Bug Hats … by Buckshot Bill:
Why are they wearing those ridiculous hats with the blue cone on top? Those are Black fly and Deer fly traps and they work really well. Iona at the HW store put us on to the idea.
They are also a bit of fun, to see who can amass the biggest catch. Blackfly season a hat can gain 300-500 black flies a day, Deer fly season, if you are hiking or biking along the road, you can gain 60 -100 flies an hour.They can hit the hat so hard you can feel it. It’s kind of cool to be moving along with a swarm of the flies buzzing around, then slowly they disappear and then it’s quiet again. Once you clear out a local population, you will have a few hours respite before more show up. The bugs themselves will be stuck to the hat, and will eventually expire.
Both of these species are visual hunters, evolved to key in on movement, then look for vulnerable animal areas like the ears, high up on the body and where the skin is thin, and blueish. Won’t work on mosquitos.
The hat itself is easy to make and a fun project for kids. It’s impossible not to keep score who has the biggest catch.
Materials you need;
> Old baseball cap, any will do, but Toronto sports team hats seem to work particularly well, not sure why 😉
> A large royal blue plastic beer or drinking cup. If you don’t have that colour, find some blue spray paint and that will also work.
> 3 safety pins
> Tanglefoot goo, from the Plevna hardware store, gardening section
You have to carefully poke holes into the rim edge of the cup, then work the safety pins into the hat, attaching in a triangular pattern such that the cone is pointing straight up. With a spreader – like a popsicle stick, smear the tanglefoot over every surface evenly.
Wear the hat outdoors when the bugs are active, but take care not to drop it on the ground or touch it because it’s really messy. Take it from me, don’t get into a car wearing it, long hair needs to be kept in a ponytail. Often you have to replace the cone every weekend or so because there’s no more room for the bugs to land. The easiest way is to clip off the gooey cone with sturdy scissors just above the safety pins. – Buckshot Bill