Current Bug Report – July 4, 2016

One of our guests came in yesterday and asked “where the bugs were?”   Another guest came in later and said he got a mosquito bite and looked a little rattled by it.   I replied to him that if one can count a single mosquito bite and know exactly where it occurred on one’s torso, then the bugs are completely gone.  He didn’t appear very comforted by that statement, I think because he expected me to jump up and down about his single, solitary, mosquito bite.

In summary, regarding the bugs in Ely, Minnesota:  What bugs?  Mosquitos are few in numbers, and if you can count them that is like no bugs at all.  Deer flies and horse flies are out and they are infuriating little buggers.  Killing them brings me great satisfaction.  But, they come and go depending on the temps and humidity levels its seems.  Black flies have been gone for about 2 weeks and with the exception of a few really active days, they made a modest impression on the world up here.  Noseeums are out from time to time and if you wonder why you suddenly developed and itch on the back of your hand or arm, it was probably one of those. They were out yesterday while I worked on a trailer for the 4th of July parade to haul The Painted Canoe of Ely to Ely which will be happening in about 1.5 hours.  Gotta get there at 10, wait in line until 1 PM and then drive really slowly through town following the guy in front of me.  Noseeums look like super tiny black flies are are hard to see.  They make me itch for about 30 minutes which is irritating but not debilitating.  To date for this summer, I have seen three ticks.  Two on me and one on Delilah.  All of them are dead – the ticks.

So, I expect the bugs to become even less in the next few weeks until they are all but gone for the entire month of August and all of September.  If you were to come to Ely right now, unless you are a “safe-space-seeking” Millennial ( or whatever group that is – I can’t keep track), the bugs amount to a hill of beans.  Swat ’em in a blind rage and move on with your day.  Enjoy the satisfaction that only killing a mosquito, deer/horse fly, noseeum, and the occasional jackpine beetle can bring.  Dang jackpine beetles don’t seek out humans and bite really slowly when they do.  We don’t know why they bite because they eat pine trees not mammals.  If you are not paying attention, you’ll feel a building intense pressure wherever they bite.  But, again, that is a really infrequent occurrence even when you live here like me but you don’t forget it, however.   They have a squeezing bite that will make you sit up and take notice.  You swat those with your cap and grind them into the dirt with your foot when one lands on someone you like.  If you don’t like that person, don’t tell him and sit back to watch.

Bugs – I wouldn’t worry about them.  I haven’t used bug dope since early June and that was for two whole days.  Don’t be a wimp and worry about dumb stuff.  There is an entire wilderness up here needing visitors to come see it.

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