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oldwinter
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01/13/2022 10:05AM  
I know there was a topic thread on 2021 bug reports, but I doubt people will jump back into that thread since we are in 2022.

I have always been to Q or the BWCA during June/July and dealt with lots of mosquitos/biting flies. I understand they usually become very minimal later in the year. August 7-17, 2021, we were on Basswood Lake and had virtually no bugs.

My question - was that due to being in August or because of the severe drought? Do the bugs get that much better in early August most years? I suspect the drought kept them down more than usual for that time in August, or maybe even July/June of 2021.
 
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MikeinMpls
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01/13/2022 01:03PM  
I don't think it can be attributed to anyone single phenomenon. I've stayed on lakes that were horrendous for bugs, then traveled to another lake and another campsite where they were not problematic at all. Some days are also worse in others, even on the same campsite. I'm not a bug expert by any means, but I I believe drought or wetness can affect the overall hatch as well as the timing of the hatch. But then when atmospherics, specific terrain, and weather phenomena are introduced, things can change. My experience has been the above, in May and in August.

Don't know if this helps much but that's been my experience.

Mike
Speckled
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01/13/2022 01:56PM  
Yes - my experience has been that the first little buggers to arrive are the sand flies (gnats), which start to fade about the time the mosquito's show up in force. Mosquito's generally fade throughout the summer, however a big rainfall can bring on another hatch. Once it thoroughly warms you get the ankle biters and shortly there after the deer and horse flies.

Mosquito's have never bothered me much. I can't stand the sandflies and deer flies for their constant buzzing around your head and face...and those ankle biters, argh!. A single ankle biter can be such a pest in the canoe, and they're so hard to slap dead, they always fly away at just the right time. They're the worst.
schweady
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01/13/2022 02:32PM  
Around 30 of our trips have been during the last week of July/first week of August: expect the swarms of mosquitos to find you for an hour or so, beginning around dusk. Can get more tolerable later in the night. Or not. A head net and long sleeves will get you by.
01/13/2022 03:40PM  
For the original question, drought has a huge impact on bugs. During August you would usually have problems with horse flies and ankle biters. With the drought you probably didn't see them much at all.

Personally, I think that gnats are the worst. They come in swarms to the point you are inhaling them and there is little that you can do about them. Only certain sprays work and only some of the time. Mosquitoes are the most tolerable because I feel like they are the most responsive to repellants like deet and smoke. Horse flies and ankle biters are bad but not maddening like swarms of gnats. They demand your attention but at least you can get some relief from killing them.

I always like to go on trips after the gnats but before the bigger flies. This means we deal with mosquitoes. We have developed ways to deal with them though.
schweady
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01/13/2022 05:45PM  
A1t2o: "...With the drought you probably didn't see them much at all..."
No, they were there last Aug.
lindylair
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01/13/2022 06:03PM  
If we go anytime from the first week of June to the first week of August we expect bugs to be bad - which ones depend on the time of the season. For several years we tripped from about August 10th to August 25th and found bugs overall to be much less of a thing and that includes mosquitoes, flies, gnats, etc. Not saying there weren't any but they were very manageable. Of course this can vary too depending on the year and conditions.

I can confidently say though, on average, bugs are much more tolerable the later in summer (or fall) you go. August, although busy, offers generally comfortable and relatively stable weather and relatively less bug impact. If there is a down side it is that it is not known to be a great time for fishing, but we have always been able to find enough to keep us interested.
01/13/2022 06:52PM  
schweady: "A1t2o: "...With the drought you probably didn't see them much at all..."
No, they were there last Aug.
"

Stable flies - a.k.a. ankle biters - lay their eggs in rotting vegetation along the shoreline, which often times collects on sandy areas. Drought could actually expose more vegetation to rot. Can't explain why their numbers go up and down though.

I still get a few mosquitos in August, but far fewer than earlier. Like MikeinMPLS mentioned above, they generally are declining by August but can vary lake by lake or pop up with a rain fall.
01/14/2022 04:12PM  
I think yes and yes - last year the drought suppressed bug numbers, and indeed by August it is typically much more tolerable.

Last year I was most impressed by how well my dog did - catching (out of midair) and eating deer & horse flies while in the canoe. I declined to try any.
TuscaroraBorealis
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01/16/2022 01:11PM  
sns: "
Last year I was most impressed by how well my dog did - catching (out of midair) and eating deer & horse flies while in the canoe. I declined to try any."


Come on! Where's your spirit of adventure?!? ;-)
 
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