Monday 4 July 2011

Bug season is going full throttle!

No, not Bugs Bunny!
But sometimes I'd like to shoot our bugs with something other than a camera.

In Muskoka...
May is blackfly season, June begins mosquito season, by July the deerflies fly off with chunks of your skin, then the horsefly, even larger, haul chunks of your carcass.

Living, as I am, in Lanark County, near Perth, we are about 5 degrees warmer, and the warmer, more temporate climate, means that mosquito season begins earlier. The blackflies are almost gone, as the heat of the day dries up the ponds where they laid their eggs last fall.

I posted on Facebook that I have never been bitten by a blackfly, mosquito and deerfly all on one day! The mosquitoes like the cooler mornings and evening. The deerflies love the heat. We live in the middle of a protected wetland. We are sitting ducks, er... humans!

There are ways to protect yourself. If you haven't protected yourself, be sure to get something to put on the bite afterwards, especially for children. When I taught school in Parry Sound, kids would come to school with their legs covered in bug bites. It pained me to see it!

Patches for your cap, found at Lee Valley Tools

Bug hat
Bug shirt - you can spray the outside of the shirt
with bug repellent.
The deerflies bite right through clothing!
Blackfly bite
 Bug spray, if you don't wear long pants, will keep them at bay. For awhile, if you aren't, say, gardening!!! Once bitten, treat the bites right away with something. It really helps.

5 days after the bite

Spider on electric toothbrush.
They eat bugs!

Lyme Disease Lanark County Health Unit

- As temperatures rise above 4ºC, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit would like to remind you that while enjoying and working outdoors you should take precautions to avoid being bitten by ticks. Lyme disease has been identified in the health unit region and is now considered to be a risk here.

The symptoms of Lyme disease usually happen in three stages, although not all patients have every symptom. The first sign of infection is usually a circular rash called erythema migrans or EM. This rash occurs in about 70-80 percent of infected people. It begins at the site of the tick bite after a delay of three days to one month. Other common symptoms include:
  • fatigue
  • chills
  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle and joint pain
  • swollen lymph nodes.
If untreated, the second stage of the disease can last up to several months and include
  • central and peripheral nervous system disorders
  • multiple skin rashes
  • arthritis and arthritic symptoms
  • heart palpitations
  • extreme fatigue and general weakness
If the disease remains untreated, the third stage can last months to years with symptoms that can include recurring arthritis and neurological problems.

Deerfly patch, and
I sewed in hanky/flaps for protection
Although rarer than Lyme disease, there are other infections that can also be contracted from blacklegged ticks. These include Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis; Babesia microti, the agent of human babesiosis and Powassan encephalitis virus. The precautions outlined above will also help to protect individuals from these infections.


Grandma K said...

Yes - there is the downside of living in Paradise! And we think Texas mosquitoes are big and bad. We have them now, however, when we are in a terrible drought. They are the ones who can live in the storm sewers. They have wonderful breeding places in the water that is always there. We need a good old "gulley washer" to wash out their eggs and give us some peace.

You do have some real wonderful bugs up there however! We particularly are adverse to the flies.

Olga said...

I have been told there are no bugs in the Pacific Northwest. Can that be true?

Jenn Jilks said...

I don't know, Olga! I never thought of the sewers, Grandma K. Yuck!

Kay said...

Have you heard of Aspivenin? I saw that in the paper. It's supposed to suck out the insect venom and you can only find it in Canada.