Has anyone else noticed that there seem to be a LOT of bugs in their yard right now? Going out to mow my backyard has been awful this past week or so, and I've ended up with a couple of bites on my arms and legs. It's just one of the signs that summer is almost here.

According to the Des Moines Register, the annoying little "gnats" we're seeing right now in Iowa are black flies. They lay their eggs in the springtime in moist areas, so a large amount of rain can cause an uptick. The ISU Extension Entomologist Laura Iles told the Register that it's still too early to know the exact impact our heavy rain had on the black flies this year, but they are not totally uncommon in areas near rivers in Iowa.

In case you're wondering, it's the female black flies that will bite you. They are attracted sweat, as well as bad breath and fruity/sweet smells. You're most likely to get bit around dawn or dusk, and a bite from a black fly can cause painful itching and swelling. The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach website notes that "all exposed parts of the body are subject to attack, though they favor the head, just beneath the hat rim."

There is some good news, though! The Register reports that:

"... there is only one generation of black flies per year. The black flies only have a life span of three weeks. So Iowans will be done with them soon..."

Unfortunately, that means mosquito season is on the horizon, and that seems to last much longer than those pesky black flies. You can read more about how to keep the gnats away in the Des Moines Register article HERE.

Iowa's State Record Fish

Fishing season has arrived in the great state of Iowa and here are photos of 34 of the state record-holders for particular species. There are actually a total of 55 record-setting fish in the state of Iowa but, unfortunately, pictures aren't available for all of them.

Gallery Credit: Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Iowans Share Their Favorite 2023 Summer Memories

We asked Iowans to share their favorite moments from the summer of 2023! Here are some of the exciting stories:

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

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