There is nothing better than the taste of fresh, homegrown fruit and vegetables. Before you eat, remember what mom and dad told you; "wash them before you eat them". There are new fruits that have been added to the annual "dirty dozen" list.

Have you tried to grow your own veggies or fruit? It can be a challenge. The issue we have in our yard this season are the larger pests like deer and birds! Our strawberries were growing very well until the deer found them. Next year, we will need to invest in a bigger fence. But as far as bugs are concerned, I try not to use pesticides if I can avoid it. We have four small kids and dogs and I try to error on the side of caution when it comes to using them.

But for those who depend on a good crop to make a living, there is a need to use various chemicals to keep bugs from devouring and destroying the entire planted fields that that have. Best advice? Like mom and dad told you, wash them before you eat them.

This year's mosquito issue seems to be even worse than recent summers. New York State is using various methods to control the nasty bugs from spreading.

There are reports that soon you may see or hear helicopters dusting/spraying to kill mosquitoes in portions of New York but the officials are quick to inform that there will be limited action in populated areas.

New York City is preparing to take on mosquitoes to help prevent West Nile Virus​.

— CBS New York (@CBSNewYork) June 4, 2023

According to the Health Department, on Thursday, Friday, and next Monday, weather permitting, a helicopter will spray parts of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.

They'll avoid residential areas but warn that people who have respiratory issues should stay indoors and wash fruits and vegetables that might be exposed.

As far as the black fly issue, there are some natural ways to keep them from eating you alive.

So what is the answer to black flies? They seem to attack and be gone before you have a chance to even slap back. There are some things to keep on hand or keep in mind.

Black Fly Season In New York State
What about those black flies that are all up in your face lately? They seem to bite and be gone quickly and leave you itchy and red for days!

According to, we are in the peak season for them.

Black flies typically mate in the late spring or early summer, depending on the latitude. Like mosquitoes, only female black flies bite as they require blood to fertilize their eggs and will suck blood from virtually any warm-blooded creature they can find.

How To Repel Black Flies
For the most part, the black fly season is short. But this year more and more people are complaining about multiple bites and red, itchy skin. The Farmer's Almanac says that there are some natural ways to keep the bugs off. For example:

Some recommended natural repellants include vanilla extract, lavender, and the extract from pine branches — just break open a young branch and rub the moisture from inside on your skin.

Plant Some Of These In Your Garden to Keep Mosquitoes Away

As we previously told you, mosquitoes are the most dangerous creatures on earth. If you want to keep them away from you're yard, these plants can help!

Quiz: Do you know your state insect?

Stacker has used a variety of sources to compile a list of the official state insect(s) of each U.S. state, as well as their unique characteristics. Read on to see if you can guess which insect(s) represent your state. 

LOOK: Longest-living dog breeds

To find out the longest-living dog breeds, Stacker examined data from the journal Genetics and American Kennel Club's 2023 breed popularity rankings. 

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