Black flies, also known as buffalo gnats are difficult to repel according the the Department of Public Health. Suggested “home remedy” repellents, like vanilla extract haven’t been scientifically proven effective. DEET containing repellents that deter mosquitos are much less effective at repelling the gnats and have actually in some cases been reported to attract the pests. Permethrin containing repellents labeled for application only to clothing do offer some protection, says the DPH.
According to Carmi Mayor Jeff Pollard, city workers will begin spraying for bugs this evening. Crews will begin working areas where flood waters were worst. Pollard says that the spray may not be effective against the gnats that are plaguing much of the area, but will at least certainly be effective against mosquitos.