Saturday we sailed and motored from Clinton CT to Port Jefferson NY, and shortly after leaving Clinton we were overwhelmed by biting flies. It wasn't just 1 or 2 per hour -- it was 50+ at any given time swarming around the boat, biting on ankles etc. They hatch in the water and it must have been a major event in the area.
We've experienced this before, but not in a few years. Luckily we were prepared with a home-tailored cockpit netting we attach (using clothespins) to the bimini and dodger. It was configured so we could sail and motor with it in place. It's cut out of bug net, sewn with edging to the needed pattern. (The material was sourced as this item https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R4EPDM/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 )
I dug it out of the bottom of a cockpit locker and we got it set up in about 10 minutes, and that netting saved the day! Armed with a tennis racket - style electric zapper and a Bug-a-Salt shooter, we soon got the interior "cleaned out" to a level we could manage. However our screen had some openings here and there, so a bit of "maintenance killing" was still needed, but the torment was at a much more manageable level.
Our savior -- the netting:
This is the cockpit floor after the initial mass kill. It was cleaned up shortly after.