Insects

General discussion about the James Bay Road and region. Share your experiences and travel tips. Ask questions.

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Insects

Postby James » Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:12 pm

Following on to the previous thread discussing the optimum time for a trip to minimize the bug problem I have some new information which I have posted below. I posted an inquiry on the website of the Entomology Society of Canada and received two replies from bug experts.

I have this idea that there must be a "window" of time, however brief, between when the insects die from cold weather and the time that the snows arrive in force. Reference to Walter's excellent charts on this site of weather history at Radisson is very helpful. One notes that the year 2007 was probably warmer than normal with the minimum being as high as 5C on September 25 and there was no snow to speak of the entire month. Of course there were wide variations between years both as to temperature and snowfall.

Another unknown for those of us who are not insect scientists is exactly how low and for how long the temperature has to be low to stop the bugs.

In general, I was a bit surprised by the data which shows the weather to be somewhat warmer and with less snowfall than I expected for September. I'm sure a math type guy could crunch all of these numbers by day and compute the statistically best days to make the run. Failing that, my observation would be that the last half of September would be the best combination of minimum insects and minimum snow. Of course you do give up some amount of daylight at that time of year.

Any comments would be welcome. Below are the messages from the Canadian entomologists.

"Hello James:



I would suspect that the situation on the Bay James are would be similar to Churchill, MB. I have a suspicion that there are "forecasts" from Churchill about biting flies.



The biting fly pressure changes as the season progresses, and usually diminishes as summer closes. Thus, by mid-August the black-flies and mosquitoes are less problematic, but the clegs (horseflies) often still quite pesky. Periods of hot weather in the summer speed up the diminution of biting fly prevelance. I have been in Churchill in summer when it seemed that one could wander about naked. Not that I did! Even so, keep in mind that I am lucky in that I do not seem to be badly attacked by biting flies, by comparison with other people, and, to some extent, it is mind over matter. Once there has been some frost, the biting flies' populations crash. A trip in the fall would be best. Snows tend to come later and are generally light, the trees (larch and poplars) take on golden hues before their needles/leaves fall. Even so, take a bug-jacket and lots of repellent.



Peter"

----

"The response from Peter Kevan is about as good as it comes.
Otherwise, make sure you wear as light-coloured clothes as you can.
Darker colours give off more infrared radiation that attracts both
black flies and mosquitoes. Take a head net and wear repellent - the
stronger the better. Here in Canada one cannot get the full strength
repellent anymore (no more than 35% DEET). Check the can before you
buy.

Doug Craig."
--
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Re: Insects

Postby Bonk » Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:11 pm

I mentioned in the Montreal-Radisson thread that we went Sept. 15-16 last year and had no bug issues. It was about -3 or -4C overnight, but about 11C during the day. I heard the first snow of the year hit a few days later.

I would highly recommend going at that time if you want to avoid both insects and snow, which was our goal also.
"What's the 'C' stand for - selfish?' - unidentified NHL player during a scrap
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Re: Insects

Postby Local » Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:24 pm

The insect issue is really not that bad this year. Yeah sure, they are present, but not enough to force people to stay inside. I really wouldn't plan a trip around them.
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Re: Insects

Postby Buck » Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:50 pm

My trip is set for the Labour Day weekend, plus an extra two days off, well 95% set anyway. I am glad to know that the bugs should be less then. They don't really go after me but my wife is an biting bug magnet. She also doesn't find it funny when I use her as a decoy with the bugs.
'Not all who wander are lost.' - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
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Re: Insects

Postby Local » Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:33 pm

It really shouldn't be an issue. I've only been living here for a year, but the september I spent here was no worse than a july down south. Biological control had time to spray (well they are still working on this), so it's really not that bad.
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Re: Insects

Postby garlicgrower » Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:06 pm

I have used (but not in the JBR area) Deet 100 which is very effective. It is about $5.99 in a little pump bottle available at sporting goods stores in the US.
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Re: Insects

Postby Local » Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:00 pm

I've tested them all and usually do the following trick: watkins cream + D-15 spray. If people around me starts coughing, I know I used enough.
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Re: Insects

Postby James » Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:38 pm

[b][u]Local[/u][/b]: You say that you "have been living here for a year". Where? In Radisson?[b][/b]
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Re: Insects

Postby Local » Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:30 am

James wrote:Local: You say that you "have been living here for a year". Where? In Radisson?


Yep!
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