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Mattbrome
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05/25/2020 06:59PM
I have heard the black flies are especially bad this year. Anyone been in this last week that can share their experience with the bugs?

On a second note, any "tricks" you use for the flies? I've always just worn my head net and DEET but I know someone has some good "home" remedies. I've heard of stuffing a dryer sheet in your sock but never tried it.

 
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05/26/2020 07:59AM
Just out. Had moderate flies - there was one day when I did not wear the headnet. But usually broke it out in the early am, the evening, and at some portages. Mosquitoes were active dawn and dusk.
Was pleasant after dark however.
Found maybe 6 or 8 wood ticks trying to make a new home on me...

Had a screen tent but never bothered setting it up.
 
jillpine
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05/26/2020 08:22AM
Head net, hand nets for portaging (more for mosquitoes swarms than black fly swarms), lightweight screen shelter, permethrin-treated clothes, not setting up camp by the burbling brook, and mental fortitude (my trick is considering the reality that "instead of this, I could be at work"; that usually does the trick).

If all your Simuliidae barriers fail, the best home remedy I have for the bite wound is toothpaste, right onto the bite as soon as possible, preferably before the welt forms. I carry a little tube in my PFD. I've seen others use antacids tablets dissolved in water and rubbed onto the wounds. There are others.

Here is a website from the pros:
MMCD
 
jillpine
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05/26/2020 08:36AM
And yes, both black flies and mosquitoes are active, depending on location and time of day. Was in Brule area last week, present but not swarming. Week before, none. Next week, who knows.
 
riverrunner
distinguished member(1816)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/26/2020 08:44AM
Getting heavy here in N W Wis.

Head nets required when out in the yard orn woods
 
huntfun2
senior member (92)senior membersenior member
 
05/26/2020 10:35AM
We were in from the 18th through the 23rd. The little black flies were really getting bad by the 21st. Pesky little things!!!
 
05/26/2020 10:40AM
huntfun2: "We were in from the 18th through the 23rd. The little black flies were really getting bad by the 21st. Pesky little things!!!"


I can concur this post... glad to be out of the black flies and home to the mosquitoes. It looked like the mosquitoes were just going to come out in force when we came out. Just needed a little more rain.
 
richie
 
05/26/2020 10:55AM
How long do the black flies last? Heading in on 5/31.
 
yellowcanoe
distinguished member(4769)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/26/2020 04:18PM
jillpine: "Head net, hand nets for portaging (more for mosquitoes swarms than black fly swarms), lightweight screen shelter, permethrin-treated clothes, not setting up camp by the burbling brook, and mental fortitude (my trick is considering the reality that "instead of this, I could be at work"; that usually does the trick).


If all your Simuliidae barriers fail, the best home remedy I have for the bite wound is toothpaste, right onto the bite as soon as possible, preferably before the welt forms. I carry a little tube in my PFD. I've seen others use antacids tablets dissolved in water and rubbed onto the wounds. There are others.


Here is a website from the pros:
MMCD "


Never thought of toothpaste.. Thanks! I never remember to dope up before doing yard work and the BF are horrid in some parts of the yard.
 
05/26/2020 05:07PM
The bugs seem to be quite plentiful this spring. I found the mosquitos to be especially bad on the portages and the gnats seemed to descend on me out of nowhere while I was on the water. I especially enjoyed the gnats as they swarmed under my glasses. Several times I thought I’d knock them in the water.
 
nooneuno
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05/26/2020 05:59PM
Just got out ep 16 Moose river to Agnes and LLC. Mosquitos and ticks were present but not bad, black flies were non existent. Gnats were the worst I have ever seen in my life, headnets were mandatory. I have hiked in remote Alaska, jungles in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Panama, even the Amazon region in Columbia and I have never seen bugs as bad as they were on this trip. No amount of deet, permathin, or cigar smoke had any effect on these gnats
 
snakecharmer
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05/26/2020 08:59PM
Tricks? Absorbine Jr. works for sure for black flies. We also had very good results with Repel lemon eucalyptus repellent on our last trip. But both had to be applied every hour or so.
 
Pinetree
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05/26/2020 09:46PM
If it warms up fast all the black flies will hatch at once-thus you get a bloodsucking nightmare. Moose are even driven into the water to avoid them.

Yes I remember once reaching to the back of my neck. Wondered what the heck-my entire back of my neck was dried up blood from those little creatures.

Yes get that bug net better yet buy a bug shirt-you will never regret it.
 
Mattbrome
distinguished member (313)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/27/2020 08:51AM
Headed to EP 16 next week. Hopefully that warm weather last week got those flies hatched and on their way before we arrive!

To be honest, over 25+ trips I can only ever recall one or two nights where the bugs were really bad. They are pests for sure but part of the "wilderness experience".
 
Mad_Angler
distinguished member(1665)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/27/2020 09:17AM
I was out from Thursday of last week until Tuesday May 26. Went in at Seagull and stayed around there.

Biting gnats were about the worst I have experienced. They would swarm out of nowhere. Our only solution was netting. My daughters spent a lot of time relaxing in hammocks with bug nets. I would occasionally have to put on my head net but it was quite hot for that.

Ticks seemed very plentiful. We saw a lot. But we didn't really pick off very many.

Mosquitoes were just starting to come out. Not too bad yet.
 
schwartyman
member (40)member
 
05/27/2020 09:30AM
Almost exact timeline, same lake as Mad Angler. Same bug report. Gnats were rough, didn't have any head nets but only thought we needed them a handful of 5 minute episodes, getting on the water was our solution - and cigar smoke. Lots of ticks for us too.
 
moray
distinguished member (140)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/27/2020 08:24PM
I just got out today from a week in the Ensign are. Blackflies were pretty bad but seemed to be slowing down by the end of my trip. I had to use a head net while fishing every day. Mosquitos were pretty heavy this morning after the rain.
 
mgraber
distinguished member(1052)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/28/2020 11:50AM
nooneuno: "Just got out ep 16 Moose river to Agnes and LLC. Mosquitos and ticks were present but not bad, black flies were non existent. Gnats were the worst I have ever seen in my life, headnets were mandatory. I have hiked in remote Alaska, jungles in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Panama, even the Amazon region in Columbia and I have never seen bugs as bad as they were on this trip. No amount of deet, permathin, or cigar smoke had any effect on these gnats"


I have a hard time believing there were no black flies present when you were there, everyone I have talked to, including an outfitter friend said the black flies( biting gnats) were terrible in that area during that time. Are you sure you are not talking about stable flies ( ankle biters)? You said gnats were terrible, if they bit, they ARE black flies.
 
LindenTree
distinguished member(2477)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/29/2020 05:07PM
Frost Advisory tonight in the BW.
Wo Who, I'm going in tomorrow. Hope it knocks them down for a few days.
 
nooneuno
distinguished member(523)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/29/2020 07:47PM
mgraber: "nooneuno: "Just got out ep 16 Moose river to Agnes and LLC. Mosquitos and ticks were present but not bad, black flies were non existent. Gnats were the worst I have ever seen in my life, headnets were mandatory. I have hiked in remote Alaska, jungles in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Panama, even the Amazon region in Columbia and I have never seen bugs as bad as they were on this trip. No amount of deet, permathin, or cigar smoke had any effect on these gnats"



I have a hard time believing there were no black flies present when you were there, everyone I have talked to, including an outfitter friend said the black flies( biting gnats) were terrible in that area during that time. Are you sure you are not talking about stable flies ( ankle biters)? You said gnats were terrible, if they bit, they ARE black flies.
"

Yes I was refering to the ankle biters, they have always been what we called black flies. The biting gnats are what were plentiful. The entire distance of the Moose river if you didn't have on a headnet you would actually be breathing them in.
 
05/29/2020 08:33PM
This year is the worst I’ve had since moving to Duluth 12 years ago. The skeeters, ticks, and gnats are so bad I paid to have my yard sprayed today. First time ever.
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13165)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
05/30/2020 12:18AM
Another use for duct tape, roll up a piece and put it on the back of your hat or collar. Just toss the tape.
 
LindenTree
distinguished member(2477)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/30/2020 08:00AM
Savage Voyageur: "Another use for duct tape, roll up a piece and put it on the back of your hat or collar. Just toss the tape. "

A wildlife biologist I worked with always did that for the Deer Fly's.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(6704)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/30/2020 08:25AM
Here's a gnat.

Here's a black fly.

My native Maine neighbors confuse the two.

A gnat will fly into your face, ears, and eyes. Its abdomen is slender.

A black fly will land on your face and neck. It's fatter, as the photos show, and longer.

Every little black bug that flies around your face isn't a black fly.

Here are pics of black fly bites. Accumulate enough of these and your face will deform like a distant cousin of the Elephant Man.
 
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2165)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/30/2020 10:01AM
Who ever named blackflies did us all disservice, given there are so many flies that are black and bite!
 
Jaywalker
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05/30/2020 10:12AM
LindenTree: "Savage Voyageur: "Another use for duct tape, roll up a piece and put it on the back of your hat or collar. Just toss the tape. "


A wildlife biologist I worked with always did that for the Deer Fly's."


I love the Deer Fly patches that can go on the back of a cap, or I've sometimes made fly traps with a piece of blue plastic cup (the color attracts them) and a product called Tanglefoot. Here is the back of my bike helmet after a 60 minute ride.

 
Portage99
distinguished member (408)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/30/2020 10:18AM
Jaywalker: "LindenTree: "Savage Voyageur: "Another use for duct tape, roll up a piece and put it on the back of your hat or collar. Just toss the tape. "



A wildlife biologist I worked with always did that for the Deer Fly's."



I love the Deer Fly patches that can go on the back of a cap, or I've sometimes made fly traps with a piece of blue plastic cup (the color attracts them) and a product called Tanglefoot. Here is the back of my bike helmet after a 60 minute ride.


"


Is there a noticeable difference in getting buzzed? Or do more just come along?
 
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2165)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/30/2020 11:34AM
Portage99: " Is there a noticeable difference in getting buzzed? Or do more just come along?"
More are always coming! On the route I was doing this week near my sister's farm, I would still have 5 or so buzzing me and would get 1-2 bites, but I'd rather have 5 than 35 buzzing me! I got that many every day.
 
Portage99
distinguished member (408)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/30/2020 11:47AM
Good tip! Yes, five is much better than 20. And that’s much less flesh lost. : )
 
marsonite
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05/30/2020 08:29PM


I picked these flies up attempting to pick blueberries in Isabella. I don't know if the strips help when they're this bad, but it does give you a certain satisfaction. You can hear them buzz. I remember thinking that I was hearing a chainsaw in the distance, but it was the flies.
 
MN_Lindsey
distinguished member(2115)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/31/2020 08:01PM
Not BWCA, but I was hiking on the SHT this past weekend... Friday the black flies were A-Holes biting you every chance they got. Bugs were so bad.

Then like magic, there were no bugs at all on Saturday.
 
AJ2008
distinguished member (221)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/31/2020 09:33PM
Wow, we must have been lucky. Went into Duncan on Thursday morning and came out today. No black flies whatsoever and mosquitos were very few and the ones that were out did not bite. The midges were crazy, but they do not bite and didn’t faze us. It was quite windy, but even when the wind subsided, nothing.
 
RodBender
member (14)member
 
05/31/2020 10:17PM
Yes last week was black flies, no see ums, and skeets. Coming and going in waves. Sometimes it sucked. Ate lunch one day in the shade on a portage, not a single bug. 100% DEET around hair line, hat line and ears didn't deter black flies. I had permethrin everything and didn't seem to phase winged critters. I had no ticks and my associate had 10.
 
davidbakken22
 
06/01/2020 08:29AM
Went to Malberg/Beaver/Adams area May 20 to 24 and the black flies were out and biting, but they were tolerable. The mosquitos were just coming out. Went back to the same area May 27 to 31 with 8 other guys and not one bug in 5 days. We brought 5 cans of bug spray and a Kelty 12 and none got used.
 
CityFisher74
distinguished member (445)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/01/2020 08:45AM
Just came out from a trip the 28-31st. Didn't use bug spray once and I had maybe a handful of mosquito bites the entire trip. No flies to speak of and a few gnats here and there but by no means a nuissance. We thought it was due to the constant wind but then Saturday there was almost no wind and still no bugs. It was really odd.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12514)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
06/01/2020 09:43AM
CityFisher74: "Just came out from a trip the 28-31st. Didn't use bug spray once and I had maybe a handful of mosquito bites the entire trip. No flies to speak of and a few gnats here and there but by no means a nuissance. We thought it was due to the constant wind but then Saturday there was almost no wind and still no bugs. It was really odd."

where were you. I noticed in the past even while camping, you come to a area, zero bugs, go a mile and they are terrible.
 
CityFisher74
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06/01/2020 02:06PM
We were just on Lake One ("Lake One and Done" as we like to call these trips).
 
MN_Lindsey
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06/21/2020 06:06PM
Mosquitos on Alder/Canoe/Pine area were absolutely HORRENDOUS!!!!!
Black flies were not out, zero ticks. Mosquitos though, FULL FORCE!!!!

We went through two (regular size) cans of bug spray in 3-4 days!!
 
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