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May 2000

Know Your Backcountry Bugs

Guide to common bugs in the backcountry.


BREEDING HABITAT: Clear, running water (e.g. spring runoff).

BITING TIME: Daytime only. Peaks in mid-morning, then again as dusk approaches. Intensifies at onset of storms, may go all day when overcast.

TARGET AREAS: Edges of tightly fitting clothing, head just beneath hatband.

ATTRACTED TO: Dark colors: blue, purple, brown, and black. Well-tucked dark pants may lure them away from your head area.

LESS ATTRACTED TO: Pale or light colors.

TEMPERATURE RANGE: Generally inactive below 50°F.

LITTLE-KNOWN FACTS: If one is trapped in an enclosure, all its attention turns to escape instead of attack; it will spend the rest of its life crawling on the screen or windowpane.

OTHER FACTS: Even common horse and house flies can transmit serious diseases, such as anthrax, tuberculosis, tularemia, tetanus, typhoid, dysentery, and cholera.

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