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Old 04-25-2012, 09:41 PM   #1
robs48
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Black flies everywhere?

hey folks, we are planning on visiting the Adirondacks over the Memorial Day weekend and get in a couple of hikes.We are cosidering Roostercomb , Snow Mountain and a couple of others.We've hiked before but only in Sept. and Oct. so bugs were non existent.My wife is very sensitive to bug bites and I don't want her to suffer.Are there areas that are less affected than others or should we just think of somwhere else to go.Thanks , Rob
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:05 PM   #2
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For anyone who is sensitive to bug bites, I would advise staying away around that time. All ADK areas are going to have plenty of the biting little ba*t*rds through at least the end of June - some more than others. You are better off with the later time frame you mentioned.
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:14 PM   #3
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Yeah... it's generally right around memorial day that the Adirondacks become ground zero for black flies. If you are at all concerned about getting bit, I would stay out of the woods.
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:38 PM   #4
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I've often wondered if there would be a significant ecological disturbance/imbalance if they were just wiped off the face of this earth?
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Greeneyezz View Post
I've often wondered if there would be a significant ecological disturbance/imbalance if they were just wiped off the face of this earth?
http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wild...Blackflies.pdf

They are indicators of good water quality health and support many of the animals and fish that you folk seek in the Adirondacks.

Do you like to fish?

Our town depends on fishermen to a large part for tourism. Without the dreaded black fly the salmon fishing might not be so good.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:12 AM   #6
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Brook Trout would lose a major spring food source without these creepy biting buggers.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by yellowcanoe View Post
http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wild...Blackflies.pdf

They are indicators of good water quality health and support many of the animals and fish that you folk seek in the Adirondacks.

Do you like to fish?

Our town depends on fishermen to a large part for tourism. Without the dreaded black fly the salmon fishing might not be so good.

Yeah, more a rhetorical question than anything else. I know even the dreaded black fly plays a part in our ecological system.

I stay away from the dacks from May - late June.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:56 AM   #8
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You'll have to chew to breath about then... but it makes for a friendly impression from strangers you meet. They call it the Adirondack Wave... the friendliest hikers anywhere on earth, they wave even when there are no other people to see.

Wait till after the 4th. They are usually mostly gone by then.. you can see the sun.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:08 AM   #9
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The conventional wisdom is as stated above. That said, over the last three years we have taken one major hike/climb per year during "high season" for bugs, with the following results:

6/13/09 - Climbed Seymour: Blueberry trail was wet, herd path to summit was very, very muddy. Bugs were minimal -- with just a little black fly activity near the summit.

5/29/10 - Climbed Cliff from the ADK Loj. Rain and intermittent sun. No bugs at all until the summit knob, where the black flies were horrendous. As soon as we were down off the summit there were no bugs. Climbed Catamount the following day and had no bugs to deal with.

6/4/11 - Climbed Dix from Rt. 73. Mostly sunny day, no bugs whatsoever.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:33 PM   #10
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Smoke cigars.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:08 PM   #11
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I've often wondered if there would be a significant ecological disturbance/imbalance if they were just wiped off the face of this earth?
The only species that do not contribute to the ecological process are, Humans.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:14 PM   #12
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The only species that do not contribute to the ecological process are, Humans.
Except when we contribute by being bitten by bugs, that is.

I find that keeping in constant forward motion is my best defense. I tend to cover many more miles during bug season than at any other time.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:51 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the responses.Much appreciated.I've read that the town of Jay adds something to the water to prevent the black flies from hatching.Can anyone speak from experience as to the effectiveness of this?Thanks again , Rob
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:05 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the responses.Much appreciated.I've read that the town of Jay adds something to the water to prevent the black flies from hatching. Can anyone speak from experience as to the effectiveness of this?Thanks again , Rob
BTI, a biological solution. Old Forge does it extensively for the benefit of tourists (and locals). Try this link.

Or you can use Nessmuk's formula:
"It has been pretty widely quoted and adopted, and I have never known it to fail: Three ounces pine tar, two ounces castor oil, one ounce pennyroyal oil. Simmer all together over a slow fire, and bottle for use. You will hardly need more than a two ounce vial full in a season. One ounce has lasted me six weeks in the woods. Rub it in thoroughly and liberally at first, and after you have established a good glaze, a little replenishing from day to day will be sufficient. And don’t fool with soap and towels where insects are plenty.

A good safe coat of this varnish grows better the longer it is kept on—and it is cleanly and wholesome. If you get your face and hands crocky or smutty about the campfire, wet the corner of your handkerchief and rub it off, not forgetting to apply the varnish at once, wherever you have cleaned it off. Last summer I carried a cake of soap and a towel in my knapsack through the North Woods for a seven weeks’ tour, and never used either a single time. When I had established a good glaze on the skin, it was too valuable to be sacrificed for any weak whim connected with soap and water.

When I struck a woodland hotel, I found soap and towels plenty enough. I found the mixture gave one’s face the ruddy tanned look supposed to be indicative of health and hard muscle. A thorough ablution in the public wash basin reduced the color, but left the skin very soft and smooth; in fact, as a lotion for the skin it is excellent. It is a soothing and healing application for poisonous bites already received."
- Woodcraft & Camping, published in Forest and Stream in the summer of 1880
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Last edited by Wldrns; 05-05-2012 at 11:55 AM..
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:27 AM   #15
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Not sure about Nessmuk's formula for bugs, but it probably works for people who don't want to share lean-to's.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:18 PM   #16
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Does permethrin help? I know it will help with ticks and mosquitos. I just doused my hiking clothes for a bushwhack trip to the Catskills tomorrow.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:36 PM   #17
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Skin-So-Soft no longer recommended?
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:41 AM   #18
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They haven't been that bad in the Saranac Lake area. I think the cold nights after they came out have definitely helped. Last night especially was frigid...
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Old 05-06-2012, 01:31 PM   #19
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Some in five ponds. no big deal at present.
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:52 PM   #20
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Was out in the Forestport area today. Nothing at all of note with the bugs. I think last week's couple of below freezing nights have indeed made a difference.
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