Spring Flies

Toothy Critter

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Sep 16, 2016
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Never really paid much attention to a general timeline as to when the biting flies start being a pain, but am planning to hike the Batona this spring, and, given the fact that I was mauled this past year while taking short hikes, I am determined to not let the buggers ruin my hike. Especially thru Franklin Parker where the flies were relentless, maybe due to the low water levels, don't exactly know. But my question... when is the latest time in the spring that it may be relatively safe to hike without the constant buzzing of those pests? When do they "come out"?
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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Mosquitoes usually show up mid to late May.Biting flies usually Mid June and last until about August first.Just in time for Chigger season.I recently found out that what we call chiggers is really tick larvae..Skeeters last till really cold nights kill them off though not necessarily frost.
 

bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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I recently found out that what we call chiggers is really tick larvae.
What?

I know we often erroneously say our tick larvae bites were caused by chiggers, but you don't mean that we don't have chiggers too, right? Because we do, or I've been flim-flammed for 40 years.
 
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manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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I was researching this awhile back and a friend of mine you know said they are tick larvae and I found a site on the web with pics of bot and descriptions and it looks to me like he is right.Chiggers are usually only found singly,not in clots or clusters and are bright red.Tick larvae are brick red or brown colored and cluster in knots. sounds like what we have been calling chiggers forever.
 

bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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I was researching this awhile back and a friend of mine you know said they are tick larvae and I found a site on the web with pics of bot and descriptions and it looks to me like he is right.Chiggers are usually only found singly,not in clots or clusters and are bright red.Tick larvae are brick red or brown colored and cluster in knots. sounds like what we have been calling chiggers forever.
Oh, you mean my photos? Yes, I can accept that. But I can't accept that chiggers are not in NJ.
 

Toothy Critter

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Mosquitoes usually show up mid to late May.Biting flies usually Mid June and last until about August first.Just in time for Chigger season.I recently found out that what we call chiggers is really tick larvae..Skeeters last till really cold nights kill them off though not necessarily frost.

Skeeters don"t bother me . I can keep them off. But flies til late August? Not last year my friend. They were in Franklin Parker until well into October. But thanks, now can plan on a late May hike :)
 
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Menantico

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Feb 17, 2013
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I was researching this awhile back and a friend of mine you know said they are tick larvae and I found a site on the web with pics of bot and descriptions and it looks to me like he is right.Chiggers are usually only found singly,not in clots or clusters and are bright red.Tick larvae are brick red or brown colored and cluster in knots. sounds like what we have been calling chiggers forever.
hey al, i think we need to stick to calling them "jiggers" like the other old folk in cumberland county to differentiate them from those northern pine chiggers
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
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I still refer to them as chiggers anyway even though i now consider them tick larvae and yes Jiggers is a more correct local pronunciation. I"m not really stressing over what they really are.I know I hate them and I know how to combat them.It just sucks that the best hiking time of the year has to be marred by their presence.It's a pain to have to spray with noxious chemical every time you want to walk into the woods but if you don't you pay unmercifully.I"m not worried about Lymes,they could make a vaccine for that from my blood no doubt.I do worry about getting jigged in unmentionable places and then the embarrassment of scratching said places in public but it's either that or go instantly insane:)
 
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Old Crazy

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I average 500 miles a year on the Batona Trail, so I have some experience with the insect population out there. :D

The arrival of deer flies varies from year to year. I have seen them arrive as early as the second week of May, and as late as the second week of June. On average they'll appear around June 1. While their numbers do start to dwindle in August, they're still around in September and even early October. Deer flies will most often target your head area, particularly the back of your neck, so your best defense against them is to wear a mosquito head net.

Ticks are at their worst in the spring. Chiggers usually show up in mid July and are at their worst in September. Your best defense against ticks and chiggers is to wear long pants and treat your footwear and clothing with permethrin. I always take a shower when I get home and check myself over good for ticks.
 

bobpbx

Piney
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I still refer to them as chiggers anyway even though i now consider them tick larvae and yes Jiggers is a more correct local pronunciation.
I have a microscope and will capture some this season. If you are correct, I'll tip my hat to you. If not, give me a tip of your hat.
 

Toothy Critter

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I average 500 miles a year on the Batona Trail, so I have some experience with the insect population out there. :D

The arrival of deer flies varies from year to year. I have seen them arrive as early as the second week of May, and as late as the second week of June. On average they'll appear around June 1. While their numbers do start to dwindle in August, they're still around in September and even early October. Deer flies will most often target your head area, particularly the back of your neck, so your best defense against them is to wear a mosquito head net.

Ticks are at their worst in the spring. Chiggers usually show up in mid July and are at their worst in September. Your best defense against ticks and chiggers is to wear long pants and treat your footwear and clothing with permethrin. I always take a shower when I get home and check myself over good for ticks.


Nice post Old Crazy. I am planning on the week before Memorial Day so I should have little problems. But, since you hike so often, did you not notice a lot of flies last year, late into the season, especially thru parts of Franklin Parker? I got mauled in there more than I care to admit last fall. With 500 miles per year on the Batona, you seem like the right guy to go to for info on hiking. Thanks