Many blackfly species (Diptera: Simuliidae) are economically important insect pests, both as nuisance biters and as vectors of pathogens of medical and veterinary relevance. Among the important blackfly pest species in North America is Simulium vittatum Zetterstedt sensu lato. The objective of this study was to identify compounds excreted by mammalian hosts that are attractive to host-seeking S. vittatum females. The attractiveness of putative compounds to colonized S. vittatum was tested through electrophysiological (electroantennography; n = 58 compounds) and behavioural (Y-tube assays; n = 7 compounds in three concentrations) bioassays. Five compounds were significantly attractive to host-seeking S. vittatum females: 1-octen-3-ol; 2-heptanone; acetophenone; 1-octanol, and naphthalene. These candidate compounds might be useful as attractants in traps that could be developed for use in alternative or complementary management tactics in programmes to suppress nuisance blackfly populations, or for the collection of samples in which to study the transmission ecology of pathogens transmitted by blackflies of the S. vittatum complex.