keep working outdoors, but it is still a pretty big problem. Our vision of our future building a home in the woods seems a bit scary given the fly situation, but your work gives us hope. Thanks!

  2. I am curious where you bought the tangle foot.

    1. OrionDave: I purchase quart-sized cans of Tanglefoot Tangle Trap from Amazon.



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