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Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: A very flat place (Grrrrrrrr)
Bug Season in Michigan on 04/11/2013 14:01:15 MDT Print View

Hi folks,

This will be my first year backpacking during the summer in Michigan as last year went to the Rockies twice and back to Europe.

I have heard the Upper Peninsula gets fairly bad with Black Flys and Moquitos from Mid May onwards, I am wondering has anyone experince of what its like in lower Michigan.

Cheers,

Stephen

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
Bugs in lower Michigan on 04/11/2013 17:17:17 MDT Print View

Black Flies/ Deer flies are usually out from Mid-May through Late July. Mosquitoes in August, but not too bad.

374
Late May is tough

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F - M

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 04/11/2013 19:39:23 MDT Print View

deleted

Edited by rOg_w on 06/17/2013 20:14:17 MDT.

Dean L
(AldoLeopold) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
Re: Bug Season in Michigan on 04/11/2013 20:27:00 MDT Print View

Stephen

I would avoid the northern lower peninsula after about May 25th or so. Memorial day is pushing it. This in an average year. This year with still about a foot+ of snow, Gaylord area/North Central could push that back some. Have to see how the temp/precipitation patterns work out.

Mosquitoes are bad enough, but the black flies can be brutal. I sleep with no-seum level mesh unless the nighttime temps are 40* or below. The skeeters breed in the slow water, the flies in swifter, so with all the water sources in the state, it's really difficult to avoid one species or the other and almost always both.

Late May, all of June, and about 3 weeks of July best be avoided. August is better, September/October are great. Watch out for ticks anytime.

Dean

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: A very flat place (Grrrrrrrr)
Re: Bug Season in Michigan on 04/11/2013 20:37:23 MDT Print View

Hi Ike,

Sure looks like your canine pal got eaten alive.

Hi Rog,

Sounds like I need to give local trips a miss until August, luckily I am heading out west.

Hi Dean,

I normally try to cover up as much as possible when out during the summer but will be especially diligent for ticks.

Cheers all,

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Bug Season in Michigan on 04/12/2013 05:08:02 MDT Print View

I can't speak for MI but MN we usually have a short spring window after it starts to warm and the trails are getting dry but still before the insect explosion. For us that usually means a bug free (or low bugs) into the very start of June or at least through Memorial Day. If you have such a window it may well come earlier. This year? Who knows ... it's been snowing the past 24 hrs!

Once they do come they are in full force and the profile is like Rog said ... July is not as bad as June, late July not as bad as early July, August better than July.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
Why avoid them? I love em on 04/12/2013 06:48:23 MDT Print View

Bugs are like bad weather. Prepare for them, but don't let them keep you out of the woods. June and July are awesome for pack rafting, and if you are a flyfisherman (as I sometimes am) you know that the hex hatch in late June is pure magic. I'm usually out for a week around then.

1012
Beautiful weather in June as I head out for a bike-hike-packraft-fishing trip

mayflies
Packrafting the Manistee at midnight, trout rising all around to gulp these giant mayflies!

1116
Dinner at 2 am with a friend

1117
Still nice enough to bivy out on top of my raft

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: A very flat place (Grrrrrrrr)
Re: Why avoid them? I love em on 04/12/2013 07:52:08 MDT Print View

Cheers guys,

Sounds like all is not lost, I will dig out my bugnet.

This is another reason why I prefer above treeline trips as any puff of wind will ground the beasties.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Re: Why avoid them? I love em on 04/13/2013 13:16:55 MDT Print View

My take is it depends on the rain and temp. If you catch a dry spell with a nice breeze you should be fine.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: A very flat place (Grrrrrrrr)
Re: Re: Re: Why avoid them? I love em on 04/13/2013 13:22:58 MDT Print View

Thanks Tim,

The issue is finding places that are dry and have a breeze.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Re: Re: Re: Why avoid them? I love em on 04/13/2013 14:06:49 MDT Print View

No kidding. A breeze would be good, but after the temps balance, it is just dead air.

After a while every trail here looks the same. New growth forest next to some bogs. There are only so many times you can walk the Jordan or Manistee.

I see why you guys go out in winter, but I don't have the kit.

Have you been over to the Bruce Peninsula?

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: A very flat place (Grrrrrrrr)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why avoid them? I love em on 04/13/2013 14:38:49 MDT Print View

Hi Tim,

I well know a breeze keeps them away, that's why in Ireland I camp up high during the summer.

I have not been to the Bruce peninsula yet, just had a look and its about 6 hours from me.

Cheers,

Stephen

P.s. we are going to be organising a Bpl meet in the Adk in August if your up for it.

Edited by stephenm on 04/13/2013 14:39:39 MDT.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why avoid them? I love em on 04/13/2013 14:43:24 MDT Print View

Stephen,

Let me know when. As you can tell I need a change of venue.

I didn't know you have mosquitoes in Ireland. At least no snakes.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: A very flat place (Grrrrrrrr)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why avoid them? I love em on 04/13/2013 14:49:14 MDT Print View

Hi Tim,

I wil be putting a post up in July about it.

We don't get many biting Mosquitos in Ireland but do get Midges, they are not as bad as Scotland though.

Because of the climate there are no poisonous spiders either.

I hear you on the change of venue :-)

Edited by stephenm on 04/13/2013 14:51:19 MDT.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Bugs in MI on 04/17/2013 20:07:58 MDT Print View

Hmmm...

I avoid the UP until about July to keep away from the black flies (horrid!!!!), but other than that I don't really have any issues with too many critters all summer long: manistee, Jordan River, nordhouse...we start in may or so and keep hiking until November. Love it! And nothing a little DEET, a slight breeze or a nice headnet doesn't handle just fine.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: A very flat place (Grrrrrrrr)
Re: Bugs in MI on 04/17/2013 20:31:34 MDT Print View

Cheers Jennifer,

I have been to all the places you mention accept for Jordan river, I would be interested to hear about other areas.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Bugs in MI on 04/18/2013 18:43:43 MDT Print View

I pretty much agree with Jennifer. We've had *challenging* mosquito and black fly weekends in the UP in June but we survived and the tradeoff was having the place to ourselves. I had one bad weekend at Nordhouse Dunes in May last summer when the flies tortured my dog so much (he was trying to bury himself in the sand to escape them), that we hiked out early. I've been on Manistee River trail May through September, took a little repellent and have had no issues. Our mosquitoes are NOTHING compared to the Sierra when they're out and hungry.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: A very flat place (Grrrrrrrr)
Re: Re: Bugs in MI on 04/18/2013 18:54:12 MDT Print View

Thanks Sumi, its good to know.