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Old 05-14-06, 10:58 PM   #1
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Winged Vampires!

I did a 100 km ride today, out in the country, which involved a lot of hill climbing.

It was a gorgeously warm, sunny day with a wind. Those are NOT the conditions in which I would have thought the winged vampires would be out!

I felt like I was back in Manitoba again!!

I stopped a couple times and was swarmed ... I didn't even dare to visit the bushes!! When I climbed the hills, and was travelling fairly slowly, I kept having to bat them off me. I'm covered in bites now. But the thing that really surprised me was the speed at which they flew! I've clocked them at 15 km/h in Manitoba, but these things were circling me at 23 km/h!!


So ... what's the mosquito situation like in your area?
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Old 05-15-06, 12:37 AM   #2
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Too dry here in LA for any significant mosquito population.

But growing up in Indonesia, you pretty much have to live with them.
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Old 05-15-06, 04:23 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Machka
So ... what's the mosquito situation like in your area?
It's Florida and my commuting is rural, most of it through wooded areas. We have a very interesting assortment of mosquitoes, biting flies and other insects and bugs.

Go faster, don't stop, when riding at dawn, dusk and at night keep your eye protection on and your mouth shut.
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Old 05-15-06, 07:24 AM   #4
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No problems yet with mosquitoes here, come June-August that will will change for the worse. I'm gonna have to change a small part of my commute due to it passing by some marsh comparable to walking into a half mile "wall of skeeters" during the peek months.

There is the possibility of wearing a mosquito net on my helmet though.

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Old 05-15-06, 08:05 AM   #5
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They have not been bad yet in Orlando. I think because it has been ridiculously dry so far this year. Two years ago when we had all the hurricanes they were absolutely horrid. We could not even keep them out of the apartment, they were EVERYWHERE. Ants too. It sucked. If it weren't for all the fires I would be thrilled for it to stay dry.

There are a heck of a lot of gnats out when I go out in the evening though.
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Old 05-15-06, 02:55 PM   #6
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You can tell a happy biker from the bug splats on his/her teeth.
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Old 05-15-06, 05:29 PM   #7
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The moskitos were drafting around you.
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Old 05-15-06, 05:32 PM   #8
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I thought you meant vampire bats !
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Old 05-15-06, 08:07 PM   #9
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Now that you mention it, I remember the Manitoba 'skeeters. Big as my (ten year old) thumb. Used to go to summer camp near Gimli and would get eaten alive.

Not many biters down here.....yet. Next month probably. The black flies are usually worse than the mosquitoes. Except that the really aggressive mosquitoes are the Asian Tigers, the ones that carry West Nile Virus.
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Old 05-15-06, 08:13 PM   #10
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Old 05-16-06, 01:06 PM   #11
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The black flies are relentless at the house. When I step out they just swarm in on me. The mosquitos are not the bad yet! But after all the rain we just received it won't be long.
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Old 05-16-06, 03:26 PM   #12
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not too much in the way of skeeters yet...but the mayfly season is here. ANd with all the rain we've been having, it's going to be heinously bad when i get out on the road again. Some routes are just out of the question during that time. They get all over you! Fortunately it doesn't last long. They're the worst!
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Old 05-16-06, 03:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ceridwen
They have not been bad yet in Orlando. I think because it has been ridiculously dry so far this year. Two years ago when we had all the hurricanes they were absolutely horrid. We could not even keep them out of the apartment, they were EVERYWHERE. Ants too. It sucked. If it weren't for all the fires I would be thrilled for it to stay dry.

There are a heck of a lot of gnats out when I go out in the evening though.
Well, after the rain today, the skeeters should start to swarm.

Sunscreen with DEET!
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Old 05-16-06, 03:43 PM   #14
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Nobody has mentioned Alaskan mosquitos yet. They bite through winter tights. I think they spend the winter training to how best to hitchhike bloodsucking rides on any cyclist slowing to go up a hill.
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Old 05-16-06, 03:51 PM   #15
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Mosquitoes are bad, but the worst experience I've ever had on a bike was last summer in the National Forest when the flies swarmed me for a good half hour as I raced through the woods trying to outrun them.

This year I've pulled half a dozen ticks off of me each time I've been out building singletrack.
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Old 05-17-06, 12:58 AM   #16
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I can honestly say I have never encountered mosquitoes as fast and vicious as the ones on Sunday. Not only did they keep up with me at speeds much faster than I thought they could fly, but I ended up with over 30 bites on my hips and lower back ... through a pair of pretty solid, new cycling shorts.

And then I went to work this evening ... and the factory doors were open .......

I've got over 50 bites between my ankles and waist and several on my arms and hands.

Trouble is ... each bite swells up nearly to the size of a dime, becomes very red and almost unbearably itchy, and then very sore.

I'm rather uncomfortable right now.
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Old 05-17-06, 01:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
I can honestly say I have never encountered mosquitoes as fast and vicious as the ones on Sunday. Not only did they keep up with me at speeds much faster than I thought they could fly, but I ended up with over 30 bites on my hips and lower back ... through a pair of pretty solid, new cycling shorts.

And then I went to work this evening ... and the factory doors were open .......

I've got over 50 bites between my ankles and waist and several on my arms and hands.

Trouble is ... each bite swells up nearly to the size of a dime, becomes very red and almost unbearably itchy, and then very sore.

I'm rather uncomfortable right now.

One thing I noticed when I was young- was that some people attract Mossies and flies. I also have another point- Do you wear a deodorant or perfume on your rides? This attracts many creatures and not only the 2 legged kind.(Don't know if it attracts but it definitely does not repel them) Try an insect repellant instead of Chanel 5 next time and see if it works.
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Old 05-17-06, 05:03 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by stapfam
One thing I noticed when I was young- was that some people attract Mossies and flies. I also have another point- Do you wear a deodorant or perfume on your rides? This attracts many creatures and not only the 2 legged kind.(Don't know if it attracts but it definitely does not repel them) Try an insect repellant instead of Chanel 5 next time and see if it works.
Reminds me of my friend who went mountain biking after using flower scented hair spray. The bees in her hair were so bad she had to go home.
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Old 05-17-06, 07:41 AM   #19
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One thing I noticed when I was young- was that some people attract Mossies and flies. I also have another point- Do you wear a deodorant or perfume on your rides? This attracts many creatures and not only the 2 legged kind.(Don't know if it attracts but it definitely does not repel them) Try an insect repellant instead of Chanel 5 next time and see if it works.

I have always attracted insects ... but I don't wear deodorant or perfume on my rides. I don't wear makeup or hairspray or anything scented. Even my soaps and shampoos are pretty bland.

And believe me, I usually have a very large supply of insect repellant handy. I've sort of gotten to like the smell of it ..... and I was joking with some of my coworkers that it had become my summer perfume.
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Old 05-17-06, 08:27 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Machka
I have always attracted insects ... but I don't wear deodorant or perfume on my rides. I don't wear makeup or hairspray or anything scented. Even my soaps and shampoos are pretty bland.

And believe me, I usually have a very large supply of insect repellant handy. I've sort of gotten to like the smell of it ..... and I was joking with some of my coworkers that it had become my summer perfume.
With myself being one of those that attract bloodsuckers, I can relate. The Deer flies are my biggest problem because they do not give up. One Deer fly can chase and land on you repeatedly for miles. When bitten by one, I swell up bigger than a silver dollar.

On a similar note, when I competed in archery, there where times when a swarm of skeeters would fly around my head. The others in the group only attracted one or two. When slowly moving through the woods at three to five hours, the skeeters became very annoying. Deet would remove the finish off my expensive bows, so I started using that Avon sun block stuff and kept reapplying. Reapplying is not easy to do while riding a bike for trainimg though.
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Old 05-17-06, 08:43 AM   #21
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I can't say that we have that problem here in Brooklyn yet but with the spring rains of the past week or so it doesn't bode well for the summer. My biggest problem so far was nearly getting splattered by a pigeon while on my ride yesterday...missed me by about a foot and would have ended that ride real quick. If you've ever gotten hit by a NY pigeon you know what I mean.

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Old 05-17-06, 09:05 AM   #22
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The locals here contend we have skeeters big enough to stand flatfooted and well, this is not the place for that description. In Maine, mosquitoes are part of the package. After 25 years here, I am able to deal with them without the use of repellent. The Black Flies can get to me because they are so dumb. They will get behind my glasses and not be able to figure out how to get out. Annoying little buggers.

The one biting bug that absolutely drives me crazy are the Deer Flies. They mature to full size about mid June. They will bite through almost any piece of clothing I care to use as a barrier. They laugh at repellent. I think they just hold their breath or something. But they do provide a good training incentive. As long as I stay at 12 MPH or faster, all they can do is draft. But as soon as I stop or slow down, it's feast time.
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Old 05-17-06, 10:17 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
I can honestly say I have never encountered mosquitoes as fast and vicious as the ones on Sunday. Not only did they keep up with me at speeds much faster than I thought they could fly, but I ended up with over 30 bites on my hips and lower back ... through a pair of pretty solid, new cycling shorts.

And then I went to work this evening ... and the factory doors were open .......

I've got over 50 bites between my ankles and waist and several on my arms and hands.

Trouble is ... each bite swells up nearly to the size of a dime, becomes very red and almost unbearably itchy, and then very sore.

I'm rather uncomfortable right now.
I went camping last September and ended up with over 80 chigger bites. Took about two weeks before they stopped itching. I had more than twice as many as any other person on that trip, and there were about 70 people there total.

Outside doing gardening with all my siblings and my mom when I was in high school I would come out with by far the most mosquito bites. And on top of that I react quite badly to them, similar to you. I've had them swell up to more than the size of a quarter and they get so sore for a few days after it's like I've been bruised.
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Old 05-17-06, 10:59 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
I have always attracted insects ... but I don't wear deodorant or perfume on my rides. I don't wear makeup or hairspray or anything scented. Even my soaps and shampoos are pretty bland.

And believe me, I usually have a very large supply of insect repellant handy. I've sort of gotten to like the smell of it ..... and I was joking with some of my coworkers that it had become my summer perfume.
Hey, Machka. What color clothes do you wear when biking? You might already be aware of this, but mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors. Wearing light-colored clothing might help some.
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Old 05-17-06, 09:31 PM   #25
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Hey, Machka. What color clothes do you wear when biking? You might already be aware of this, but mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors. Wearing light-colored clothing might help some.
My jerseys are usually fairly bright/light .... but the mosquitoes got me on my black cycling shorts. Unfortunately I don't have lighter colored cycling shorts.
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