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      Miskitos in June     
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buzzbait01
 
06/03/2018 10:05PM
Hi I'm a newbie to both this forum and the Boundary Waters. I'm wandering how bad the bugs are in June. Heading up in a week!
 
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WhiteWolf
distinguished member(5038)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/03/2018 10:19PM
June is likely the buggiest month.
bfurlow
distinguished member(1434)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/03/2018 10:43PM
WhiteWolf: "June is likely the buggiest month. "

Definitely agree with this. Everything has just hatched and you are almost guaranteed to hit some sort of little biter at some point in June. Timing and moisture can really impact how bad it is. I have had a couple trips where it was not too bad, and others where I did not want to be outside near dusk for fear of having the little vampires suck my body dry.

Best advice is Permethrin for your clothes and deet for anything exposed.
buzzbait01
 
06/04/2018 06:35AM
Thanks. Yeah I guess I was kinda hoping that there would be less in June...thanks for the input
mastertangler
distinguished member(5036)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/04/2018 07:11AM
buzzbait01: "Thanks. Yeah I guess I was kinda hoping that there would be less in June...thanks for the input"

Nope........usually in june while in camp I like wearing ankle weights so I dont get picked up and carried away. And you thought the Flying Monkeys were the stuff of nightmares!
Chicagored
distinguished member(503)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/04/2018 07:55AM
Lets not forget the black flies!
LindenTree3
distinguished member(2299)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/04/2018 07:56AM
I always thought the beginning of July was worse for skeeters, I've been in Ak the last three years so I'll claim ignorance. I'll see in 2 weeks when I head into Cherokee.
BigFlounder
member (27)member
 
06/04/2018 08:09AM
I'm leaving this coming Saturday for my first trip to the BWCA (entry point 47). Done the research plus I've got a friend who's made 3 trips various times in June and the conclusion I've come to is it's a crap shoot this time of year. My friend has had some mosquito issues in the evenings, but has yet to be bothered by black flies. I'm hoping that's how it'll go on my trip, but with my luck it'll be a record year for the little buggers. I plan on just making sure I'm prepared (head net, loose fitting clothes, long sleeves, etc).
Jackfish
Moderator
 
06/04/2018 10:04AM
Hope for the best. Plan for the worst.

Welcome to the forum. Hope to hear about your trip after you return.
hexnymph
distinguished member(943)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/04/2018 10:04AM
Skeeters are only one of the forms of biters you can/will encounter in June. Besides ticks, another member put together a good identification guide Jaywalker's biting flies of Minnesota's BWCAW

Good luck
Hex
BobDobbs
distinguished member (275)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/04/2018 10:11AM
Google 'Permethrin Soak'

You're welcome
Swampturtle
distinguished member (479)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/04/2018 11:08AM
I just came out last week, 5/30. With the +80' temps during the day the last few nights the woods started to have that "hum". The dragonflies were just starting to hatch. Wood ticks were prevalent on a few grassy sites. Very few black flies at the time. Mostly buggy in the a.m., the p.m. & portages...the usual, bring your headnet. Yeah, there are bugs...be prepared. Permethrin is the stuff. Used Natrapel bug spray with Picaridin, worked well, trying to stay away from deet. Brought my bug suit too, just in case but never had to break it out. Never regret bringing that...even if I don't use it.

Also I've been July 4th week...much worse, full on run in the tent when the sun goes down.
A1t2o
distinguished member(536)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/04/2018 12:22PM
Swampturtle: "Also I've been July 4th week...much worse, full on run in the tent when the sun goes down. "

I've had one those. We sat miserably fishing while smoking cigars and reapplied the bug dope. Cigars really do help with the smoke, but what really saved us was the bats that came out about 10 min later. They swooped over our heads a few times and the mosquitos thinned very noticeably. Dragon flies and bats are your friends up there.

Situations like this make me think that a citronella candle might not be such a bad idea. Enough wind to make the candles useless should thin the bugs too. Anyone have any experience with citronella candles in the BWCA?
mapsguy1955
distinguished member(645)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/04/2018 01:58PM
In Quetico there is a fire ban. Not sure about BWCA, but no candles in the Q right now.
A1t2o
distinguished member(536)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/04/2018 02:18PM
mapsguy1955: "In Quetico there is a fire ban. Not sure about BWCA, but no candles in the Q right now. "

I thought that last system that went through alleviated any fire concerns. Didn't the area get hit with an inch or more rain over a day or two?
overthehill
distinguished member(4392)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/04/2018 03:06PM
BobDobbs: "Google 'Permethrin Soak'

You're welcome"
Yes. It sure helps.
buzzbait01
 
06/04/2018 03:20PM
Wow thanks for the input! I'll see if I can try that:D
Mad_Angler
distinguished member(1565)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/04/2018 04:28PM
Usually not too bad. Except at dusk. Then they are BRUTAL. If it is calm, a thermocell works pretty well. If not, it will be torture. I really like a screen tent for that hour when they are really bad. A headnet helps too.

I've found the rest of the day to be pretty mosquito free.

mjmkjun
distinguished member(2003)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/04/2018 04:55PM
I always go during June for Spring trips. With Permethrin on clothing and a bit of repellent (anything non-deet) on my face and arms, it isn't much but a minor annoyance. I don't wear shorts cuz black flies are way too fast and bite legs badly. Wicked things. What Mad_Angler said about dusk & swarming skeeters is so true! An onslaught.
Rs130754
senior member (74)senior membersenior member
 
06/04/2018 06:36PM
You could always bring a propane powered mosquito fogger. Or those cans of yard guard. I have never used Permethrin but it sounds like it makes a big difference.
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13007)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
06/04/2018 08:18PM
You will turn into a buzzbait. It is the worst time of the year if you are talking bugs. Let the bloodletting begin.
Swampturtle
distinguished member (479)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/04/2018 10:29PM
Sawyer permethrin

I use the less cost effective/already pre-mixed pump spray bottle. I can do most of my clothing, hats etc with 1 bottle. I've saturated my tent too, works amazing, make sure to read the directions & apply accordingly. I've also done the soak, it works well, but takes a bit more time & effort-at least for me.

Soak guide method
06/05/2018 07:00AM
June was always my very favorite time to go canoe-tripping. I loved the spring flowers, the freshness of campsites that weren't all trodden down (and usually had a lot less trash around, too), and the fact that there were fewer people out and about (avoiding the bugs?) It usually didn't get really HOT, either! I hate to canoe-trip in hot weather! Obviously I wouldn't have enjoyed this past Memorial Day weekend on the water. :-(

We did use permethrin on our clothing, wore long sleeves and pants, tucked our pants into our socks, and used Deep Woods Off occasionally on exposed skin (but there wasn't really much of that. Just sprayed it around my hat and my shoulders occasionally.) I would take a head net to wear on really buggy portages or if the bugs got to me in the evening, and I even bought a bug shirt, but never ended up using it.

We haven't been on a trip now in five years, so perhaps the situation is busier now, but we always found mid-June to be our favorite time. Definitely worth putting up with the bugs. In my case, I thought the ticks and blackflies were much worse than mosquitoes, and took the precautions more to avoid them.

Have a great trip!

Selfsuffi
senior member (71)senior membersenior member
 
06/05/2018 09:56AM
Spartan2: "June was always my very favorite time to go canoe-tripping. I loved the spring flowers, the freshness of campsites that weren't all trodden down (and usually had a lot less trash around, too), and the fact that there were fewer people out and about (avoiding the bugs?) It usually didn't get really HOT, either! I hate to canoe-trip in hot weather! Obviously I wouldn't have enjoyed this past Memorial Day weekend on the water. :-(


We did use permethrin on our clothing, wore long sleeves and pants, tucked our pants into our socks, and used Deep Woods Off occasionally on exposed skin (but there wasn't really much of that. Just sprayed it around my hat and my shoulders occasionally.) I would take a head net to wear on really buggy portages or if the bugs got to me in the evening, and I even bought a bug shirt, but never ended up using it.


We haven't been on a trip now in five years, so perhaps the situation is busier now, but we always found mid-June to be our favorite time. Definitely worth putting up with the bugs. In my case, I thought the ticks and blackflies were much worse than mosquitoes, and took the precautions more to avoid them.


Have a great trip!


"


Hi Spartan 2!

I used a permethrin soak for the first time this year thinking about ticks and mosquito's but I agree black flies are what truly torture me. I have yet to find anything that works well except to cover up all skin. Have you had any luck with any products that work ok for the black flies?
06/05/2018 10:38AM
Nope. That is why we cover up instead of having a lot of exposed skin. That and sun protection. Blackfly bites swell up on me and make me super-miserable.
Selfsuffi
senior member (71)senior membersenior member
 
06/05/2018 10:57AM
Spartan2: "Nope. That is why we cover up instead of having a lot of exposed skin. That and sun protection. Blackfly bites swell up on me and make me super-miserable."

I wet foot it with a closed toe sandals but when the flies are bad I will still wear socks to keep them from eating up my feet in any tiny part exposed. I haven't found anything either except to cover up.
Selfsuffi
senior member (71)senior membersenior member
 
06/05/2018 10:57AM
Spartan2: "Nope. That is why we cover up instead of having a lot of exposed skin. That and sun protection. Blackfly bites swell up on me and make me super-miserable."

I wet foot it with a closed toe sandals but when the flies are bad I will still wear socks to keep them from eating up my feet in any tiny part exposed. I haven't found anything either except to cover up.
hexnymph
distinguished member(943)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/05/2018 10:57AM
I have found a very aromatic massage oil (Olbas) that keeps them off the back of my neck and ears for a while. It's a little burny on sensitive skin and around the eyes. I'm a wet footer and at the end of the day we apply this to our feet before putting on dry socks... magical.... and improves the foot smell tremendously.

Hex
Selfsuffi
senior member (71)senior membersenior member
 
06/05/2018 11:05AM
Interesting Hex...I will give it a try....as long as it doesn't smell like patchouli oil....not sure why but I don't like that aroma at all. Thank you for the tip though.
bfurlow
distinguished member(1434)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/05/2018 08:11PM
mjmkjun: "I always go during June for Spring trips. With Permethrin on clothing and a bit of repellent (anything non-deet) on my face and arms, it isn't much but a minor annoyance. I don't wear shorts cuz black flies are way too fast and bite legs badly. Wicked things. What Mad_Angler said about dusk & swarming skeeters is so true! An onslaught. "
Up there is one of the few places that I have felt mosquitoes hitting my skin because they charged so hard. Only happened a few times, but that was enough. Portages can be tough depending on moisture level and whether there is a breeze or not. Overall, if you take the right precautions, you should be good to go.
snakecharmer
distinguished member(6507)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/12/2018 06:37AM
Just got back from the Trout/Pine/Chad Lake area on Saturday. The bugs, in general, were WAY down. Biting insects were almost non-existent. A few mosquitos on the portages, zero in camp. Didn't see a black fly. Just a couple of deer flies...that was it.
tarnkt
distinguished member (247)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/12/2018 08:10AM
Sounds like they should be ramping up just in time for my trip next week. Can’t wait!!!!
scat
distinguished member(606)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/12/2018 09:07AM
We had almost none last week. The highs were in the 60s and lows in the 40s. Under 70 degrees and they are not active. The one day it got that high they started to show up. Got like 5 bites total. Over 70 and they will be there. Have fun.
Ardwich
senior member (72)senior membersenior member
 
06/12/2018 11:45AM
We just came out of a week going in EP 32.

There were NO bugs in camp. A few on the portage but it was awesome around camp. On another note I have never seen the firewood burn so great. We were blessed with great weather, few bugs and awesome fishing.
flynn
member (16)member
 
06/13/2018 07:33PM
You all got lucky. June 1 to June 9, had plenty of mosquitoes during morning (til about 10am) and dusk (9pm to ~11pm) all the way from Knife to Kek to Fraser to Ima to Ensign. They were really bad at the southwest Ima site, tons of blowdowns there too with a big widowmaker right over the only tent pad. Had a few roots in my back that night from where we placed our tent. But yeah, I bundled up every night and any time I went to the latrine to take care of business. I had permethrin-sprayed pants which didn't seem to deter the bugs (maybe too much time in the water or bad spraying technique) but 3 layers plus my rain jacket or nano puff kept me from getting bitten, and the fact that my pants were a bit baggy meant that the skeeters never bit through to my legs. I still left with about 30 bites, with 4-6 itchy at any given point throughout the trip. I had some massive welts on my temples up until a few days ago, and the lower back/buttocks had a half dozen from opportunistic mosquito-jerks during business-handling. Portages around the Knife/Kek area weren't too bad for bugs, though the landings were sometimes very buggy. Closer to Ensign it was better still with almost bug-free landings. I was actually able to wear just a t-shirt on occasion for our last few days around Ensign. I was praying to the dragonfly gods for the whole trip and they answered kindly for a few days where our Kek site got cleaned up nicely by no less than two or three dozen dragonflies for hours at a time. I have developed a fondness for dragonflies that I never thought I could have. Not a fan of insects, but they can share my quarters anytime.

We had a few horseflies and bees on the second half of the trip, circling us all the time (me mostly), but I never got bit or stung. No blackfly problems whatsoever - I think I saw a few, just crawling around, never flying. I also didn't get any ticks on me but a friend got one, and I saw a few on our packs/tents over the course of the trip but always got rid of them.

In general I would say it was fairly buggy, could have been worse, but had it been worse I would have definitely walked the fine line between the number of itchy welts being challenging and being infuriating. I am hoping for less bugs during my mid-Sept trip but I fear I may still have to expect a fair bit of mosquitoes.

Great trip by the way... report coming eventually.
 
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