Posts Tagged ‘blackflies’

Bella’s Got Nothing On Me

day one after 1st portage - mosquitoes LOVE luke

Some people are more attractive to bloodsuckers than others.  I am one of the unfortunates.  I have just killed my first bloodsucker of the year.  I was sitting in the backyard, minding my own business, when yup, I felt the telltale sting on my shoulder.  My reflexes are above average, but every year I seem to lose the battle against the biting hordes.  Mosquitoes, blackflies, in fact the whole biting fly family, love me.  Biting insects can really make or break a trip.  They are the difference between a good time, and an awful time.

If you are particularly adverse to feeding the ravenous swarm, choose your week of travel

our little trooper, always happy

carefully.  There is a distinct pattern to when the bugs are at their worst.  But let’s be honest, there is no getting around bugs when you are in the great outdoors.  Unless the local insects are known carriers of a nasty disease, they are simply pests and you can choose to put up with them.  Just ignore them, as moms are known to say.  If you don’t scratch a mosquito bite, they lose their itchy potency pretty quickly.  However, if you feel like a fight, here are some suggestions.

Wear looser, light coloured clothing with a tightly woven material, preferably long sleeves, pants and socks.  Dark colours attract and loose weaves allow the stinger to pass through more easily.  Here’s a good one, don’t smell nice (my family makes an art of this one).  Perfume and strongly scented cremes and cleansers attract mosquitoes.

luke NEVER complains about bug bites

Dare I say it? DEET!  Yes, chemicals are your best and only certain defense against the menace.  In Canada, we are limited to creams and sprays with a maximum 30% deet.  But don’t despair, higher percentages simply last longer, they don’t provide better protection.  So just reapply when necessary.  And for the kiddies, keep the percentage lower and only apply to exposed areas.

zach's bitten eyes swelling shut

Some people swear by citronella products and vitamin B (you can buy these as patches).  While the research data on these is up for debate, it can’t hurt to give them a try, particularly if you choose not to use deet products.

Want to look the part of a north Ontario camper?  Break out the bug shirts, pants and head nets.  These handy garments are made with tightly woven cotton and/or large breathable panels of no-see-um mesh.  You look goofy, but feel happy.  Feel free to stick your tongue out at those who teased you for bringing them, but now beg you to borrow them.

luke's bitten ankle twice its normal size

Oh.  One last thing.  Pitch your tent wisely.  Don’t put it next to standing water or a marshy area where those delinquent pests like to party from dusk til dawn.  This is one soiree that you won’t regret missing.  Good luck out there.

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