Mosquitoes and other biting insects on the French River
Hartley Bay Marina welcomes you and so do the insects
Not only are there s’moores campfires, but there are also biting insects! This fall the insects especially mosquitoes are still out there due to a very rainy season...
After winter also just like you, the insects can't wait for spring in the French River Provincial Park like you every year. While we look forward to welcoming you to our amazing resort, the mosquitoes and biting flies look forward to feasting on you. Don’t let your camping trip become a feast for them – here are some tips to help you minimize your exposure to mosquitoes and other biting insects. Seasoned campers are familiar with the insects, but if you're new to Hartley Bay Marina, we want you to feel as welcome as possible. That's why we've compiled the info below to help you navigate the challenges of your over-exuberant hosts. After all, nature is their terrain and we're all just visitors. Although the media has sensationalized the recent increase in cases of mosquito and tic born illnesses; a few simple steps can go a long way to providing a worry free adventure.
Mosquito and Biting Fly Season
During spring, biting insect such as mosquitoes and other biting insects like black flies make the French River Provincial Park their home. The good news is they have relatively short flight times and that they are rather discerning about the hosts on whom they like to feed. You'd be surprised to learn that most insects actually don't prefer human blood.
Each visitor has his or own tolerance to biting insects, so if you're unsure about how well you can tolerate mosquitoes and black flies, you must come prepared. Keep on reading to learn more.
What to Expect: Black Flies
Black flies descend on French River Provincial Park from around mid-May until late June, depending on the weather. They're usually out and about during the day and primarily feed upon birds rather than humans. Only female black flies require blood in order to develop eggs. In most cases, they will bite areas where there is thin skin after landing and crawling for a bit.
Since black flies rupture the skin to suck up blood, their bites and saliva can cause itching and swelling. You can prevent bites by covering up in a bug jacket and using insect repellent as directed.
What to Expect: Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are common around the world, and in French River Provincial Park, we see them from mid-May to well into July (even in September like this record rainy year), depending on the weather. They are attracted to carbon dioxide (from exhaling) and heat. The females land on their hosts, using their mouths to pierce the skin before feasting on your blood. They will be attracted to your campsite during the first few hours after dark, but you can use insect repellent and protective clothing to protect yourself and your family.
Insect Season in French River Provincial Park
During the summer months you will also find deer and horse flies, stable flies and biting midges (no-see-ums) in French River Provincial Park. Thankfully, mosquito-borne diseases have not been traced to our region, although West Nile Virus is established in Ontario.
Here are some tips to keep you bite-free this camping season:
Understand your tolerance to biting insects.
Know the insects you may encounter and understand their traits.
Cover up in long-sleeve, lightweight shirts with cuffs and collars and long pants.
Choose light-coloured clothing such as tan, khaki or white, as some insects are attracted to darker clothing.
Invest in a bug jacket and hat.
Follow the latest insect repellant product safety guidelines from the Government of Canada when you use repellants outdoors.
Set up a screen around your dining shelter to avoid becoming a meal to biting insects.
If you forget your insect repellant, we have some for sale in the office.