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A Few Words About Bugs and Bites

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June 03, 2013

A Few Words About Bugs and Bites

By David E. Petzal

In order to hunt animals it’s generally necessary to tolerate the outdoors, which is usually too hot, too cold, or too wet. That you can live with. But the worst part of the outdoors is bugs. I do not like bugs. Bugs, however, like me a great deal. Here are a few observations on the subject.

Chiggers, or redbugs, inhabit the South, along with pellagra and okra. They are insidious little bastards who burrow under your skin and inject some kind of disgusting chemical that liquefies your flesh, which they then slurp up. Up until the invention of Permethrine, every one who stood in a Dixie swamp or field was fair game for redbugs, and once they bit you, the bites swelled up and itched like fire. The common cure was to paint the bite with clear nail polish which caused the little monster inside to suffocate. Now, however, if you spray Permethrine on your clothes, the chiggers leave you alone.

Mosquitoes and ticks are no fun, but like chiggers, you can keep them off with Permethrine and Deet. If you would like to see mosquitoes at their most impressive, visit the Arctic or Subarctic in summer. There you’ll encounter them in clouds, literally, and if you don’t have a headnet you’re in trouble because they’ll go up your nose and in your mouth and in your eyes. I’ve fished Kasba Lake in the Northwest Territories, and while the lake itself is bug-free, if you fish the feeder streams you’ll encounter mosquitoes in numbers beyond counting. I dressed in chest waders, a rain jacket, gloves, and a headnet with not an inch of skin showing, and so they didn’t bother me, but if you have to take a leak you are in deep trouble, and if you have to go Number Two, God help you.

The fishing at Kasba, by the way, is incredible.

The worst of all bugs is the tsetse fly, which is found in subequatorial Africa. The tsetse attacks either individually or in division strength. It bites with a proboscis that is designed to penetrate the hide of African megafauna, and it’s like getting jabbed with a red-hot needle. If the fly happens to hit a nerve, the experience is unforgettable. There is no way to keep the little bastards off, and they can bite you in places that seem impossible to reach, such as under your belt.

In the early 1980s I was hunting in Zambia in fly country with a PH who wore short shorts and no underpants, and whose equipment hung out as a result. One day, as we were tooling through the dambos, he leaped almost clear of the Land Rover and shrieked like a woman. All I could think was, a snake got him, and he’s going to die, and I don’t speak the language, and we are both in a hell of a lot of trouble. However, it was a tsetse that had gotten him in one of his testicles.

Some people are allergic to tsetse bites. As you are bitten more and more, the bites get bigger and bigger as you grow more and more sensitive to them. They itch like mad, and the only thing you can do is take antihistamines. Tsetses can also give you tripanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, but your odds of contracting it are negligible, and if you do, it can be cured, but only if you go to a doctor right away. More than one PH has gotten it, put off getting treatment until the end of hunting season, and died as a result.

However, nothing is all bad, and tsetses kill native cattle, which means that game can live in fly country because the cows can’t.

 

Comments (61)

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from hermit crab wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

"However, nothing is all bad, and tsetses kill native cattle, which means that game can live in fly country because the cows can’t."

Wow, that's cold, even for you... I'm sure all the over-nourished Africans of sub-equatorial Africa share this sentiment?

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from deadeyedick wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

not to mention all the nasty diseases that one can get from the little bastards. I think God put bugs on the earth for the sole purpose of making the human race miserable.
Here along Lake Erie we have muffleheads or as some cll them canadian soldiers. Actually they are midges. They do not bite ( thank God) but we have them in the bazillions and they get into everything and I do mean everything. With all that food around the spiders grow to a hundred pounds or so which leads into a very Sci-Fi flick only it would be real

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from Happy Myles wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

I spent the morning soaking clothes in Sawyers Permethrin solution preparing for my departure next week for Cameroon,just took a break and noticed your timely comments on African insects. A subject near though not dear to my heart. You have the chemical warfare about right, DEET and Permethrin slow them down if not stop them. African mosquitoes are not as bothersome as their huge cousins in North America, but often far more deadly. Malaria. Tsetse flie bites are so sharp they instantly make me angry. I too, have noticed if one is bitten often enough some bites will cause an allergic reaction on some bite sites. Antihistamines and a poultice in the evening sometimes help.
May have told this story before, but it makes me chuckle when I think of it. Once up in the Savannah of the C. A. R. I shared a camp with a beautiful French, female biologist of note . The first night she gave me a very intellectual discourse on the merits of a natural herb insect repellant she used in contrast to my horrible DEET. The tsetse fly were frightening, by day three she was willing to give up, well, most anything for a share of my DEET and some of my antihistamine.
Your last sentence says it all. The fly keeps domestic livestock out of game areas, so I grit my teeth and put up with them

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from bsheahan1229 wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

A person I know was camping, and he had some 99.99% DEET bug spray. He decided to put copious all over his face, and the whole thing swelled up like a balloon. Nice way to spend Boy Scout summer camp.

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from Happy Myles wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

Forgot to mention one other interesting little bug. Sweat bees (flies) they don't bite but drive you crazy by seeking out any drop of moisture, eyes, mouth, and ears. A head net is the only way to gain some relief. I have been fascinated watching trackers with fists cupped around their eyes, forefingers moving like windshield wipers futilely attempting to clear the sweat bees from their vision while attempting to focus on the track. Great men.
Then there are the six inch scorpions and eight inch centipedes.....

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from Happy Myles wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

I have read anything more than ten per cent DEET is not useful and unwise. No question it is rough stuff, have seen it take skin off a person and paint off a car.

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from PbHead wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

Thanks for letting us know what bugs you Dave.

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from FirstBubba wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

Chiggers, ticks, buffalo ga-nats, scorpions and the assorted wasps-es-es (waust?) and other "flip-tail" vermin give me shivers! I've had chiggers bad enough to run fever!
Happy,
I grant you and DEP my share of African insect-ites! (?)

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from Tim Platt wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

My wife got Rocky Mountain spotted fever last year. NC/TN border it is rampant and her sister lives there. I am in the woods a thousand more hours a year than her but she gets the wrong tick.

She kept saying her knees and ankles hurt and I was like, well yeah you turn 50 next year. Wrong answer. When her ankles swelled and red stripes started running up her legs it was time to visit the doctor who couldn't believe it. His first questions were have you been to the TN/NC border recently or had a tick bite? Yes and yes.

Bugs generally despise me, same as most other living creatures, story of my life. I went turkey hunting one time and my friend had thirty some odd ticks on him and I had five.

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from RockySquirrel wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

And lets not forget that always popular Bots Fly of which each continent (and I could be wrong about this) has their own variety. Bites are 1 thing, but leaving their eggs to maggot in your hide is more than I can take. And many of you Iraq vets will remember the sand flea (or is it fly, can’t remember) bites that never ever heal or when you think they do, come back like clock work months or even a year later. Try explaining at parties, why your face looks like some gross disease gone wild.

Also, don’t smoke when applying or soon after applying DEET. I don’t know if it is flammable, but that oil will transfer to your cigar from your hands and make you very very sick when it burns down that far. That I know.

Lets talk flora too. Simple poison ivy. If I am anywhere near it, I get the blisters that take forever to heal. And because of the extra carbon dioxide in the air, P.I. is going wild. Out fishing 2 days ago, I noticed whole hedgerows of poison Ivy on shore.

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from MaxPower wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

Anyone deal with Black Flies? I got hounded by those little buggers every summer in Ontario, they like to crawl into hair and under clothes before biting. The effect is a mildly itchy sore that hurts like crazy/scabs up when you scratch it.

Also should mention a good cure for gnats. While working the Bakken oilfields in North Dakota they got pretty bad, so my aunt told me to put a dab of vanilla extract on areas of exposed skin. Worked like a charm, also made it so I didn't have to swat at them while hunting coyotes on my days off.

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from O Garcia wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

don't forget ants. they can actually consume you.

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from buckhunter wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

I recall a Northern Manitoba bear hunt, I was in stand when I heard the whine of the guides boat motor nearing my pick up point. I trotted down to the beach but he was not there. After getting back into stand I realized the noise I heard was the increasing deafening buzz of mosquito's as dusk neared.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

And let's not forget the bedbugs and crabs lurking in the cheap hunting season Worst Western motels.

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from Treestand wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

The only Bug I like was my 1965 VW Beetle, Its Name was "RAID the killer Bug"

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from nehunter92 wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

MaxPower
I too, am no stranger to the unholy scourge known as Black Flies. Here in New England they are a common hazard encountered during spring turkey season. They can certainly be annoying, and have this odd habit of nearly always attacking (in swarms) either your ears or your eyeballs. The good news is that since black flies themselves are small with small mouths, they are easily stopped by a thin layer of clothing. I had them all over this past season, but never actually got bit by a sinlge one. The giant mutant mosquitoes on the other hand, laugh in the face of thin shirts and glove liners, easily penetrating them. I have come back from some hunts with as many 8 bites on each hand (the only part of my body that’s semi exposed.)
Still, neither of these creatures strike as much fear into my heart as those little arachnid abominations known as ticks. We have several varieties of them here, including the infamous deer tick. I have been lucky enough to avoid lymes disease so Far, but always manage to get one good tick bite a season. They are like spider bites that take forever to go away. I hate them.

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from Tom-Tom wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Perhaps Vietnam could have been a resounding victory had we dispersed mega-millions of chiggers on the jungles instead of agent orange.

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from Mark-1 wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Yup. Here in Western NY the deerflies hatched two-days ago. The black flies hatch in the North County [Adacks Mts] May 15th.

There's also something called "No See'Em's". Little black flies with jaws like a bear trap.

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from Dcast wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Rocky, The Bot fly is nasty! My 6th grade science teacher (Mrs. MkClean) was in from what I can remember the Amazon and was impregnated with a larvae. She told all her students about it then proceeds to show everyone the actual maggot which was disgusting and terrifyingly huge! She said she went to her doctor after coming home and told him of an odd pain in neck/shoulder and said she felt like something was moving in there but he couldn't figure it out. After another several days the pain was so intense she went back to him at which time he noticed a swollen red area so he lanced it to relieve pressure and found the maggot just under the skin. This thing was the size of a 9mm bullet (as close as I can describe the size)!

OH, brings up a good bug to watch for, the bedbug. If you stay in any hotel before taking all of your belongings into your home leave them outside and put your clothes in the dryer on high for 15min to kill any that might have hitched a ride home with you. Make sure you do this with EVERYTHING! Here in Ohio the bedbugs are a serious problem and many public places have them such as hospitals, hotels, schools, etc... My wife and I do everything we can to prevent getting them. The kids clothes come off after school and go directly to the dryer. It is a constant battle to keep from getting them but it is worth it because once you get them your screwed.

I personally hate all bugs and the only good bug is a dead one! I was bit by a Brown recluse and it has been about 2 months and my arm is still jacked up, fortunately it isn't as bad as some that other people have had to deal with. I only had minor skin damage that will heal but some people get huge open nasty sores that don't heal.

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from deadeyedick wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Here's a little tip that I use to repel the the creepy crawly type bugs. Get 2 dog repellant collars and put one on each leg Put it on when you leave home and take it off when you return I have been doing it for a while with no ill affects and it does a good job and is less messy than sprays and lotions.

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from Happy Myles wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Deadeye,
That is a new, novel idea. I will take a couple collars with me. Oh, no chance of a sudden urge to lick myself, is there?

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from Happy Myles wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

I have observed the appearance of the repulsive, painful grubs on other folks in two different jungle camps in the past, so the experience cannot be uncommon.
Gee Whiz, Ontario, I know you are a great Montana hunter, but maybe I can help you with a list of better motels. Seriously, was staying in a famous hotel in Budapest. The room was glamorous, but so full of bedbugs they had to move me, really gross.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Dcast and Deadeye, those are a couple of great tips. Thanks.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Even great name hotels have bed bug infestations. Since with the advent of credit cards, even the unwashed masses of travellers can stay there! Check this out:

www.bedbugregistry.com/

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from RJ Arena wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

@Maxpower, for flying buggers, my least favorite is the black fly, especially in upper NY state, St. Lawrence county. It would rain and they were all over you, painful, and that was so many years ago!

The worst though are fire ants, I have lived in Florida a couple of times (about 20years total), and these buggers will eat you alive, I have seen animals fall into one of their mounds, struggling to get out then run into traffic trying to get away from them. for those of you luck enough to never encounter fire ants, they are extremely aggressive, if their mounds are disturbed they will swarm to thousands in seconds, every one of their attacks leaves a painful puss filled sore, you can have hundreds of these wounds in only a moment. they will also initiate an attack, invading homes, sheds,and cars.

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from tom warner wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

In regard to "Deet", I worked in a research lab back in the 1950's and we were able to gain quantities of Deet well before it was sold commercially. What a miracle it seemed to us! Most folks these days have no idea how superior Deet is to all the repellents that have gone before. A bunch of us have now used it all our long lives, including full strength, and have had no adverse reactions whatsoever. Of course everyone has different responses, but I would wager that bad reactions are extremely rare. The only bug that it does not appear to bother much are Deer and Moose flies, but works well for everything else. I love the dog collar idea and look forward to testing it.

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from Tim Platt wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Maxpower I am going to try some vanilla extract. I usually go out in the woods in August to hunt squirrels the weekend before dove season opens and the gnats plant themselves in your eyeballs and follow you around. Man the woods are dangerous in the summer, nothing but bugs.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Tim Platt,

Weren't you formerly known as Dr. Ralph or $%@$#*%, the artist formerly known as not Ralph, nor a Doctor?

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from RockySquirrel wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

The story I got when i was in Iraq was guys in would wear the collars to keep the sand fleas away and get nasty rash from the collar. I did put them in my sleeping area around the cot. And it seemed to keep some of the fleas down. But I wouldn’t put them next to skin.

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from Woods Walker wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

I can painfully attest from personal experience that you do not have to go to Dixie to find chiggers. A walk thru some of the goat prairies overlooking the Mississippi River here in Wisconsin at the right time of the year will give you the same wonderful chigger bite results.

I would be cautious about using dog collars - they work by absorbtion of the chemicals into the dog's body. I believe that most of them carry warnings on their packaging.

Regarding deet, I am personally aware of two people who were hospitalized for reactions to deet - one was a child and one was an adult. I will put deet on my hat or pant leg or boots but try not to get it on my skin.

For deer flies, I had some friends put me on to a two sided tape that we could apply to our hats - the flies were attracted to the tape and would stick there when they landed. Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate this product in recent years.

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from tom warner wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Woods Walker: You can find the tape you mentioned in the Piragis North Woods Co. canoeing catalog. They are in Ely, Minnesota - 1 (800) 223-6565. Good outfit and excellent catalog. I have used the tape and it works fairly well. However, I stick to what I said about Deet. I know countless people who have used it on their skin all their lives with no ill effects, including myself. If it were truly risky, there would have been many lawsuits over the years, and as far as I know there have not been. There will always be a few individuals in the general population that are sensitive to a particular chemical substance. I regard Deet as a major blessing, having spent much of my life fighting insect pests, including a lot time on the Canadian tundra, the worst place in the world for blood sucking insects. They drive Caribou literally insane. Before the days of Deet, life in the north was much more less pleasant. Good point about dog collars! I would be inclined to use them around pant cuffs, rather than in direct skin contact.

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from Shellcracker wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

I used deet when it is still warm out. I used to be afraid to put the chemical on me, but then came home from an archery hunt in north Florida and had 7, yes 7 ticks on me. I was finding them up to a week later in places that you don't want to hear about. I'm more afraid of what the skeeters and ticks can give me than I am of DEET now. I generally tuck my pants into my boots and spray it low and on my back and hat. I don't mind if a bit gets on the back of my neck, but I certainly don't coat my skin with it. Best to leave it on the outside of your clothes. Those thermacell things work miracles also. Finally, a word of advise, those red bugs live in spanish moss. Never handle it, use it for bedding etc. As a young scout I thought I would play with spanish moss and then got red bugs all over my nether regions. Not fun........

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from Happy Myles wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Mr Warner,
Always appreciate your comments, and agree on DEET. The benefits out weigh the minus's in bad insect country. I recall glassing a group of caribou, moving from dry ground onto a left over snow pack, against the contrasting white background you could see the mosquito cloud above their backs through the spotting scope. That is a passel of pests.

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from tom warner wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Happy Myles: I greatly pity the Caribou, which during the warm months seem to be constantly in misery. Mosquitoes and Black Flies I believe are the least of their tormenters. They are constantly attacked by Nose-bot flies and Warbles. The Nose-bots invade the nasal passages to lay their eggs resulting in countless bots clogging the passages and one would imagine cause great difficulty breathing. The warbles, lay their eggs in the animals fur and the larvae burrow into the skin and migrate to the back where they punch large breathing holes through the skin before eventually maturing and dropping to the ground. One can only imagine the discomfort that this must cause. Caribou commonly carry over 100 Warble larvae. You see the holes in possibly the majority of skins removed. Looks rather like a hit with a shotgun. Even one Warble Fly (sort of like a little Bumblebee) around a herd will send the entire bunch into a mad panic and stampede. Apparently the bite must be extremely painful. Parasitization, both external and internal on Caribou must have a huge effect on their overall health. During bug season I have watched a companion walking in front of me along an esker in the wind to be entirely covered with black Flies and Mosquitos on his lee side out of the breeze,..not to even mention Deer and Moose flies. I dearly love the far north, but emphatically not the insect aspect of it.

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from SMC1986 wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Dave,
All I can recommend for chiggers once they've bit you is chiggerex. I used to get them at least once a summer.

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from Tim Platt wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Yeah WAM, I was having trouble logging in one day and somehow clicked the "log in with Facebook" button and it changed my name. I no longer have to try six times to log in though. I am Dr. Ralph, famously neither a doctor nor a Ralph. The name Monsieur le Docteur Ralph was used as a pen name by Voltaire which by the way was a pen name too. The dude was so paranoid even his alias had an alias... and this was before they had drones.

The avatar is the same, a picture my wife took in the Smoky Mountains of a Tennessee elk.

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from Zermoid wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Luckily PA doesn't seem to have chiggers, but NJ sure did,
And yes, every guy I knew there who hunted owned a bottle of clear nail polish.

I used to wear a pair of Dog flea collars around my legs, just below the knees, to keep ticks and chiggers away during fall archery deer season. Worked very well and had no smell the deer could detect unlike sprays and lotions.

Tsetse flies sound alot like NJ Green Heads, a bite can make you jump! I've been stung by yellow jackets that hurt less......

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from blueticker wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

This will sound off the wall but I have done it many times & it works, no side effects noticed.
When turkey hunting, take a can of Yard Guard insecticide.Spray the tree base before you sit down, then take a seat, bow your head, close your eyes, & hold your breath for 15 sec while you spray the Yard Guard straight up above you and let it fall like snow on your clothing. You will be mosquito & deer fly free for as long as you sit there. I would not apply to bare skin, but it is made for picnic areas where kids play.

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from Happy Myles wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Tom Warner,
I too love the far north. Have not visited in recent years mainly due to advanced age and a few serious illnesses, just cannot take cold anymore. Surprisingly, Black Fly, and White Fly had slipped my mind, having vivid memories of both varieties, none good. As I recall, August was typically bad for insects, causing Inuits staying away from some areas. One summer in the Northwest Territories we when through a whole bolt of cheese cloth attempting to keep the Fly off any exposed skin.

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from Greg Hart wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

If you are unfortunate enough to end up with chigger bites, Benadryl spray, or it's generic equivalent, will help greatly in eliminating the maddening itch.
GH1

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from Happy Myles wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Permethrin may be purchased in spray cans or a kit for sort of a soak of exterior clothes., pants and shirts. The kit format comes with plastic bags and gloves to protect your skin. I have found the kit to be easier, less time consuming, and does a more thorough job. Just my opinion, but have used both types many times. Camping stores usually carry only the spray variety, but you can find the kit type by mail. Just one mans opinion not a blanke endorsement.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Gad, this thread has been a wealth of knowledge.

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from Gunny Bob wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

I can attest to the mosquitoes along the Kazan River at Kasba Lake (www.kasba.com), as I was with DEP when he was throwing dries at sickly willing killer Arctic grayling. Several times, although we were no more than 20 yards apart and the weather was clear, he actually disappeared from sight behind the winged assailants. All I could hear during these absences were grunts and profanity. Good advice: ignore the bugs and get to the Kazan, as in, now.

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from Gunny Bob wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Speaking of bugs, two nights ago I was treed in the Sangin Valley by an irate (and totally unprovoked) Afghan camel spider, which I am told is not even a real spider. Coulda fooled me.

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from O Garcia wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Bugs of any kind that go for the eyes, ears and nose are the worst if you're on a tree stand. You could fall just trying to shoo them off. A bug in your eye is not fun. It will have some spine, sharp joint, loose hair or wing scales (moths) that will irritate and injure your eye. And you definitely don't want one in your ear. You might go crazy when it starts wiggling and clawing inside.

They're also not welcome when you're trying to stay still while your deer of a lifetime is approaching.

Bugs are small, they need to pack a big punch. One of their defenses is usually some form of chemical weapon (and perhaps not coincidentally, this is also true in snakes, another animal group that Dave does not "like"). Venom is common, whether in stingers or in bites. Ants have formic acid. Caterpillars emit some foul-smelling, vile-tasting chemical that protects them from birds and ants. Then there's the amazing bombardier beetle, which operates like a liquid fuel rocket engine. It mixes, then shoots, a jet of hot chemicals at its assailants. It won't kill you, but if you happen to have bare hands, it will be very painful.

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from davidpetzal wrote 45 weeks 23 hours ago

Oho, so I can get on here once more. A word or two about Deet. I used to hunt at a camp in South Carolina where they would not let you use Deet indoors. If you wanted to apply the stuff, you had to go outside. They also advised against the use of 100 percent Deet; people put it on and then passed out in their stands from it.

I've also been told that 100 percent Deet is the only form that is really effective, and that it is the only thing that will keep tsetse flies off.

Also, if you want to kill a tsetse, don't simply slap it. They're armor plated, and will fly away. You use the slap and shove technique. Slap the thing, keep your hand down on it, and shove your hand forward, hard, squashing the little fiend against whatever it was biting.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 45 weeks 21 hours ago

Back in day, during the Great Unpleasantness in Southeast Asia, we were plagued with all manner of biting and bloodsucking pests. Mosquitoes chief among them. The bug juice they gave us was an attractant, I believe...

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 45 weeks 21 hours ago

Back in day, during the Great Unpleasantness in Southeast Asia, we were plagued with all manner of biting and bloodsucking pests. Mosquitoes chief among them. The bug juice they gave us was an attractant, I believe...

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from tom warner wrote 45 weeks 20 hours ago

Dave: More opinion on Deet. If, in fact, some of the tales you hear about the stuff, such as the above "passing out in stands" from the use of 100% were true (I seriously doubt all of them) don't you think that manufacturers of insect repellent's that use Deet in their product (virtually all of them) would have various disclaimers and warnings on their labeling if there were any real risks involved? And don't you think that any of the victims of adverse reactions would be bringing lawsuits right and left? If they have, I surely have not heard about it. As a person familiar with Diethyltoluamide (Deet) since before it was even marketed and who has used gallons of the stuff, along with my kids and friends, over the past 60 or more years, I feel that I speak from more experience than many. As previously mentioned, there will always be a few individuals in any population that may have a poor reaction to any chemical. That is to be expected. It rather seems to me that these few bad reactions have, as usual, been passed around from mouth to mouth, believed by many, and entered our folklore,..and other BS. It has never seemed to us that 100% is any more effective than the more dilute mixtures. Just don't have it on your hands while handling gun stocks, fishing reels, glasses frames and anything plastic. BAD for them! I tend to also think it is a poor idea to handle fishing lures when it's on your hands. We have had some indication that fish may be repelled by it. Anyway, if there is any more effective dope on the market, I want to hear about it ASAP.

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from tom warner wrote 45 weeks 16 hours ago

More on Deet and then I will not bore you any longer. My friends and I seem to have tried every brand of repellent known to man since the 1930's. Within the last 10 years or so we hit a brand called Watkins, which I think is the best so far. The bugs agree with me. It is a vanishing cream and cannot be detected on the skin shortly after application. We have only been able to buy it in Canada,(Quebec) although it must be sold many other places. Find it on the internet. Be sure to get the LOTION. It's by far the best. Contains 28.5% Deet, which is said to be the ideal percentage. It apparently contains other effective substances also, since I find it even fairly well repels Deer flies and Stable flies, those little demons that bite through your socks as you sit in your canoe or boat. Plain Deet does not seem to work for these. I regret to say that I have no clue as to its effect on Tsetse Flies, since they seem to be rare in Canada.

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from tunadave wrote 45 weeks 9 hours ago

Happy Miles and DEP,

I've used the Sawyer spray for the past three years and it works really well. I just follow the directions on the container and keep my stuff in a black plastic bag to prolong the treatment. Ever since I've been using it, I have yet to have any ticks bother me. I watched a tick on my pant leg last year during turkey season; he traveled about 1 1/2" on the treated fabric, started to stagger, and fell off. Mosquitoes won't try to land and bite through your clothing, the ticks drop off immediately, and the black flies don't seem as eager to land and bite. I still use just a dab of Deep Woods Off around my eyes, because they aren't protected by the clothing, and I treat my face mask with the permethrin. I got tired of shelling out the money for treating the clothing every 6 washings or 42 days, so I splurged and bought some of Gamehide's Elimitick clothing and a long sleeved InsectShield T-shirt from Zorrel. They are impregnated with Permethrin and are supposed to last 70 washings; longer than the garment should last. I've been wearing the stuff while working in my garden and turkey hunting this spring, and it works great(we are having a record breaking mosquito and tick year this year). Comfortable, durable clothing, priced less than if I had to buy the spray and treat all the time, and it seems to work flawlessly. I'm not doing a commercial for these people; I'm just a satisfied customer. You can get the Elimitick stuff from LLBean or Gamehide(Bean was cheaper) and the Zorrel shirt from Amazon.

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from makerofshoes wrote 45 weeks 8 hours ago

It's a common misconception that chiggers bury themselves under your skin. That being said, chigger bites are exactly as irritating and long-lasting as described. Even though they don't actually get under your skin and need to be suffocated, I find that New Skin liquid bandage helps provide some relief from the itching as it keeps the bites from being exposed to air and from rubbing against your underwear waistband and other similar spots where they like to bite. It also works great for minor cuts, scrapes and blisters since it's an antiseptic and forms a waterproof seal. Fair warning: It burns like crazy and hurts ten times worse than your injury, but it's the best stuff to use if you need something waterproof. Oh, and it uses clove oil as the antiseptic, so you'd better really, really, really love the smell of cloves!

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from shoe wrote 45 weeks 8 hours ago

It's a common misconception that chiggers bury themselves under your skin. That being said, chigger bites are exactly as irritating and long-lasting as described. Even though they don't actually get under your skin and need to be suffocated, I find that New Skin liquid bandage helps provide some relief from the itching as it keeps the bites from being exposed to air and from rubbing against your underwear waistband and other similar spots where they like to bite. It also works great for minor cuts, scrapes and blisters since it's an antiseptic and forms a waterproof seal. Fair warning: It burns like crazy and hurts ten times worse than your injury, but it's the best stuff to use if you need something waterproof. Oh, and it uses clove oil as the antiseptic, so you'd better really, really, really love the smell of cloves!

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from shoe wrote 45 weeks 8 hours ago

Sorry about the double post. I accidentally logged in under an old profile. It's too bad this website is so well designed that you can't delete old profiles or even comments.

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from haverodwilltravel wrote 45 weeks 3 hours ago

IMHO for flying insects (black flies,"skeeters", etc) there is nothing better than a Thermacell.

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from tunadave wrote 44 weeks 6 days ago

Oops! Sorry to neglect the Thermacell aspect. I do use them religiously when I'm on a stand and they really work well. On my recent successful turkey hunt I had it with me, but the tom came in so fast I never had time to fire it up and get it working (takes a couple of minutes, you know), so I just let a couple of mosquitoes have their way with me next to my eyes and shot the tom. Fifteen minute walk to the field, set a decoy after he gobbled about a 100 yards off, scrambled to set down next to an oak, ten minutes later I'm tagging him. Not often this easy, but that's turkeys for you.

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from Iklwa wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

I once mowed a lot for my Father-in –Law during the summer in the Texas Hill Country )just outside of Kerrville). It was a blistering day and when I finished; my Father-in-Law met me at the back door holding a jug of Clorox chlorine bleach.

He said, “Here, take this and wash off in the bathroom and then take a shower or the chiggers will kill you.”

Being younger and somewhat dumber than now, along with feeling no bites led me to arrogantly say, Naa, I’ll be OK. They don’t bother me much.
I took my shower and later in the evening little tingles of itching began. The Old Guy gets up from his chair and saying nothing disappears while I absent-mindedly scratch more and more sites on my ever more sensitive hide. He returns, bearing that same jug and just holds it out in the air.

It stunk but it killed the blighters.

Now, when even the remote chance of chigger infestation arises you will find me in some bathroom swabbing my body (yes, in all those places, it turns out they like where the cloth fits most closely) with a wash cloth and Clorox.
The most odd fact is: after the swabbing bit and a good rinse, you don’t smell like bleach!
Of course it could be because your olfactory gland has been seared over and is now encased by a thick layer of scar tissue…I don’t know.
I do know the nightmarish tormentors die before they get the chance to do any damage.

Thank God we don’t have Tsetse here!

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from Robert Dawson wrote 43 weeks 1 day ago

Insects are the most deadly animals to humans

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from tleichty1989 wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

Living in Iowa I constantly was told by my mom growing up to not lay in the grass, might I get chiggers. I never really knew what a "chigger" was until recently. I just thought it was a mythical creature that kept little suburban kids from getting dirty. haha

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from Savageshot wrote 37 weeks 5 days ago

rynoskin, anyone heard of it?

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from Savageshot wrote 37 weeks 5 days ago

rynoskin, anyone heard of it?

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from Happy Myles wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

I spent the morning soaking clothes in Sawyers Permethrin solution preparing for my departure next week for Cameroon,just took a break and noticed your timely comments on African insects. A subject near though not dear to my heart. You have the chemical warfare about right, DEET and Permethrin slow them down if not stop them. African mosquitoes are not as bothersome as their huge cousins in North America, but often far more deadly. Malaria. Tsetse flie bites are so sharp they instantly make me angry. I too, have noticed if one is bitten often enough some bites will cause an allergic reaction on some bite sites. Antihistamines and a poultice in the evening sometimes help.
May have told this story before, but it makes me chuckle when I think of it. Once up in the Savannah of the C. A. R. I shared a camp with a beautiful French, female biologist of note . The first night she gave me a very intellectual discourse on the merits of a natural herb insect repellant she used in contrast to my horrible DEET. The tsetse fly were frightening, by day three she was willing to give up, well, most anything for a share of my DEET and some of my antihistamine.
Your last sentence says it all. The fly keeps domestic livestock out of game areas, so I grit my teeth and put up with them

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from Happy Myles wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

Forgot to mention one other interesting little bug. Sweat bees (flies) they don't bite but drive you crazy by seeking out any drop of moisture, eyes, mouth, and ears. A head net is the only way to gain some relief. I have been fascinated watching trackers with fists cupped around their eyes, forefingers moving like windshield wipers futilely attempting to clear the sweat bees from their vision while attempting to focus on the track. Great men.
Then there are the six inch scorpions and eight inch centipedes.....

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from Treestand wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

The only Bug I like was my 1965 VW Beetle, Its Name was "RAID the killer Bug"

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from deadeyedick wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Here's a little tip that I use to repel the the creepy crawly type bugs. Get 2 dog repellant collars and put one on each leg Put it on when you leave home and take it off when you return I have been doing it for a while with no ill affects and it does a good job and is less messy than sprays and lotions.

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from Happy Myles wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

I have read anything more than ten per cent DEET is not useful and unwise. No question it is rough stuff, have seen it take skin off a person and paint off a car.

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from MaxPower wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

Anyone deal with Black Flies? I got hounded by those little buggers every summer in Ontario, they like to crawl into hair and under clothes before biting. The effect is a mildly itchy sore that hurts like crazy/scabs up when you scratch it.

Also should mention a good cure for gnats. While working the Bakken oilfields in North Dakota they got pretty bad, so my aunt told me to put a dab of vanilla extract on areas of exposed skin. Worked like a charm, also made it so I didn't have to swat at them while hunting coyotes on my days off.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

And let's not forget the bedbugs and crabs lurking in the cheap hunting season Worst Western motels.

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from tom warner wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

In regard to "Deet", I worked in a research lab back in the 1950's and we were able to gain quantities of Deet well before it was sold commercially. What a miracle it seemed to us! Most folks these days have no idea how superior Deet is to all the repellents that have gone before. A bunch of us have now used it all our long lives, including full strength, and have had no adverse reactions whatsoever. Of course everyone has different responses, but I would wager that bad reactions are extremely rare. The only bug that it does not appear to bother much are Deer and Moose flies, but works well for everything else. I love the dog collar idea and look forward to testing it.

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from tom warner wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Woods Walker: You can find the tape you mentioned in the Piragis North Woods Co. canoeing catalog. They are in Ely, Minnesota - 1 (800) 223-6565. Good outfit and excellent catalog. I have used the tape and it works fairly well. However, I stick to what I said about Deet. I know countless people who have used it on their skin all their lives with no ill effects, including myself. If it were truly risky, there would have been many lawsuits over the years, and as far as I know there have not been. There will always be a few individuals in the general population that are sensitive to a particular chemical substance. I regard Deet as a major blessing, having spent much of my life fighting insect pests, including a lot time on the Canadian tundra, the worst place in the world for blood sucking insects. They drive Caribou literally insane. Before the days of Deet, life in the north was much more less pleasant. Good point about dog collars! I would be inclined to use them around pant cuffs, rather than in direct skin contact.

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from tom warner wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Happy Myles: I greatly pity the Caribou, which during the warm months seem to be constantly in misery. Mosquitoes and Black Flies I believe are the least of their tormenters. They are constantly attacked by Nose-bot flies and Warbles. The Nose-bots invade the nasal passages to lay their eggs resulting in countless bots clogging the passages and one would imagine cause great difficulty breathing. The warbles, lay their eggs in the animals fur and the larvae burrow into the skin and migrate to the back where they punch large breathing holes through the skin before eventually maturing and dropping to the ground. One can only imagine the discomfort that this must cause. Caribou commonly carry over 100 Warble larvae. You see the holes in possibly the majority of skins removed. Looks rather like a hit with a shotgun. Even one Warble Fly (sort of like a little Bumblebee) around a herd will send the entire bunch into a mad panic and stampede. Apparently the bite must be extremely painful. Parasitization, both external and internal on Caribou must have a huge effect on their overall health. During bug season I have watched a companion walking in front of me along an esker in the wind to be entirely covered with black Flies and Mosquitos on his lee side out of the breeze,..not to even mention Deer and Moose flies. I dearly love the far north, but emphatically not the insect aspect of it.

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from Happy Myles wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Tom Warner,
I too love the far north. Have not visited in recent years mainly due to advanced age and a few serious illnesses, just cannot take cold anymore. Surprisingly, Black Fly, and White Fly had slipped my mind, having vivid memories of both varieties, none good. As I recall, August was typically bad for insects, causing Inuits staying away from some areas. One summer in the Northwest Territories we when through a whole bolt of cheese cloth attempting to keep the Fly off any exposed skin.

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from Happy Myles wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Permethrin may be purchased in spray cans or a kit for sort of a soak of exterior clothes., pants and shirts. The kit format comes with plastic bags and gloves to protect your skin. I have found the kit to be easier, less time consuming, and does a more thorough job. Just my opinion, but have used both types many times. Camping stores usually carry only the spray variety, but you can find the kit type by mail. Just one mans opinion not a blanke endorsement.

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from hermit crab wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

"However, nothing is all bad, and tsetses kill native cattle, which means that game can live in fly country because the cows can’t."

Wow, that's cold, even for you... I'm sure all the over-nourished Africans of sub-equatorial Africa share this sentiment?

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from deadeyedick wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

not to mention all the nasty diseases that one can get from the little bastards. I think God put bugs on the earth for the sole purpose of making the human race miserable.
Here along Lake Erie we have muffleheads or as some cll them canadian soldiers. Actually they are midges. They do not bite ( thank God) but we have them in the bazillions and they get into everything and I do mean everything. With all that food around the spiders grow to a hundred pounds or so which leads into a very Sci-Fi flick only it would be real

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from bsheahan1229 wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

A person I know was camping, and he had some 99.99% DEET bug spray. He decided to put copious all over his face, and the whole thing swelled up like a balloon. Nice way to spend Boy Scout summer camp.

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from PbHead wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

Thanks for letting us know what bugs you Dave.

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from FirstBubba wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

Chiggers, ticks, buffalo ga-nats, scorpions and the assorted wasps-es-es (waust?) and other "flip-tail" vermin give me shivers! I've had chiggers bad enough to run fever!
Happy,
I grant you and DEP my share of African insect-ites! (?)

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from Tim Platt wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

My wife got Rocky Mountain spotted fever last year. NC/TN border it is rampant and her sister lives there. I am in the woods a thousand more hours a year than her but she gets the wrong tick.

She kept saying her knees and ankles hurt and I was like, well yeah you turn 50 next year. Wrong answer. When her ankles swelled and red stripes started running up her legs it was time to visit the doctor who couldn't believe it. His first questions were have you been to the TN/NC border recently or had a tick bite? Yes and yes.

Bugs generally despise me, same as most other living creatures, story of my life. I went turkey hunting one time and my friend had thirty some odd ticks on him and I had five.

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from RockySquirrel wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

And lets not forget that always popular Bots Fly of which each continent (and I could be wrong about this) has their own variety. Bites are 1 thing, but leaving their eggs to maggot in your hide is more than I can take. And many of you Iraq vets will remember the sand flea (or is it fly, can’t remember) bites that never ever heal or when you think they do, come back like clock work months or even a year later. Try explaining at parties, why your face looks like some gross disease gone wild.

Also, don’t smoke when applying or soon after applying DEET. I don’t know if it is flammable, but that oil will transfer to your cigar from your hands and make you very very sick when it burns down that far. That I know.

Lets talk flora too. Simple poison ivy. If I am anywhere near it, I get the blisters that take forever to heal. And because of the extra carbon dioxide in the air, P.I. is going wild. Out fishing 2 days ago, I noticed whole hedgerows of poison Ivy on shore.

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from O Garcia wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

don't forget ants. they can actually consume you.

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from buckhunter wrote 45 weeks 3 days ago

I recall a Northern Manitoba bear hunt, I was in stand when I heard the whine of the guides boat motor nearing my pick up point. I trotted down to the beach but he was not there. After getting back into stand I realized the noise I heard was the increasing deafening buzz of mosquito's as dusk neared.

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from nehunter92 wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

MaxPower
I too, am no stranger to the unholy scourge known as Black Flies. Here in New England they are a common hazard encountered during spring turkey season. They can certainly be annoying, and have this odd habit of nearly always attacking (in swarms) either your ears or your eyeballs. The good news is that since black flies themselves are small with small mouths, they are easily stopped by a thin layer of clothing. I had them all over this past season, but never actually got bit by a sinlge one. The giant mutant mosquitoes on the other hand, laugh in the face of thin shirts and glove liners, easily penetrating them. I have come back from some hunts with as many 8 bites on each hand (the only part of my body that’s semi exposed.)
Still, neither of these creatures strike as much fear into my heart as those little arachnid abominations known as ticks. We have several varieties of them here, including the infamous deer tick. I have been lucky enough to avoid lymes disease so Far, but always manage to get one good tick bite a season. They are like spider bites that take forever to go away. I hate them.

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from Tom-Tom wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Perhaps Vietnam could have been a resounding victory had we dispersed mega-millions of chiggers on the jungles instead of agent orange.

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from Mark-1 wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Yup. Here in Western NY the deerflies hatched two-days ago. The black flies hatch in the North County [Adacks Mts] May 15th.

There's also something called "No See'Em's". Little black flies with jaws like a bear trap.

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from Dcast wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Rocky, The Bot fly is nasty! My 6th grade science teacher (Mrs. MkClean) was in from what I can remember the Amazon and was impregnated with a larvae. She told all her students about it then proceeds to show everyone the actual maggot which was disgusting and terrifyingly huge! She said she went to her doctor after coming home and told him of an odd pain in neck/shoulder and said she felt like something was moving in there but he couldn't figure it out. After another several days the pain was so intense she went back to him at which time he noticed a swollen red area so he lanced it to relieve pressure and found the maggot just under the skin. This thing was the size of a 9mm bullet (as close as I can describe the size)!

OH, brings up a good bug to watch for, the bedbug. If you stay in any hotel before taking all of your belongings into your home leave them outside and put your clothes in the dryer on high for 15min to kill any that might have hitched a ride home with you. Make sure you do this with EVERYTHING! Here in Ohio the bedbugs are a serious problem and many public places have them such as hospitals, hotels, schools, etc... My wife and I do everything we can to prevent getting them. The kids clothes come off after school and go directly to the dryer. It is a constant battle to keep from getting them but it is worth it because once you get them your screwed.

I personally hate all bugs and the only good bug is a dead one! I was bit by a Brown recluse and it has been about 2 months and my arm is still jacked up, fortunately it isn't as bad as some that other people have had to deal with. I only had minor skin damage that will heal but some people get huge open nasty sores that don't heal.

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from Happy Myles wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Deadeye,
That is a new, novel idea. I will take a couple collars with me. Oh, no chance of a sudden urge to lick myself, is there?

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from Happy Myles wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

I have observed the appearance of the repulsive, painful grubs on other folks in two different jungle camps in the past, so the experience cannot be uncommon.
Gee Whiz, Ontario, I know you are a great Montana hunter, but maybe I can help you with a list of better motels. Seriously, was staying in a famous hotel in Budapest. The room was glamorous, but so full of bedbugs they had to move me, really gross.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Dcast and Deadeye, those are a couple of great tips. Thanks.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Even great name hotels have bed bug infestations. Since with the advent of credit cards, even the unwashed masses of travellers can stay there! Check this out:

www.bedbugregistry.com/

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from RJ Arena wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

@Maxpower, for flying buggers, my least favorite is the black fly, especially in upper NY state, St. Lawrence county. It would rain and they were all over you, painful, and that was so many years ago!

The worst though are fire ants, I have lived in Florida a couple of times (about 20years total), and these buggers will eat you alive, I have seen animals fall into one of their mounds, struggling to get out then run into traffic trying to get away from them. for those of you luck enough to never encounter fire ants, they are extremely aggressive, if their mounds are disturbed they will swarm to thousands in seconds, every one of their attacks leaves a painful puss filled sore, you can have hundreds of these wounds in only a moment. they will also initiate an attack, invading homes, sheds,and cars.

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from Tim Platt wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Maxpower I am going to try some vanilla extract. I usually go out in the woods in August to hunt squirrels the weekend before dove season opens and the gnats plant themselves in your eyeballs and follow you around. Man the woods are dangerous in the summer, nothing but bugs.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

Tim Platt,

Weren't you formerly known as Dr. Ralph or $%@$#*%, the artist formerly known as not Ralph, nor a Doctor?

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from RockySquirrel wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

The story I got when i was in Iraq was guys in would wear the collars to keep the sand fleas away and get nasty rash from the collar. I did put them in my sleeping area around the cot. And it seemed to keep some of the fleas down. But I wouldn’t put them next to skin.

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from Woods Walker wrote 45 weeks 2 days ago

I can painfully attest from personal experience that you do not have to go to Dixie to find chiggers. A walk thru some of the goat prairies overlooking the Mississippi River here in Wisconsin at the right time of the year will give you the same wonderful chigger bite results.

I would be cautious about using dog collars - they work by absorbtion of the chemicals into the dog's body. I believe that most of them carry warnings on their packaging.

Regarding deet, I am personally aware of two people who were hospitalized for reactions to deet - one was a child and one was an adult. I will put deet on my hat or pant leg or boots but try not to get it on my skin.

For deer flies, I had some friends put me on to a two sided tape that we could apply to our hats - the flies were attracted to the tape and would stick there when they landed. Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate this product in recent years.

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from Shellcracker wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

I used deet when it is still warm out. I used to be afraid to put the chemical on me, but then came home from an archery hunt in north Florida and had 7, yes 7 ticks on me. I was finding them up to a week later in places that you don't want to hear about. I'm more afraid of what the skeeters and ticks can give me than I am of DEET now. I generally tuck my pants into my boots and spray it low and on my back and hat. I don't mind if a bit gets on the back of my neck, but I certainly don't coat my skin with it. Best to leave it on the outside of your clothes. Those thermacell things work miracles also. Finally, a word of advise, those red bugs live in spanish moss. Never handle it, use it for bedding etc. As a young scout I thought I would play with spanish moss and then got red bugs all over my nether regions. Not fun........

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from Happy Myles wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Mr Warner,
Always appreciate your comments, and agree on DEET. The benefits out weigh the minus's in bad insect country. I recall glassing a group of caribou, moving from dry ground onto a left over snow pack, against the contrasting white background you could see the mosquito cloud above their backs through the spotting scope. That is a passel of pests.

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from SMC1986 wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Dave,
All I can recommend for chiggers once they've bit you is chiggerex. I used to get them at least once a summer.

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from Tim Platt wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Yeah WAM, I was having trouble logging in one day and somehow clicked the "log in with Facebook" button and it changed my name. I no longer have to try six times to log in though. I am Dr. Ralph, famously neither a doctor nor a Ralph. The name Monsieur le Docteur Ralph was used as a pen name by Voltaire which by the way was a pen name too. The dude was so paranoid even his alias had an alias... and this was before they had drones.

The avatar is the same, a picture my wife took in the Smoky Mountains of a Tennessee elk.

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from Zermoid wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Luckily PA doesn't seem to have chiggers, but NJ sure did,
And yes, every guy I knew there who hunted owned a bottle of clear nail polish.

I used to wear a pair of Dog flea collars around my legs, just below the knees, to keep ticks and chiggers away during fall archery deer season. Worked very well and had no smell the deer could detect unlike sprays and lotions.

Tsetse flies sound alot like NJ Green Heads, a bite can make you jump! I've been stung by yellow jackets that hurt less......

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from blueticker wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

This will sound off the wall but I have done it many times & it works, no side effects noticed.
When turkey hunting, take a can of Yard Guard insecticide.Spray the tree base before you sit down, then take a seat, bow your head, close your eyes, & hold your breath for 15 sec while you spray the Yard Guard straight up above you and let it fall like snow on your clothing. You will be mosquito & deer fly free for as long as you sit there. I would not apply to bare skin, but it is made for picnic areas where kids play.

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from Greg Hart wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

If you are unfortunate enough to end up with chigger bites, Benadryl spray, or it's generic equivalent, will help greatly in eliminating the maddening itch.
GH1

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Gad, this thread has been a wealth of knowledge.

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from Gunny Bob wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

I can attest to the mosquitoes along the Kazan River at Kasba Lake (www.kasba.com), as I was with DEP when he was throwing dries at sickly willing killer Arctic grayling. Several times, although we were no more than 20 yards apart and the weather was clear, he actually disappeared from sight behind the winged assailants. All I could hear during these absences were grunts and profanity. Good advice: ignore the bugs and get to the Kazan, as in, now.

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from Gunny Bob wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Speaking of bugs, two nights ago I was treed in the Sangin Valley by an irate (and totally unprovoked) Afghan camel spider, which I am told is not even a real spider. Coulda fooled me.

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from O Garcia wrote 45 weeks 1 day ago

Bugs of any kind that go for the eyes, ears and nose are the worst if you're on a tree stand. You could fall just trying to shoo them off. A bug in your eye is not fun. It will have some spine, sharp joint, loose hair or wing scales (moths) that will irritate and injure your eye. And you definitely don't want one in your ear. You might go crazy when it starts wiggling and clawing inside.

They're also not welcome when you're trying to stay still while your deer of a lifetime is approaching.

Bugs are small, they need to pack a big punch. One of their defenses is usually some form of chemical weapon (and perhaps not coincidentally, this is also true in snakes, another animal group that Dave does not "like"). Venom is common, whether in stingers or in bites. Ants have formic acid. Caterpillars emit some foul-smelling, vile-tasting chemical that protects them from birds and ants. Then there's the amazing bombardier beetle, which operates like a liquid fuel rocket engine. It mixes, then shoots, a jet of hot chemicals at its assailants. It won't kill you, but if you happen to have bare hands, it will be very painful.

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from davidpetzal wrote 45 weeks 23 hours ago

Oho, so I can get on here once more. A word or two about Deet. I used to hunt at a camp in South Carolina where they would not let you use Deet indoors. If you wanted to apply the stuff, you had to go outside. They also advised against the use of 100 percent Deet; people put it on and then passed out in their stands from it.

I've also been told that 100 percent Deet is the only form that is really effective, and that it is the only thing that will keep tsetse flies off.

Also, if you want to kill a tsetse, don't simply slap it. They're armor plated, and will fly away. You use the slap and shove technique. Slap the thing, keep your hand down on it, and shove your hand forward, hard, squashing the little fiend against whatever it was biting.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 45 weeks 21 hours ago

Back in day, during the Great Unpleasantness in Southeast Asia, we were plagued with all manner of biting and bloodsucking pests. Mosquitoes chief among them. The bug juice they gave us was an attractant, I believe...

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 45 weeks 21 hours ago

Back in day, during the Great Unpleasantness in Southeast Asia, we were plagued with all manner of biting and bloodsucking pests. Mosquitoes chief among them. The bug juice they gave us was an attractant, I believe...

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from tom warner wrote 45 weeks 20 hours ago

Dave: More opinion on Deet. If, in fact, some of the tales you hear about the stuff, such as the above "passing out in stands" from the use of 100% were true (I seriously doubt all of them) don't you think that manufacturers of insect repellent's that use Deet in their product (virtually all of them) would have various disclaimers and warnings on their labeling if there were any real risks involved? And don't you think that any of the victims of adverse reactions would be bringing lawsuits right and left? If they have, I surely have not heard about it. As a person familiar with Diethyltoluamide (Deet) since before it was even marketed and who has used gallons of the stuff, along with my kids and friends, over the past 60 or more years, I feel that I speak from more experience than many. As previously mentioned, there will always be a few individuals in any population that may have a poor reaction to any chemical. That is to be expected. It rather seems to me that these few bad reactions have, as usual, been passed around from mouth to mouth, believed by many, and entered our folklore,..and other BS. It has never seemed to us that 100% is any more effective than the more dilute mixtures. Just don't have it on your hands while handling gun stocks, fishing reels, glasses frames and anything plastic. BAD for them! I tend to also think it is a poor idea to handle fishing lures when it's on your hands. We have had some indication that fish may be repelled by it. Anyway, if there is any more effective dope on the market, I want to hear about it ASAP.

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from tom warner wrote 45 weeks 16 hours ago

More on Deet and then I will not bore you any longer. My friends and I seem to have tried every brand of repellent known to man since the 1930's. Within the last 10 years or so we hit a brand called Watkins, which I think is the best so far. The bugs agree with me. It is a vanishing cream and cannot be detected on the skin shortly after application. We have only been able to buy it in Canada,(Quebec) although it must be sold many other places. Find it on the internet. Be sure to get the LOTION. It's by far the best. Contains 28.5% Deet, which is said to be the ideal percentage. It apparently contains other effective substances also, since I find it even fairly well repels Deer flies and Stable flies, those little demons that bite through your socks as you sit in your canoe or boat. Plain Deet does not seem to work for these. I regret to say that I have no clue as to its effect on Tsetse Flies, since they seem to be rare in Canada.

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from tunadave wrote 45 weeks 9 hours ago

Happy Miles and DEP,

I've used the Sawyer spray for the past three years and it works really well. I just follow the directions on the container and keep my stuff in a black plastic bag to prolong the treatment. Ever since I've been using it, I have yet to have any ticks bother me. I watched a tick on my pant leg last year during turkey season; he traveled about 1 1/2" on the treated fabric, started to stagger, and fell off. Mosquitoes won't try to land and bite through your clothing, the ticks drop off immediately, and the black flies don't seem as eager to land and bite. I still use just a dab of Deep Woods Off around my eyes, because they aren't protected by the clothing, and I treat my face mask with the permethrin. I got tired of shelling out the money for treating the clothing every 6 washings or 42 days, so I splurged and bought some of Gamehide's Elimitick clothing and a long sleeved InsectShield T-shirt from Zorrel. They are impregnated with Permethrin and are supposed to last 70 washings; longer than the garment should last. I've been wearing the stuff while working in my garden and turkey hunting this spring, and it works great(we are having a record breaking mosquito and tick year this year). Comfortable, durable clothing, priced less than if I had to buy the spray and treat all the time, and it seems to work flawlessly. I'm not doing a commercial for these people; I'm just a satisfied customer. You can get the Elimitick stuff from LLBean or Gamehide(Bean was cheaper) and the Zorrel shirt from Amazon.

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from makerofshoes wrote 45 weeks 8 hours ago

It's a common misconception that chiggers bury themselves under your skin. That being said, chigger bites are exactly as irritating and long-lasting as described. Even though they don't actually get under your skin and need to be suffocated, I find that New Skin liquid bandage helps provide some relief from the itching as it keeps the bites from being exposed to air and from rubbing against your underwear waistband and other similar spots where they like to bite. It also works great for minor cuts, scrapes and blisters since it's an antiseptic and forms a waterproof seal. Fair warning: It burns like crazy and hurts ten times worse than your injury, but it's the best stuff to use if you need something waterproof. Oh, and it uses clove oil as the antiseptic, so you'd better really, really, really love the smell of cloves!

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from shoe wrote 45 weeks 8 hours ago

It's a common misconception that chiggers bury themselves under your skin. That being said, chigger bites are exactly as irritating and long-lasting as described. Even though they don't actually get under your skin and need to be suffocated, I find that New Skin liquid bandage helps provide some relief from the itching as it keeps the bites from being exposed to air and from rubbing against your underwear waistband and other similar spots where they like to bite. It also works great for minor cuts, scrapes and blisters since it's an antiseptic and forms a waterproof seal. Fair warning: It burns like crazy and hurts ten times worse than your injury, but it's the best stuff to use if you need something waterproof. Oh, and it uses clove oil as the antiseptic, so you'd better really, really, really love the smell of cloves!

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from shoe wrote 45 weeks 8 hours ago

Sorry about the double post. I accidentally logged in under an old profile. It's too bad this website is so well designed that you can't delete old profiles or even comments.

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from haverodwilltravel wrote 45 weeks 3 hours ago

IMHO for flying insects (black flies,"skeeters", etc) there is nothing better than a Thermacell.

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from tunadave wrote 44 weeks 6 days ago

Oops! Sorry to neglect the Thermacell aspect. I do use them religiously when I'm on a stand and they really work well. On my recent successful turkey hunt I had it with me, but the tom came in so fast I never had time to fire it up and get it working (takes a couple of minutes, you know), so I just let a couple of mosquitoes have their way with me next to my eyes and shot the tom. Fifteen minute walk to the field, set a decoy after he gobbled about a 100 yards off, scrambled to set down next to an oak, ten minutes later I'm tagging him. Not often this easy, but that's turkeys for you.

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from Iklwa wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

I once mowed a lot for my Father-in –Law during the summer in the Texas Hill Country )just outside of Kerrville). It was a blistering day and when I finished; my Father-in-Law met me at the back door holding a jug of Clorox chlorine bleach.

He said, “Here, take this and wash off in the bathroom and then take a shower or the chiggers will kill you.”

Being younger and somewhat dumber than now, along with feeling no bites led me to arrogantly say, Naa, I’ll be OK. They don’t bother me much.
I took my shower and later in the evening little tingles of itching began. The Old Guy gets up from his chair and saying nothing disappears while I absent-mindedly scratch more and more sites on my ever more sensitive hide. He returns, bearing that same jug and just holds it out in the air.

It stunk but it killed the blighters.

Now, when even the remote chance of chigger infestation arises you will find me in some bathroom swabbing my body (yes, in all those places, it turns out they like where the cloth fits most closely) with a wash cloth and Clorox.
The most odd fact is: after the swabbing bit and a good rinse, you don’t smell like bleach!
Of course it could be because your olfactory gland has been seared over and is now encased by a thick layer of scar tissue…I don’t know.
I do know the nightmarish tormentors die before they get the chance to do any damage.

Thank God we don’t have Tsetse here!

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from Robert Dawson wrote 43 weeks 1 day ago

Insects are the most deadly animals to humans

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from tleichty1989 wrote 40 weeks 5 days ago

Living in Iowa I constantly was told by my mom growing up to not lay in the grass, might I get chiggers. I never really knew what a "chigger" was until recently. I just thought it was a mythical creature that kept little suburban kids from getting dirty. haha

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from Savageshot wrote 37 weeks 5 days ago

rynoskin, anyone heard of it?

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from Savageshot wrote 37 weeks 5 days ago

rynoskin, anyone heard of it?

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