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I'm planning a couple of cottage rental vacations in the Bon Echo, Ontario area this year. (canoeing, hiking, and picnicking)

  • One vacation in spring before the bugs come out.
  • And another vacation in the fall after the bugs go away.

I assume the bugs in question are: black flies, deerflies, horseflies, and mosquitos.

What time of year are those bugs out in that area?

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    I'd add ticks to that list.
    – bob1
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 21:49

2 Answers 2

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A family member says:

You’re safe until mid-May. Then the black flies start for a month. Later in June, mosquitos. Early July, deer flies, etc. Mosquitos in September, but manageable.

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+100

I spent last summer at my brother's land near Smiths Falls, approx 100 km east of Bon Echo.

It will depend on how much rain there is and how close to swampy areas you are.

Mosquitos were active from a few weeks after last frost until first frost in the fall. They would be pretty harsh after dark, especially in open grassy areas. I quickly learned not to try to go into the field after dark. You want a bug spray with DEET, the highest concentration you can get.

Ticks were active whenever it was warm. Now, mind, that was in a field that previously was a horse pasture but now was fallow. Long grass, lots of weeds, nothing taller than me in the way of trees and few of them. Last summer was supposed to be unusually bad for ticks due to a mild winter. Again you want DEET. There are also a variety of products with names like muskol and similar that are reported to work specifically for ticks.

And you want to check yourself for ticks when you return from hiking etc. They like to get into your hair (anywhere you have hair), pants cuffs, shirt collars, and such places they can cling and hide. Try to get them off before you come back to your home or tent or whatever.

If you have pets of any kind, you want to check them for ticks as well. Consult your vet for various anti-tick treatments. I'm told the preferred thing is a treatment the vet does that lasts a month or two.

Black flies were around more in the warm part of the spring and then less. Deer flies and horse flies were around but not as much as black flies, and for roughly the same time. Once more, DEET.

If you don't like DEET you might invest in a bug-screen to fit your outdoors hat. And possibly long sleeves and pants. For sitting around outdoors we found that anti-mosquito candles had some effect but were by no means 100% effective. Didn't try any other method of repelling them.

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