Up here in Maine we have two seasons: snow season and bug season. The first flying critters out to eat you are black flies, which leave bloody welts on the neck and head. They usually last until about Father's Day, when the deer flies and mosquitoes appear. Deer flies are nasty critters who circle the head in an attempt to drive a person insane and then land on the back of the arm for a nasty bite. The only respite from all these bugs is the first frost in early October. While Maine summers are lovely and much enjoyed, there is one thing to be said for the colder months: there aren't any bugs.
A few weeks ago I was at the local hardware store and noticed a product near the register specifically to address this problem called Deer Fly Strips. Made by a local, this super sticky strip of what looks like packing tape has pheromones sprayed on it to attract the pests to come a little closer. Once their wings or feet touch the glue, they are stuck. In just a few hours of wearing my hat in the garden and on the front porch, I had collected 7 deer flies on the back of my hat, all frantically buzzing in an attempt to become free. Since all they wanted to do was take a chunk out of my skin, I felt no pity for the creatures. Perhaps I sound a little callous, but St. Francis never lived in Maine and saw his 3 year old's neck covered in welts from "Brother bug". I've gone back to the house to collect my hat to work in the garden and look forward to wearing it for a trail hike planned later this week. It is a little gruesome seeing out baseball hats in a a row with carcasses stuck all over,but it sure does make going outside in Maine during the summer a lot more pleasant.