Saturday, 21 May 2011

Bugs, moose and ticks

PreviewWith many of us in cottage country fighting with our May/June bugs: black flies usually come out in May in Muskoka, then, when it warms, the ubiquitous mosquito. Living further south, the climate is about 5 degrees warmer and the May Muskoka blackflies have died in our Lanark County heat. (PTL!)

For those who feel sorry for themselves, or grump against the trials and tribulations of nature, read about the poor old moose in Algonquin Park.

Moose are fighting with ticks. They suck the blood from the moose, the moose lick, groom and desperately rub against trees. The healthy moose make it through the winter with them. The ill moose not so much.

little bee

big bee

dragonfly can eat food equal to its own weight
 in about 30 minutes.


Winter Tick in Moose and Other Ungulates
This disease is caused by a species of tick known variously as the Winter Tick, Moose Tick, or Elk Tick. Its scientific name is Dermacentor albipictus. The CCWHC has close up tick photos. I have previously grossed out some of my readers, I'll warn you if you visit their site! Ticks in close-up, engorged in moose blood.

The centre also stated that 20,000 female ticks consume roughly 40 litres of blood during February and March alone. On average, a 400-kilogram moose has only 32 litres of blood.
An infestation becomes disease when 40,000 ticks feast on one moose.

For more information (and gross photos!) on winter tick disease, visit the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre.

Here is an interesting news item:

With plans afoot to reintroduce moose, beavers, wolves and bears to Scotland, Natasha Stillwell goes in search of their Canadian cousins.

In search of the Canadianmoose
5 min - 10 Aug 2010
Uploaded by STVScotland


Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Hello! Great photos, thanks for sharing. I am going to visit the tick site, I hate those darn things.................

Kay L. Davies said...

Amazing insect photos, Jenn, but I must say I liked the video best. I love Scottish accents (they remind me of my grandparents) and I find it fascinating that anyone is considering re-stocking Scotland, not just with moose, but with beavers, wolves and bears. Bears! That would put an end to all those walking/hiking tours of Scotland, wouldn't it?
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Becca said...

Ticks are just awful! My dog was picking them up for a while and ick!

Anonymous said...

The ticks come out as soon as it thaws.. .got to take the good with the bad I guess.

Unknown said...

Great post!! Boom says if we just stay cold we don't have to deal with these bugs. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Kay said...

Bugs! I can relate to this post. We really have the bugs in Hawaii! I got bit by a tick once and I really feel for those moose.

eileeninmd said...

We have been seeing a lot of ticks around here. I love the moose, they are cool critters. Great photos of all the insects.