Bugs, Bugs, and More Bugs!

Welcome to Colleen’s Corner. This is a column meant for fun and some information About myself: I am Colleen Fielding, a Freelance Photographer you often see me on the side of the road  or in various places taking photos of different things animals, birds, places, people etc.  l have lived in Lumby just over 8 years,you have seen my photos in the newspaper (Lumby Valley Times) and once in awhile in the Vernon Morning Star, and the Lumby Art Gallery. Photography is my passion. Disclaimer:  The information on some of my photos that I write about a lot of times come from the Internet or books I research them, hopefully the facts are as close to the truth as I can come.

I go outside, there they are, I come inside, there they are. I went for lunch last week with a friend, we sat outside, and yup there they were again. There seems to be an over abundance again this year, I remember there were quite a few of them a couple of years ago when we went to Sugar Lake, my dog had a bright green life jacket on as she was riding in the boat, when we got back on land her jacket was so full of the bugs, that I took it off immediately.

These tiny tiny little black bugs, with clear wings. They seem to be attracted to bright colors, especially neon green. When indoors you will see them hanging around on your white cupboards ( yuck)

At the market the other day we were at the picnic table, and someone had a bright green bag, all you could see was black from the bugs. Gross.

These bugs go by many names:

Biting Midge Flies, No See Ums,  Punkies,  Gnats, Annoying, Pesky,  Nuisance, Etc. and yes they do bite. Their bites are not poisonous, they are just itchy. There are over 4000 species of the No See Um. Some people call them Fruit Flies, but they are not, as Fruit Flies have a tan colored body not black. 

No See ums live everywhere in the world except for the Antarctic way to cold there for them.

These tiny little flies have very slender legs, black body, clear  veined wings that seem to be in a Y shape when they are idle. They have two antennas, they are probably about 1/16″ – 1/8″

As adults both male and female will feed off of plant nectars, but the female is the only one that will bite, as she needs to have a blood meal so that her eggs that she will lay can develop fully. She will pierce your skin, with a sucker that is  sharp like a needle, then she will inject an anticoagulant into the bite which keeps the blood flowing while she feeds. Our bodies then has an allergic reaction to her bite which of course then can leave an itchy welt that can last for days. Tim is very allergic to them, when he gets bitten by them he has huge welts, and extremely itchy in the areas where they got him.

 No See Ums like to bite you on the back of your legs, your arms and your backs, the reason for this is that there is less wind resistance when you are walking. They can bite you over and over, and usually will feed in large groups, so you might find a group of bites all near each other instead of just one. If there is little or no wind, they will be out even more. Try protecting yourself with some bug spray that contains citronella even try Avon’s skin so soft, making sure you get all of your exposed  skin as they don’t go through your clothing. 

The funny thing is that they say No See Ums come out in May and June, but yet here they still are. If you get bit, I know it is hard to do, but don’t scratch the bites as they could become infected, instead wash your skin where you got bit with an anti-bacterial soap and warm water. If the welts are very swollen use a cold compress  or ice pack for a few minutes. You could also use a cream with Cortisone or Zinc this will help with the itch and swelling.

If they are in your house put out small cups with Apple Cider Vinegar, with a little bit of dish soap. They are attracted to the ACV, but the dish soap will make sure they don’t crawl back out of the dish.

I put one out the other day by the sink as they like moist areas, wow there probably was like 15 or 16 in the dish. I now keep one in the bathroom, one by the  kitchen sink, and one on my kitchen counter, hopefully pretty soon they will all be gone form my house, and outside.

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