Hey Northern Ontario… it’s BUG season again


Since this is my first Spring/Summer in Sault Ste. Marie I’m starting to experience bugs which I have never had to in the past, and some more familiar nemeses.

Number 1, the one I’ve heard so much about, Black Flies, are just starting to come into season. In speaking with local residents no one has a sure fire way not to get bitten by these swarming “Buffalo Gnats”.

Locals will tell you, light-coloured clothing and DEET, a mosquitomagnet.com article, suggests to avoid their habitat (not here, you can’t) or try these other tips.


“If you’re planning a hike, fishing trip, or camping expedition into areas where black flies are known to be bad, then you’ll want to skip the traditional summer wear of typical suburban life. In short, you want to cover yourself up. You don’t want any skin available for these insects to bite,” says the article.

They say you may also want to wear long pants, sleeves, gloves and a head net. Tucking your clothes in may also help.

Number 2 on the big three list is mosquitos. Have I mentioned they are bigger here in the North, and a little more vicious?

The number one way according to experts is to use DEET, they also say remove local standing water and make sure you apply repellant after you put on sunscreen. Long clothes, can also help prevent their attack.



Number three… the dreaded tick.

Suggestions to eliminate the bite of these disease carrying, blood-sucking insects, comes from the Center for Disease Control.

“Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, or even on animals. Spending time outside walking your dog, camping, gardening, or hunting could bring you in close contact with ticks. Many people get ticks in their own yard or neighborhood,” says the site.

  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings.
  • Alternatively, you can buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
    Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellentsexternal icon containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. EPA’s helpful search tool can help you find the product that best suits your needs. Always follow product instructions.
  • Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under 3 years old.
  • Avoid Contact with Ticks. Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
    Walk in the center of trails.
A dime is used as comparison for ticks in this appalachin.com picture.

If you do happen to get bit by a tick, steps for how to remove it and send it for testing can be found here.

Bugs are a common topic of conversation at this time of year, all over Canada. I hope these tips make it easier to enjoy the outdoors.