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Black Fly FAQs: Are Black Flies Black? Do Black Flies Bite? And More


You may know them as turkey gnats or white socks, or you may even have your own rather unkind term for these annoying pests. But no matter what you call them, these flying, buzzing creatures can certainly be a nuisance around your home. And with more than 2,000 known species, there is no threat of black flies becoming extinct anytime soon!


Identifying and Getting Rid of Black Flies

How can you identify black flies in your home? Are black flies black? While all flies may look alike at first, upon close inspection, black flies are not always black, as some species are grayish in color. And when trying to get rid of black flies, swatting them one at a time with a rolled up newspaper will do little to stop their all-out assault. The best way to eliminate these pests in and around your home is to disrupt the black flies breeding cycle. As with mosquitoes, black flies prefer wetter areas for breeding, so eliminating water sources around your property can aid in your efforts to keep them away.

Have More Questions About Black Flies?

We have tried to compile a library of frequently asked questions and their respective answers about black flies, like “Are black flies black?” as well as “Do black flies bite?” Check out the list of black fly FAQs below.








Q:       Why are Black Flies attracted to me?


A: Black Flies are attracted by a number of things, including exhaled carbon dioxide, clothing color, body odors, temperature and perspiration.


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Q:      Do Black Flies die in the cold in winter?


A: No, they can overwinter in the egg, larval or pupal stage.  They are fairly hardy in the egg stage and can withstand very cold temperatures.


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Q:      Do both male and female Black Flies bite?


A: No, just the females bite and she does that to gather blood for the development of the eggs.  Both the male and female feed on plant nectar for nourishment.


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Q:      Are all Black Flies black in color?



A: No, actually, “Black Fly” is misleading, since they are either gray, yellow or beige in color.


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Q:      Do Black Flies live in water in old tires and puddles like
          mosquitoes do?


A: No, they don’t.  The egg, larval and pupal stages need moving or running water for oxygen and nourishment.


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