What's the worst?

12:19 a.m. on June 20, 2011 (EDT)
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I've just recently been introduced to biting gnats. I thought Southern Illinois ticks and chiggers were bad before I met the black flies in the U.P. Now there's these godforsaken things...

What insect drives you the craziest?

12:43 a.m. on June 20, 2011 (EDT)
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We call them little bittie flies.  The little flies you can't see, also called no see u'ms.  Even the ones that are just large enough to see suck.  First ran into them when camping in the FL, Keys.  I live in the GNW and this is the first year I remember them being here.  As I weed the garden they alway (this year) come out around 6:30 to sun down.  Nothing works with them except covering up all skin and using a full  net with a hat.  I have nothering good, fun or witty to say regarding them.  They suck, no really, they suck.  I belive everything has a right to live but they really, really try my patience.  I want to make a sonic device to pops their little heads when they get to close but I have to make sure it only works on them.  Did I mention they suck!

12:52 a.m. on June 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Funny, I think those things are everywhere. I got chewed up by them on my recent trip here in S.W. Pa.

I kept thinkin they were "mos-skeeters" but when I looked a little black speck would take flight and I was the airport.

Relentless little buggers.

12:10 p.m. on June 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Black flies and no-see-ums can burn in hades, along with fire ants and yelloy jackets.

I jest, but those are threee creatures I could live without.

3:57 p.m. on June 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Ticks!!!!!!

6:40 p.m. on June 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Aw....you guys just haven't tried them with ketchup yet.

Since I'm allergic to bees that seals the deal, it would be bees for me, although the no-see-ums take second place real quick.

6:58 p.m. on June 20, 2011 (EDT)
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We have a black fly about the size of a large rice kernel in the San Gabriel Mountains of So Cal.   I have been told they are deer flies.  They aren't widespread, seeming to be limited to specific canyons below 5K'.  The only effective pro against them is a levi jacket, pants and netting.  Bushwhacking around dressed thusly in 100° plus temps is almost as bad as letting them bite.  The same canyons also have horse flies; both of these bugs are painful and will draw blood if you let them settle for longer than an instant.

But absolutely the worst are the various winged blood suckers of Alaska.  Big, ubiquitous, and so bad I don’t care for trekking below the snow line up there.

Ed

7:49 p.m. on June 20, 2011 (EDT)
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I would have to say the Texas Horse Fly. It looks just like a fly but it's about 5 times larger and the bite feels like a bee sting. Their all over the panhandle canyons I frequent and very aggressive.

8:15 p.m. on June 20, 2011 (EDT)
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I would have to say the Texas Horse Fly. It looks just like a fly but it's about 5 times larger and the bite feels like a bee sting. Their all over the panhandle canyons I frequent and very aggressive.

 

We have barn flies(stable flies.) They pack a wallup. Sounds like a hummingbird when they fly.

8:23 p.m. on June 20, 2011 (EDT)
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My vote is in for the deer fly as well, I'm suprised no one said it earlier considering how painful the bite is. Also I was just introduced to the fire ant recently and didn't enjoy that meeting either!

9:34 p.m. on June 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Bugs That Scare Me.

Yellow Jackets: Because they kill people. I got stung on my wrist and ankle one time. My arm was swollen almost to the elbow. My ankle was swollen half way up my calf and it was uncomfortable to wear a shoe.

Killer Bees: They may out rank yellow jackets elsewhere and may soon pass them in FL. We recently had several confirmed sightings in my county!

Bugs That Can Burn in Hades Just Because I Can't Stand Them. (I am NOT jesting.)

Mosquitoes and no-see-ums are tied.

Mosquitoes: Far more common around my town and leave welts that itch for several days on me.  They spread heart worms and West Nile virus. Fortunately we don't have Malaria in this country anymore.

No-See-Ums: I've encountered once in the county.  No-see-ums don't make me itch very long but they are far more intense and they can get in your hair and bite your scalp for what seems like hours.

Fire Ants: Hated these things all my life. I'm mildly allergic to them. They usually bite my feet and leave an itchy swollen welt between a dime and a quarter in size. For those of you who haven't had a run in with these pests they sting and bite. Often I will have two pustules the next day where the ant bit and stung me. I am very lucky to live in an area where there are not any.  My only guess is that my neighbors have all killed them in their yards also. Interesting fact about them: They are the only ants that float. If they since a flood is coming they will come to the surface and form a ball. When they run into something they will swarm onto it and wait for the water to recede.

10:10 a.m. on June 21, 2011 (EDT)
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I am really not all that picky, I don't like any of them equally!

10:35 a.m. on June 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Hmm, yeah, I despise horse and deer flies as well.

Ocala, I once stepped in a massive fire ant nest and my leg sank up to my knee into it. I readily admit and behaved like a lunatic as I ran up the hill and leapt into the lake to get them off of me.

I am also not fond of the Brown Recluse. I have been bitten by one, which took months to heal. Someone I know had a barn that was truly infested with them. I said they needed to set a fire barrier and then burn it down. I meant it.

I do not mind venomous snakes, or black widows. Knowing where their behavior and habits to avoid altercations is enough for  me.

11:24 a.m. on June 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Yeah the recluse is pretty nasty. Im kinda surprised Noone mentioned scorpions yet...

11:29 a.m. on June 21, 2011 (EDT)
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(and no, they weren't wolf spiders, grass spiders, or other hamless Araneae- I'll be  happy to detail the specifics of taxonomy for the Loxosceles reclusa if anyone is curious)

11:31 a.m. on June 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Yeah the recluse is pretty nasty. Im kinda surprised Noone mentioned scorpions yet...

 I used to catch wood scorpions, I found them really cool. I imagine I'd have a different take on them if they were so plentiful as to be a problem, though.

11:56 a.m. on June 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Spiders, i hate spiders!!!!!

Enough said. Snakes dont bother me venemous or non-venemous i can deal with flies mosquitoes horse flies gnats etc. but i hate spiders. Right now in Illinois we are being infested with gnats, secadias (Locusts) and mosquitoes due to the mississppi and missouri rivers rising but the spiders bother me!!!

12:10 p.m. on June 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Yeah the recluse is pretty nasty. Im kinda surprised Noone mentioned scorpions yet...

 I used to catch wood scorpions, I found them really cool. I imagine I'd have a different take on them if they were so plentiful as to be a problem, though.

 

So ya got the ol bullseye bite... I am not fond of the recluse(fiddleback.) I have come across quite a few over the years. Mainly when I'm splitting wood. They love woodpiles.

They are the prime reason I don't camp in shelters on trail. The bites can be really nasty.

Snake wise we have Timber Rattlers, Eastern Diamondbacks, and Copperheads. I would rather run into a rattler than a copperhead. The rattlers will typically let you know they are there. Copperheads are well...pretty silent.

I've had experiences with other snakes as well. A cottonmouth can be a tempermental snake. I use to run into them while horseback ridin down south alot. Let's just say they don't back down.

I use to have pet Black Emporer Scorpions. I would let them crawl on me etc. The young ones never got handled. Too unpredictable. They willl sting at random. I've had big snakes, blah blah blah. Caught a few black widows. (Usually in a jar and relocated them.)

8:47 p.m. on June 21, 2011 (EDT)
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No see ums, by far.  Shoot I'd rather deal with bears than those flying teeth.

9:03 p.m. on June 21, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm lucky. Never run into a recluse. Only stepped one scorpion (under a john boat I'd pulled up on the lake shore the night before) and only seen black widows 2 or 3 times.

Gonzan growing up I learned exactly what an ant mound looked like. Never stepped in one that deep before. OUCH! I wouldn't have run for water. About 10 feet away I would have been taking clothes off. Shoes then socks then pants if I was wearing long ones. Then rub them off. For those of you who have never encountered these pests, the best way to remove them is to rub them off. Don't try to pinch them or swat them. Water won't help. My brother had one on his foot. He took the garden hose, set the nozzle on stream and blasted him. The ant hung on. 

12:58 p.m. on June 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Yeah, I learned that day they hold on pretty well. I had been around the mounds as a kid and managed to avoid them most of the time. THat day I was trudging through thick, chest high grass and weeds below the lake, and it was too thick to see the mound.

1:42 p.m. on June 22, 2011 (EDT)
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March Fly,

bloody persistent, hard to catch (until they are stinging me), stings a lot.

11:01 p.m. on June 23, 2011 (EDT)
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pillowthread said:

I've just recently been introduced to biting gnats. I thought Southern Illinois ticks and chiggers were bad before I met the black flies in the U.P. Now there's these godforsaken things...

What insect drives you the craziest?

 What's the "U.P." ???

Many of us (especially, ME) don't know the acronyms bandied-about with regularity here on this forum.

I could throw-out about a dozen (relative to our backpacking / hiking interests), and few would have a clue what I was referencing.

It only takes a few more key-strokes to spell-out that to which you might be referring.

_________________________________________

 ~r2~

11:07 p.m. on June 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Very rare in most parts, but I've had several in my driveway ... and that is what are known as "Cow Killers".   Otherwise known as the Red Velvet Wasp (or mistakenly, as the Red Velvet Ant).    Saw quite a few when hiking Bombay Hook and Prime Hook Nat'l Wildlife Refuges in Delaware.   I was the only one in my party that knew what they were.

They love to feast on Cicada Killers, if you know what THEY are!

You DO NOT want to get stung by one.   Trust me!  And, I've been bitten by a Brown Recluse spider.   Mundane, in comparison.     Pretty things, though!

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    ~r2~


12:10 a.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Maybe I should have wrote "da U.P."

U.P.= Upper Peninsula (of Michigan)

All those awesome shots of forest-covered rolling hills overlaid with Tim Allen's sultry voice on the "Pure Michigan" commercials are from da UP, I'd bet. Then again, I support a separate Yooper state...(with Marquette as it's capital!)

9:33 a.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

 What's the "U.P." ???

Many of us (especially, ME) don't know the acronyms bandied-about with regularity here on this forum.

I could throw-out about a dozen (relative to our backpacking / hiking interests), and few would have a clue what I was referencing.

It only takes a few more key-strokes to spell-out that to which you might be referring.

_________________________________________

 ~r2~

 

 Robert, this statement is rather ironic, as a sizable number of your post are obtuse and cryptic, leaving most to wonder what you are driving at.

 The U.P is a commonly used term to refer to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is like saying "B.C." for British Columbia, or "The South", referring to the southeastern US.  

4:40 p.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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gonzan said:

Robert Rowe said:

 What's the "U.P." ???

Many of us (especially, ME) don't know the acronyms bandied-about with regularity here on this forum.

I could throw-out about a dozen (relative to our backpacking / hiking interests), and few would have a clue what I was referencing.

It only takes a few more key-strokes to spell-out that to which you might be referring.

_________________________________________

 ~r2~

 

 Robert, this statement is rather ironic, as a sizable number of your post are obtuse and cryptic, leaving most to wonder what you are driving at.

 The U.P is a commonly used term to refer to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is like saying "B.C." for British Columbia, or "The South", referring to the southeastern US.  

 "Never assume anything".

I always did well with geography in school (got A's).    I don't think (?) it is taught all that much, anymore.  I always asked to be placed in the front rows of classrooms.   Didn't want to miss anything, or be distracted by someone in front of me.

If you think something I am posting is obtuse &/or cryptic,  ASK.   Are you speaking for other than yourself ( " ... leaving most to wonder ...") ??   No-one, whom  which I am aware, has mentioned confusion or obfuscation. 

That's what I do ( ask).   Don't be shy.   I am definitely NOT.

I suppose I'm not as smart as those that know ALL the acronyms.

I wonder  (?) how they converse.   Would be interesting listening in.   Could be like a foreign film, where subtitles might be provided.  That would be helpful.  The conversants probable look like human bobble-heads, nodding in the affirmative with every reference to an acronym.

I simply DID NOT know what "U.P." meant.   Why I asked.  As I mentioned, I am not shy.

Did you know that "E.S." refers to the "Eastern Shore" of Maryland, on the Del-Mar-Va Peninsula ?

And, YES -- I know the abbreviations for the Canadian Provinces. ... And, I lived and worked, went to college in "The South".   There was a time I could pretty well identify dialects and as to  which State, as well as what specific part of a State, from listening to a "Southerner" speak.   No longer, I am certain ... as there has been an influx of "Northerners" (I know where that region is, as well, surprisingly).

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  Yogi Robt

6:25 p.m. on June 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Bugs period. There is a reason winter is so good.

6:43 p.m. on June 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Sand fleas suck. No really, they do.

12:22 a.m. on June 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

 Are you speaking for other than yourself ( " ... leaving most to wonder ...") ??   No-one, whom  which I am aware, has mentioned confusion or obfuscation.

 Not in any representative manner. Only mentioning what seems to be the case from conversations as well as other's responses in post. But perhaps I spoke out of hand, and for that I apologize. 

6:03 a.m. on June 26, 2011 (EDT)
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We're good, gonzon.

~r2~

1:13 p.m. on July 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

Very rare in most parts, but I've had several in my driveway ... and that is what are known as "Cow Killers".   Otherwise known as the Red Velvet Wasp (or mistakenly, as the Red Velvet Ant).    Saw quite a few when hiking Bombay Hook and Prime Hook Nat'l Wildlife Refuges in Delaware.   I was the only one in my party that knew what they were.

They love to feast on Cicada Killers, if you know what THEY are!

You DO NOT want to get stung by one.   Trust me!  And, I've been bitten by a Brown Recluse spider.   Mundane, in comparison.     Pretty things, though!

____________________________-

    ~r2~


 

Just checking in / re-visiting this topic.

Apparently, my nomination of the dreaded "Cow Killers" must have been "the worst".

I was thinking someone  could chime-in with something worse.

I suppose  a few (I only hope there haven't been many) experienced the wretched sting of this beautiful insect, and are agreeing with me.

Learn to recognize them.   They are kinda rare (except where I live) ... not likely you'll encounter them.   Keep children away.   They tend to be fascinated by the vibrant, contrasting red and black colorings.

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3:55 p.m. on July 1, 2011 (EDT)
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We've got quite a few of them here in the southeast, TN, GA, AL, NC, etc

I've never been stung by them, though I have by the brown velvet ant, which was not pleasant. About the only things I haven't been stung by are Cow Killers and Scorpions.

5:22 p.m. on July 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Louis-Alexis said:

There is a reason winter is so good.

 X2

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10:41 p.m. on July 1, 2011 (EDT)
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I've seen cow-killers, never been stung by one. We call them bull ants in Florida. The best thing about them is they are brightly colored and easily avoided.

Just in case somebody gets the idea to step on one to kill it make sure its on a very hard surface. Your average dirt patch is not hard enough. You'll just make it mad. The fortunate thing is that even though it's a wasp it's wingless.

4:50 p.m. on July 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Chipmunks have a tendency to drive me nuts. Then again maybe I am nuts.

5:27 p.m. on July 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey Robert,  Count  Colorado in the list as another place the Red Velvet Ant resides.  Though not numarous I do remember seeing them every year growing up in Denver. Seems like we would see them all at once like they were breeding or maybe hatching out.  Seems like it was in early summer, but alas, that was along time ago and I truly don't remember.  Never been stung by one but like rattle snakes and alagators, they were fun to play with till something else peaked our interest.

6:37 p.m. on July 2, 2011 (EDT)
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N.Z sandfly - nightmare!

10:33 p.m. on July 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Desert black fly at the Salton Sea, billions and billions of them during the summer.  If you open your car door, now you have hundreds of guest, don't open your pack, mouth or anything else.  Wait until winter before going there.

11:08 p.m. on July 2, 2011 (EDT)
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How many days until Winter ?

~r2~

11:23 p.m. on July 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Come  over to my place, and get your wife.   She's nagging ME, now!

 The WORST.

6:09 p.m. on July 4, 2011 (EDT)
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I think worst is mostly time dependant for me.  We all know a rattlesnake bites are way worse than a horsefly bite, but when your swinging at 4 horseflies at once it sure dosen't feel like it at the time.  Example, Yesterday I went out and emptied the compost bucket into the compost pile.  I then went to get the tractor to move some horse poop over to cover the compost.  Just after firing up the tractor I caught something out of the corner of my eye, then agiain, then, a pain, and another pain , finally my brain kicked in and realized I was under a full scale arial bombardment.  Dang it, I hate when that happens.   I put the tractor in N and ran screaming and waveing (I have always wondered if the screaming did scare the little buggers away).  My puppy was quickly on my heals nipping at his rear.  When we got far enough away (abopt 100 ft.) they gave up.  Yellow jacket's, ..................wasps. They had taken residence in a hollow in the tounge of my plow.  They have all now forfited their little lives.  Today, our nations birthday, I am learning a new skill.  Drinking beer with my left arm, as my right is just to swollen to use.  I've only chipped one tooth to this early point in the day ;-}>.

 

Today, "The worst" are YELLOW JACKETS

7:07 p.m. on July 5, 2011 (EDT)
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Love this apeman:  "I think worst is mostly time dependent for me."

Nobody likes uninvited guests taking liberties with our skin...in any way, shape or form.  

Gnats in the South are awful. Mosquitoes in the mountains -- especially when they dive bomb the corners of one's eyes or the insides of one's ears -- is maddening. Biting flies of any kind can make us frantic. Yellow Jackets coming en force is terrifying!  Poisonous snakes have a category all their own.  Nosy, angry, hungry wildlife takes the fear of snakes to a whole new level.

Yep...just as soon have no uninvited guests...but somehow, we just can't not get there, eh? :)

8:08 a.m. on July 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Whichever insect is "bugging" me at the time, did ya see what i did there, is the one i hate the most.  Seriously, though, there are times when i unknowingly walk into a cloud of gnats and i know if someone saw me at that time i would look like the most uncordinated kung fu master alive with all my jumpin and arm swingin.

8:23 a.m. on July 6, 2011 (EDT)
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second gear said:

      "I think worst is mostly time

. ..just as soon have no uninvited guests...but somehow, we just can't not get there, eh?

 

Winter, my friend ... Winter.

Or, right after the first "killing frost".

Personally, I can hardly wait.

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                  ~r2~

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