Green Heads (and how to stop them!) & Private Beaches

Now’d you think, what it being full-blown summer, that it’s just a little too late for that.        You’ve already armed yourself with bug spray, suntan lotion, grabbed your beach chair and dipped into your savings account to help pay for a single visit to someplace like Salisbury Reservation or worse, Crane Beach.

Well, this is a classic case where not knowing can not only hurt you, it can be downright painful – and I’m not just talking your wallet.

If you are resident of this area, you know what I’m talking about.

The greenheads!

These inhabitants of the salt marshes are powerful flyers and are not polite enough to stay by the marsh – that’s because once they have laid a batch of eggs, they’re making plans to do it again.     But now they need your blood to do it.       The Greenhead, Tabanus Americanus Forester is about 7/8 to 1-1/8″ (22-28 mm) long but once you’ve been victimized, you could swear they’re the size of the large model on display at the Parker River Wildlife Center.       The mouthparts are for tearing and lapping, not piercing.  The Tearing Edge     The personal experience is a cross between a buzz saw tearing into you and a twisting jagged knife.

But that is not the worst part!

These buggers are immune to the normal bug spray.      Due to their large size, they will just sweat off a good blast of DEET.       There is only one known product out there that will prevent their blood lust and guarantee a pleasant summer for you and your family.       But here’s the clincher!      Unless you pay a fortune at a Plum Island or Newburyport retail store, it is not available anywhere else.       This means that if you don’t plan ahead, you will be making a whole lot of Plum Islander’s very happy.      They’ve got the stuff…and you don’t.     To prevent physical pain you will have to suffer great financial pain.

Unless you plan ahead.

Skin so softThe product is Avon’s Skin-so-Soft.      This used to be only available in a lotion but now can be purchased in spray form.      I personally don’t want to know why the greenheads hate this product.    They just do.      It costs about $10.00 a bottle on average and can be purchased in either form on    They also have a bug spray line for all the other pests too!

And since you have saved some money and pain – I can help you even more.      Everyone on this side of the river (as well as the smart ones on the north side) know that Plum Island is the best place to beach.     It often has far less of an onslaught from the visitors from the big cities to the west and the views are just spectacular.         But this plus is offset by the exorbitant parking fees in the Newbury-Newburyport side; and the wildlife preserve fees can mount up after repeated visits.

Well, the Federal Duck Stamp is just now available at the Wildlife Center or at the Post Office.      This stamp runs from July 1 to Jun 30th and is released by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.     That means worry-free parking year round at the first parking lot in the preserve and  the many other parking areas once the plovers have stopped nesting.   It is also easy access to the bottom where Sandy Point State Park is located.        It is $25.00 and quite a bargain if you are going repeatedly to the beach or hiking trails or even bird watching.     Not only that, it gives you access to the other National wildlife centers and if you have a boat, or pay a charter out of Rockport, to Thacher Island where the twin lighthouses are located.

So, with a quick trip to the post office or the Wildlife Center and a little online shopping, you are just about guaranteed to have a very pleasant rest of the summer.

As for pain, just don’t pet the seals!

-P. Preservationists


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2 Responses to Green Heads (and how to stop them!) & Private Beaches

  1. Salem House Press says:

    I was wondering if you have more info on the tunnels of Newburyport. I was thinking of writing a book about them. I have already written Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and Sub Rosa about the ones in Salem. Maybe we can meet one day and discuss them? Reach me through the Salem House Press website.
    Chris Dowgin

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