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Bay of Islands, Ecum Secum, Nova Scotia
Bay of Islands
Image © Highway7.com

It's the same story every year. After a long winter, people along this shore can't wait to get outdoors to enjoy the thrills of summer.

Visitors from afar arrive to experience our Maritime attractions. The ocean, the beaches, rivers and lakes and trails. Country festivals and gatherings that celebrate our way of life and our traditions.

All too often, the unprepared will find the quality of their outdoor experience somewhat diminished as various flying, biting insects compete for their attention.

One can't help but ask "Was it always like this? How did this land ever get settled when people had none of the protective gear and the chemicals we've used in the more recent past?"

Of course, there are not may poeple still around from that era. It stands to reason that things couldn't have been as they are today. The rivers were teeming with fish, their fry feasting on blackfly larvae, the old growth woods were home to an abundance of birds and bats that kept the numbers of flying insects within reasonable numbers.

Bay of Islands
Image © Highway7.com

Those days are gone for now. There don't seem to be any quick solutions. Chemicals controls have been tried and abandoned for good reasons. The restoration of our rivers, lakes and forests will take a long time and considerable will and effort.

In the meantime, what can one do to make being outdoors comfortable and rewarding?

Clothing and scents can play an important role in attracting insects to your skin. We're told that some scents attract biting insects more than others. Most notably, it is a good idea to avoid contact with any petroleum products, such as motor oil, tar, but also certain lotions, shampoos, hair conditioners and perfumes. Blackflies especially seem to be attracted as well to the gums and resins of evergreen trees

What to do once you've been bitten to take care of the itch and swellings? One of the most natural and also effective ways of dealing with this this discomfort is as simple as dubbing the affected spots with a tissue soaked in vinegar. The momentary sting of full strength vinegar is a welcome relief to the annoying itch which will disappear after a few moments.

To reduce the chances of being bitten in the first place, one can apply some of the more modern commercial lotions to exposed skin. While they may not always provide full protection, expecially over longer periods of time, they do appear to be quite effective for periods of about an hour. Most of these products will contain 'Deet' as an active ingredient.

( to be continued shortly ... )

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All contents © 1995 - 2017 Highway7.com unless otherwise attributed
Highway7 E-zine, a publication of Hatch Media, is an electronic journal with a focus on commercial, historical, cultural and ecological issues concerning the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia in Canada. Topics include a growing resource of currently more than 300 articles. More articles and image galleries are added frequently as new material is brought to our attention. With Highway7.com, our primary aim is to serve, inform and reflect the rural communities on the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia, as well as to acquaint new residents, visitors, tourists, and investors with the special beauty and enormous potential of our region.
Last Change: 01-Feb-2017