Saturday, June 09, 2007


Summer’s here- the bloodsuckers are near! Very, very near; think “inside your clothes and ears” near. Aieeeee!

Today was FINALLY a sunny weekend day. Finally no work or outside obligations. I was feeling energized to be OUT in the garden, getting things done. WF’s spent some good amounts of time, but I really hadn’t yet. Now that it really felt like summer, it was time to dive in.

But not before I donned my battle gear. Yes, indeed, it is BLACK FLY SEASON. One should not take that statement lightly. I figured, I’ve done this before, I’ll take proper precautions. No problem. Behold my fashionable, festive summer garden gear:

Stylish, no? Note the subtle hints of blue throughout, really pulling the ensemble together. The highlight is the lovely neck scarf, rakishly tucked into just one side of the collar. Yes, this outfit will really wow the neighborhood deer and chickens, and those pesky flies will NEVER be able to get through my defenses.


Never underestimate a blackfly. They are evil emissaries from the underworld. They’re sneaky (you never feel them biting), they’re smart and they’re hungry. Ravenous for as much of your blood as they can possibly suck. And, oh, how they suck. They inject a potent anti-coagulant to make sure you bleed even after they fly away. Then, some delicate humans (like me) react to bites with giant welts, intense itching for a week and even scars. WF lets them bite until he looks like he has the measles, but doesn’t get much of the itching.

Yes, I knew all this. But even I’m a little stunned with the aftermath of the Great Summer Bloodsucking Bug Battle. They simply bit me where they could reach me, and I was too garden-absorbed to notice. Eeeeeek!

14 bites on face and neck. Plus an extra bonus tick on my elbow. Shee-it. It’s gonna be an itchy week.) Anyone know of a good, safe facial repellant out there? Or a favorite bug net brand? I’m in the market…)


Sue said...

There are lots of hats that come with attached mosquito netting. There one at REI for $25, and it's totally worth it.

There are also lots of hits on Google for similar hats if you search for "mosquito net hat". You can also get cuffs, gaiters, even whole-body suits.

I've lived in Maine during blackfly season, so I feel your pain! (and itching...)

RuthieJ said...

Here's another insect repellant product to try (if you can find it). It's called Wood's & Garden (formerly known as UglyBugly). It's on the website for If it's the same formula as the UglyBugly, we got some good feedback from people vacationing in northern Minnesota in the summer that it worked very well for mosquitoes, tick, gnats, and no-see-ums. (I can't remember for sure about blackflies.) It doesn't contain DEET, is odorless, and grease-free. Might be worth a try....

Deb said...

Strange, I've never been bothered by blackflies in my garden! They must not like it this far south.

Tina T-P said...

Ey,yi,yi! I'm really glad I don't live where you do, I'd never get to go outside. I have a bad enought time with mosquitoes- and they don't bother DH one little bit. I'll get 4 or 5 bites on my ankles and practically be incapascitated (sp?) they will hurt so bad. I truly feel your pain, too! Hope you are well (except for the itchies, anyhow) T.

gtr said...

Thanks, all... I do just need to go buy a new bug net. We have a bit of Burt's Bees repellent here that I found the next day, buried in the bathroom clutter. I'll be more careful next time.

Itching is pretty much going away now; turned out that swelling on my cheek was actually a clump of 6 bites, not just one. Sheesh.