Experts warn biting, yellow flies are out in full force

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GATES COUNTY, N.C. - Experts say around this time of year, yellow, biting flies are out in full force. You'll usually see them around mid June to mid August, but when you're outside almost nothing can stop the flies from getting to you.

"My biggest fear is that people will bring young kids out and think they're going to ride the trails or walk the trails and if they don't have long sleeves on or long pants on they can go home with welts all over them because these type of flies can leave welts," said Deloras Freeman, Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

Aching welts that can last up to two to three weeks on your body.

For the last two years, The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge has put a video on their Facebook page to warn hikers or just about anyone outside of the yellow, biting flies. They also warn, if you think bug spray will help - think again.

"We joke around here that bug spray is like people marinade. It makes them go to you even more. So, we recommend people wear light, long sleeves to keep yourself covered up," said Freeman.

Worse than any horse fly or cow fly, experts say the bites from these yellow flies are incomparable. Because their bite is so bad on top of them being quick and hard to kill, the flies are a running joke on how the swamp got its name.

"In July and August we earn our name 'The Great Dismal Swamp.' I've said in the past, July and August are our least user-friendly months of the year. The rest of the year we could be called 'The Great Glorious Swamp,'" said Freeman.

Experts say after the first big rainstorm in August is usually when the flies will go away until next summer.

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