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View Diary: Overnight News Digest -- "I Sing the Body Electric" Edition (33 comments)

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  •  Yeah, they're a nuisance during bug season (1+ / 0-)
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    rebel ga

    The adult females need a blood meal before they lay their eggs to assure the survival of their progeny.  They hide in grass, on the underside of leaves, and especially along the banks of the streams in which they breed (and those streams can be quite small).  From there, carbon dioxide and sweat draw them forth in swarms that can actually cover my pants and blot out the sky.  They generally limit their range to within 1/4 mile of their natal streams.  Black flies are poor flyers so even a little wind will discourage them.  In general, they hatch shortly after the streamside alders' leaves are the size of a mouse's ear, and they are very noticeable for 5 to 6 weeks thereafter (which usually means from a little before Memorial Day to the 4th of July).  

    If you are getting bitten by crawlers, mostly around your ankles, you are probably encountering chiggers.  That is a whole different critter.

    •  Thanks for the info salmo. (1+ / 0-)
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      There are lots of streams and rivers here in the White Mountains of NH. Surrounded by them. There's one about four blocks away.

      I don't know what these bugs are. I never see them or feel being bit. Just discover sore welts. All over not just my ankles.

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:26:29 AM PST

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      •  Huge economic consequences (1+ / 0-)
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        rebel ga

        Yeah, here in the White Mountains the various black flies are so thick that they actually drive moose insane.  In those moose/car accidents along the road (all those signs in Breton Woods are warning about a big problem), a significant portion of the moose are not looking where they are going because they are looking back at the cloud of black flies following them.  

        The black flies that you can't see are called, appropriately enough, nosee'ums.  They are visible by the naked eye, but just barely.  The reason you aren't feeling them until they are done biting is their saliva is both an anesthetic and a toxin.  For what it's worth, Rutgers says they're in northwestern NJ:

        •  Thanks salmo (1+ / 0-)
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          They have what you call those nosee'ums in Texas too.

          I went to Houston to visit my Sister. We went out for a ride in the car.

          As we approached some farm fields we had to close the car windows because my Nephew said the nosee'ums would get us otherwise.

          I thought he meant mosquitos, but they could have been black flies.

          Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

          by rebel ga on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:06:32 PM PST

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