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Information please about midges (& other biting thing!)

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Castle Cary, United...
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Information please about midges (& other biting thing!)

Hi,my partner & I are thinking of a first time trip to Canada in June next year.We have been suggested the following itinerary;Vancouver,Victoria,Tofino,Campbell River,Whistler,Wells Gray,Jasper,Canmore,Calgary.

I have a major concern about midges etc as I am exceptionally prone to being bitten and even with anti-histamine react fairly badly.Would I have to spend the whole time in long sleeeves/trousers and/or covered in deet?

Any information on this or thought on our proposed route would be gratefully received.Many thanks BB

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for British Columbia
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1. Re: Information please about midges (& other biting thing!)

Biting insects aren't an issue around Vancouver or most parts of coastal Vancouver Island.

Edited: 21 November 2010, 20:38
Canmore, Alberta
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2. Re: Information please about midges (& other biting thing!)

I have commented on your post in the Alberta forum as well. Just in case someone else is looking only at this one I will reply about Vancouver Island and area here too.

It's not like you have to come covered in Deet, for the most part mosquitoes are not going to be a problem on your trip. In certain areas they can be an issue. If you happen to be camping for instance, I have had cases where I have almost been eaten alive! That is when we have been in a forested area, sometimes near a lake as well if there are a lot of shrubs and trees. etc.

Wandering around most places in the areas you have listed like Campbell River, Victoria, Vancouver are going to be fine. Tofino if you were to go into Cathedral Grove on the way (treed area with lots of shade) that is the type of place that may have them.

Some years are worse than others. It really depends on the area. Heavily treed areas can be bad, sometimes around lakes, ponds, etc. It just really depend if there is something to attract them there.

One house we lived at in Nanaimo we had no issues, the next place we could hardly sit out to enjoy our patio. It was because our setting had a lot of trees and vegetation around us. They tend to be more of an issue in the evening.

I was quite surprised to find a lot of them at one of the beaches in Lantzville (just north of Nanaimo) when we wold go there. I think it was because at the edge of the beach was a lot of brush, etc. that they hung out in.

Just bring some repellent and something long sleeved to throw on if you know you will be going into an area of nature, etc.

Up on top of Mount Washington on Vancouver Island it can get really bad with horse flies, they like to bite. Perhaps someone can comment if Whistler has this problem in summer at all?


Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Information please about midges (& other biting thing!)

You definitely won't have to be covered up the entire time. June is still fairly early season, and so less likely to have bug issues in those areas where bugs are more of a problem, but some of the places will not be a problem at all. All the accommodations will have screens, so you shouldn't need to worry inside a building or a car, so it will just be some locations where you are close to wetlands where you are more likely to get higher concentrations of biting insects. Its rarely an issue here. Just don't visit Ontario in mid-summer!

Also, keep in mind that the insects here are all going to be totally different species to the one's you have been exposed to elsewhere. You may find that the bugs here don't bother you as much.

Sechelt, BC
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4. Re: Information please about midges (& other biting thing!)

as previous posters have indicated it can be rather unpredictable when and where you will get bit. Typically lake side with little wind can be the worst locations. Locations where they could be at there worst on your itinerary include Wells Gray, Jasper, Canmore. But you are travelling early enough you will be travelling before the worst of the mosquito season.

To decrease your chance of getting bit:

Minimize your use of perfumes, scented shampoos, etc.

Wear light colored clothing

No need to apply repelent before putting on your clothes. Spray after putting on clothes

There are other products that can work as bug repelants (Avon Skin So Soft, oil of lemon euchalyptus). You could try these products in areas where mosquitos are low in number to see how they work for you.

After you are bitten I have found a couple things to help with the itching: 1% hydrocortisone cream (you can find it in drugstores without a prescription) and AfterBite (a product you can also buy in drugstores).

Goodluck. And don't let the worry of a few bug bites ruin your trip.

Castle Cary, United...
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5. Re: Information please about midges (& other biting thing!)

Hi. Thank you everyone for all your thoughts/suggestions/input. It's all really helpful and very kind that you have taken the time to answer my question.If any of you want any info on holidays to the UK please let me know!! Thanks again.BB

Nanaimo, Canada
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6. Re: Information please about midges (& other biting thing!)

Nothing like the midges in Scotland here! But I also am the first in any crowd to get bit and suffer from large welts. I also have a DEET product with me whilst traveling on the Island. Our yard is also a mosquito breeding ground and I usually need to spray on before spending time outside.

My suggestion is to wear your regular clothing and carry a DEET product with you. BTW have seen a new wipe on towellete repellant that comes in a sachet.

7. Re: Information please about midges (& other biting thing!)

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