Blackfly season has arrived in full force in Nova Scotia and according to one zoologist, the conditions this year are ideal for a long season.
Andrew Hebda, a zoologist at the Museum of Natural History in Halifax, said adult blackflies have already emerged and are not deterred by the cool spring.
"As the temperatures go down they go down to the ground and hang out in the tall grass," he said. "The ones that have not hatched are just waiting their turn."
Hebda said each warm day, more blackflies join the swarm. The sporadic weather this spring will only drag out the season.
"They have just overwintered, perfectly happily in the streams where they had everything from ice on top, snow on the sides, maybe even anchor ice underneath, so that doesn't bother them," he said.
"It just slows them down."
In the meantime, people working outside this time of the year will suffer the most.
"One guy's neck looked like hamburger." - Mark MacPhail
Mark MacPhail has been working in the woods in Framboise and Big Pond in Cape Breton.
"I supervise a silviculture crew and those guys — one guy's neck looked like hamburger," he said.
"It was just bitten beyond."
Hebda said there's good and bad news. With two consecutive warm weeks, he said the flies will do their worst and the season will be done. But if it's a great year for blackflies, Hebda predicts it will be equally great for mosquitoes.