Use Oil on a Hardhat to Attract and Eliminate Blackflies

How to use a simple coat of oil on a hardhat that will attract and eliminate blackflies from your homestead.

| April/May 2000

  • Attract blackflies with oil
    His suggestion was to wear a hard hat smeared with oil.

  • Attract blackflies with oil

Wear a hardhat covered in oil and you'll discover how it will attract and eliminate blackflies from your property. 

About 30 years ago, a man wrote to the Bangor Daily News saying, "If everyone did this the state of Maine wouldn't have a blackfly problem." His suggestion was to wear a hard hat smeared with oil.

Unappealing? Absolutely, but it works. And for the past 30 years it has been a blessing to me. It is the only hat that keeps my bald head from sweating. The hats are adjustable to size and do not fall off when bending down. They are cool and comfortable when adjusted. In the fall, there is a new hatching of blackflies for a few days, but because I wear an oiled hardhat every day that will attract and eliminate blackflies, there are thousands that won't be breeding next year.

About 15 years ago I drove into Bangor to get something my wife needed at the supermarket and forgot I was wearing my hat with flies. I was stopped several times by shoppers asking, "Are they flies?" "Yes," I replied, "they are blackflies." At that time I was using baby oil but have found that any kind of oil works. I find the best to be chain-saw bar oil, because it contains a sticky substance that inhibits it from flying off the chain and also protects your shirt from drips on a hot day. Any color hat will do!

Peter Godley
Eddington, ME
(Country Lore, July 1994)

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