Monday, July 12, 2010

Reality Bites

No new photos for this blog. It's hard to take photos when you are running for your life. So far, in Nova Scotia I have encountered some pretty bloodthirsty insects. Many more than grace the Alberta Prairies. Alberta does have mosquitoes and as annoying as those little suckers can be they are nothing compared to what this province had in store.

For the last few mornings walking the dogs has become a nightmare. It's to the point where I am not even sure I *should* walk to dogs in concern for them getting swarmed and suffering anaphylactic shock from too many bites. It's like a war zone where we are being dive bombed from every direction by tiny fighter planes.

There are mosquitoes but at this point I'd welcome their relatively harmless attacks. They have a harder time getting to the dogs, are easily discouraged by OFF! and they are carried away by a nice breeze.

There are black flies which are not the same as house flies, these are much more irritating. Think gnat only slightly larger and inflicting a far more painful bite. The black fly bites I've gotten always swell at least two to three times the size of a mosquito bite, itch 10 times more and stay itchy and swollen a lot longer.  As with mosquitoes though they are quickly carried off in a good breeze. They not are, however, repelled for long by bug spray, a fact OFF! seems to have overlooked.

Horse flies are large, scary and fast. They will not quit. Fortunately I have only seen these at the beach on really hot days so since we haven't been going to the beach I haven't seen any this year. That can only be a good thing because when they bite they take actual chunks out of you and it *hurts*. They too scoff at OFF!

The most recent, and most irritating, fly I have come across is the deer fly. They are BRUTAL. One or two show up and then they seem to send out an ABP because within moments you are being dived bombed by the cloud circling above your head. I have seen Esme, who is basically immune to their attacks, clouded over by 10 at a time. These are not small flies either, they are the size of house flies and 100 times meaner. They bite and how. The dogs end up with them buried in their coat and I am constantly brushing them away. Bug spray has little effect and the only thing that will rid us of them is time.

My main concern, as mentioned, is the number of bites these things can inflict in a short period of time and the fact that the dogs are not coated. Esme is fine but the Ridgebacks spend so much time trying to avoid the insects that their walk is effectively ruined. I am hoping the deer fly season isn't very long and we can enjoy our walks again soon, because right now, it is very difficult to drag myself out there knowing we are going to be massacred.

1 comment:

Sandra said...

Have you tried deep woods off? It has a higher concentration of deet and may work. Also, there is a product called musckal (not sure how to spell it). It's really good. Comes in a liquid form. Neither are probably good for the dogs but would keep you more comfortable.