Ontario Bug Reports

Mosquito Coil

OK, lets not beat around the bush here. If we do we'll stir up the mosquitoes and blackflies. Just kidding! Contrary to popular myth the mosquitoe is not the provincial bird of Ontario. But we do need to discuss the nasty fact that many fishing websites kindly overlook about the great Ontario outdoors.

Yup, that's right, bugs. We're not going to lie, we got 'em and so does every other northern destination. Now, this doesn't mean that every fishing lodge, resort and outfitter is plagued with hordes of mosquitoes, blackflies, deerflies and horseflies but it is a fact of life in the great outdoors and we do share the same ecosystem of these little buggers.

 

Ontario Bug Reports


Because of the shear size of Ontario its bugs and conditions vary from location to location. Many factors affect what is where and when. The weather probably plays the most important factor and we're not just talking about the present day conditions. Factors such as past winter conditions, snowfall amounts, spring conditions, global climate change and precipitation amounts are just a few that can affect the amount of bugs at any given place. Present day conditions also affect areas and rain, wind, temperatures and amount of sunlight play roles in the hatching of many types of bugs. While a good spring hatch is good for the fish it can be somewhat of a nuisance for anglers.

Bugs are a fact of life but it doesn't mean that you have to hide in your cabin, resort or tent for fear of losing pints of valuable blood from your system. Being prepared for them takes very little effort and knowing a few handy tips and having some reputable repellents is all it takes in most situations.

Probably the most infamous buggers in the province are the Blackfly and Mosquito. Both can be annoying and painful if not prepared so let's go over a few basics. Unlike mosquitoes the blackfly chews its way through your skin before feasting on your blood. They are notable crawlers and usually move around a fair bit sizing you up before the attack. This works to your advantage as it can give you precious time to swat these little critters before they select a buffet spot on your body. Active during the daytime the blackfly is noted to disappear during the evening hours and a good wind can keep them at bay. When out in the woods it is not uncommon to see swarms of them so don't be surprised. The spring and summer months are usually when blackflies are at their peak. The latter months of August and September see a steady decline in the population and eventually die off but this can depend on local weather conditions.

The common mosquito on the other hand displays different characteristics but is just as annoying. Many fear the incoming sound of buzzing and can drive many people crazy. Opposite to the blackfly the mosquito likes the later hours of the day to come out and play. Notable flyers they will land mostly during the daytime hours and emerge just in time to spoil your dinner. This does not mean that you will not see any during the day though. Because the mosquito likes damp conditions they can be stirred by disturbing bushes and trees.Swampy areas and marshes will typically hold higher numbers of mosquitoes and standing water is a hot spot for them as well. Much easier to swat that the blackfly they fly slower and usually will try to dig in wherever it lands on your skin. Windy days and drier conditions will lessen the frequency of mosquitoes.

 A few tips to keep these critters at bay and to enjoy your outdoor adventures are:

 

1. Bug repellent formulated with DEET.

2. Reduce the wearing of perfumes and personal deodorants.

3. When weather conditions permit wear long clothing and tuck in pant legs in your boots or shoes. 

4. Wear light coloured clothing such as yellow or white.

5. Keep moving. A sitting target is easy prey.

6. In highly infested areas wear a bug hat and net.

7. Burn mosquitoe coils and use citronella often.

8. Make a smoky fire at your campside or cabin.

Using a few of these tips will definately help you enjoy the great Ontario outdoors much more. While you can't control the bugs you can prevent bites and the overall nuisance with a little preparation and knowledge.