Sawyer Permethrin test in ADK against the Black Flies

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Oct 6, 2014
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Remember the "Off" spray commercial with one arm sprayed and the other not? Holy cow, my friend got chewed up when we paddled and camped on Little Tupper Lake last weekend. It was so serious that we cut the trip short one day. Temps were cool and water cool so we both wore paddling pants with the booties so our legs were covered. I wore my head net the whole time that was treated. Yea difficult to wear it all day but I was used to it from the previous weekend hiking trip. My buddy checked out a site that was not well ventilated and when he came back out I saw the blood dripping down his neck....it's weird how he didn't feel it but at least a hundred bites by his ears and back of neck. I was concerned as usual the nervous guy I am, and was ready with the Benadryl just in case. No big deal, he's tough. But sometimes even with the head net the back lifts up and they fly in for the kill. I wore one of those jackets with the gloves but it was too late, they got me around the wrists. But I did catch my first bass, sort of...string broke... I did pull in a perch which I think was the size of the lure...haha.....600 mile trip, paddled a few miles I think to site 14? Big open area on the island....pulled out the next morning in the rain (last canoetripping gathering there it was raining, bselect had the pot roast cooking on that trip, yummy).
At the take out 3 guys from Philly pulled out after 4-5 days, oh my his legs were totally red and bitten up and swollen. He considered pulling out after the second day but decided against it. Their dog I guess wasn't happy either. Never again, I finally experienced something that I never want to do again or see...house chores in May and June from now on.
Glad no one had a serious reaction but I can imagine how fatal it can be with anaphylactic shock and my first aid kit continues to grow with the "just in case" stuff.
PS, i knew it was going to be tough after speaking to the Maine guys (Robin and Jim) and treated all my gear and picked up a bug shelter.
 
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Thanks for the update . I was considering a quick trip up but now I think I'll wait till fall.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Aside from your friend's and the Philly guys' problems, who I assume were unprotected, I'm not clear whether your Permethrin treated items worked against black flies.
 
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I was wondering how you made out on your trip. Can’t say you weren’t warned. Back when I was a teenager I was on a trip in Algonquin and one of our adult advisers (who was never on a canoe trip) was the chosen victim and the flies were relentless. By I think the third day his face was so swollen he couldn’t open his eyes and and his hands were over stuffed sausages, he couldn’t hold a paddle or grip anything. We headed straight to the nearest ranger station and he ended up in the hospital for a couple of days. We camped near the ranger station and fished and did little day trips.
glad all came home safe.
Jim
 
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Glenn, I did notice that the bugs did collect inside my head net and when I lifted it up I actually poured them out not thinking what it was...I'm guessing the bug dope in the net got them or my bad breath, hehehe...But they bite through the guys pants when they were on land....possibly i was just in the wind and my buddy was in the woods looking at what they think was moose droppings...

Jim, yep we talked about it, was going to call you today but I got all wrapped up in other things,,,,,thanks for the heads up, lesson learned....just curious if they are gone by now up by you or do they last through June?....i'm going to post my Maine question soon....

PW, the trail register was pretty empty so I'm guessing everyone knows to wait a bit longer....our trip was supposed to go on mid April but was postponed, my mom caught the Covid (92 yo) and she already had the 2 vaccines....all good now....the loons were calling big time...lovely area..enjoy it
 
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Glenn, I did notice that the bugs did collect inside my head net and when I lifted it up I actually poured them out not thinking what it was...I'm guessing the bug dope in the net got them or my bad breath, hehehe...But they bite through the guys pants when they were on land....possibly i was just in the wind and my buddy was in the woods looking at what they think was moose droppings...

Jim, yep we talked about it, was going to call you today but I got all wrapped up in other things,,,,,thanks for the heads up, lesson learned....just curious if they are gone by now up by you or do they last through June?....i'm going to post my Maine question soon....

PW, the trail register was pretty empty so I'm guessing everyone knows to wait a bit longer....our trip was supposed to go on mid April but was postponed, my mom caught the Covid (92 yo) and she already had the 2 vaccines....all good now....the loons were calling big time...lovely area..enjoy it

Its the height of BF season Northern Maine now. They disappeared from Southern Maine pretty fast. I guess they got good sex. If they don't they keep trying and the females continue to bite. You will still need standard bug avoidance We have no seeums. They feel like they are setting you on fire at dusk and make mosquitoes look like good guys.

Seek wndy open sites ( most on Lobster Lake are beaches) and headgear and neutral colors and avoid blue and black colored equipement. Long sleeves and pants.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Oh, just the head net was treated.

I bought permanently Permethrin treated (50 washings) pants, long sleeve shirt and two pairs of socks, as well as a Permethrin treated head net. I only got to try the outfit once on a canoe trip, which was basically after black fly season. But I have used the outfit when working around the woods and brush of my 11 acres, and the mosquitoes and ticks at least haven't gotten past or through the outfit. Don't know about black flies or deer flies since we don't have many of those in my area.
 
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Oct 29, 2019
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southeast PA
I just got back from a 3 day-mid week trip to the St. Regis Canoe Area in the Adirondacks. Definitely black fly season with a few skeeters included! The worst was the first afternoon and night when the temperatures were warm, although it was windy thankfully (good for bug avoidance, but no matter where I paddled there was a headwind!). The following two days were pretty benign bug-wise because the temperatures declined. Thursday night went down into the low 30F range, so the bugs abated.

I used no bug antidote other than a Vietnam era bug headnet, or, I retreated to my one man tent when it became unpleasant. I do wear long pants, socks over the cuffs, long sleeves, light gloves when the bugs are bad; light colors all. For the first time I tried a lightweight Buff head covering, supposedly treated with some kind of bug repellent although I can't say it was all that effective since one's face is still exposed. It may be good for sun protection too.

I'm still itching a couple of bites at the ankles, wrists, and waist where my shirt pulled out I guess, but all things considered it's a small price to pay for visiting such a great place.
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
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Long Island NY
Patrick, you reminded me about how I kept my pant cuffs under my socks. Skeeters? Not sure what they are. Crazy how the temps change within a day up there. I do feel some type of bumps by my ankles. Sort of like poison ivy rash which I know it’s not. So something got me there.
I like the outfit Glenn has with the juice already I the clothing.
but the beauty will always be there so I’ll wait for the autumn. Best to all
 
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Feb 29, 2012
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Schenectady, NY
Wait, wait, wait
A weekend on LTL and no pics for us?
I avoid the ADK’s during peak black fly season, some years are worse than others, this might be one of those perfect storm years
 
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Feb 22, 2012
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Rochester, NY
Just got back from 4 days in the Adks. Did not see a black fly until I got back to my car. The snow on the first night might have had something to do with it.
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
226
Location
Brewster, New York
Remember the "Off" spray commercial with one arm sprayed and the other not? Holy cow, my friend got chewed up when we paddled and camped on Little Tupper Lake last weekend. It was so serious that we cut the trip short one day. Temps were cool and water cool so we both wore paddling pants with the booties so our legs were covered. I wore my head net the whole time that was treated. Yea difficult to wear it all day but I was used to it from the previous weekend hiking trip. My buddy checked out a site that was not well ventilated and when he came back out I saw the blood dripping down his neck....it's weird how he didn't feel it but at least a hundred bites by his ears and back of neck. I was concerned as usual the nervous guy I am, and was ready with the Benadryl just in case. No big deal, he's tough. But sometimes even with the head net the back lifts up and they fly in for the kill. I wore one of those jackets with the gloves but it was too late, they got me around the wrists. But I did catch my first bass, sort of...string broke... I did pull in a perch which I think was the size of the lure...haha.....600 mile trip, paddled a few miles I think to site 14? Big open area on the island....pulled out the next morning in the rain (last canoetripping gathering there it was raining, bselect had the pot roast cooking on that trip, yummy).
At the take out 3 guys from Philly pulled out after 4-5 days, oh my his legs were totally red and bitten up and swollen. He considered pulling out after the second day but decided against it. Their dog I guess wasn't happy either. Never again, I finally experienced something that I never want to do again or see...house chores in May and June from now on.
Glad no one had a serious reaction but I can imagine how fatal it can be with anaphylactic shock and my first aid kit continues to grow with the "just in case" stuff.
PS, i knew it was going to be tough after speaking to the Maine guys (Robin and Jim) and treated all my gear and picked up a bug shelter.

Interesting...I was camped on Little Tupper from last Friday to Monday too. I had no problem with either black flies or mosquitoes. Where were you camped? I was at site #14, on the island at the far end of the lake. I brought and set up a bug shelter, but really didn't need it. I only noticed the mosquitoes being bothersome the morning I left. The cold temps and the wind really mitigated them. Did you catch the sunset Saturday night?
 
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