NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Residents on Plum Island prefer to spend most of their summer days on the beach. However, many said they fear the risk of getting bitten by greenhead flies.
These green-eyed horse flies inhabit marshland and coastal areas during the summer, causing many locals and tourists to avoid the beach.
Greenhead flies pack a nasty bite; leaving large welts on the skin. Only female greenheads can bite, according to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.
The peak season for greenhead flies is from June to September with the highest densities occurring from the last two weeks of July to the first week of August.
Rangers at the refuge recommend that during peak hours of the day for the flies— 10 a.m. to dusk—people wear long sleeves, pants and a hat to protect themselves. Light colors are best because greenheads are drawn to dark colors.
Also, it is advised to travel to the beach on windy days because they have a harder time flying in windy conditions.
The growing population of greenheads is difficult to control because their eggs are buried below the surface, making it extremely challenging to locate the eggs and larva.
WBZ NewsRadio's Drew Moholland (@DrewWBZ) reports from Plum Island:
Written by Edyn Jensen