Bugs in the high country

pyroducksx3

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,249
Location
Kitsap Co, WA
I was up trying to scout some spots in the Apline Wilderness Area (Wa) this past few days and the bugs were horrible. The flys dont bother me much and even the mosquitoes are mostly bearable but I got to this lake at 6200 ft and the mosquitoes were so so bad they drove us into the tent for the remainder of the day, Im talking almost as bad as those videos of the guys in Alaska. The day before at a lower lake 4500 (I think) the bugs were completely tolerable. Is this common for this wilderness area or most of the Wilderness areas in the cascade range (WA)? Or how can I identify location that may be less troublesome for unbearable populations of biting bugs? I have scouted 4 different spots in the Apline Wilderness Area and about to give up on it.
 

IrishnId

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
372
Location
Preston,Id
Man, I remember the bugs in the snow lake and alpine lake areas being miserable back in the mid 90's. Lived in Wenatchee right out of high school and backpacked all over out of the Leavenworth area. But it was worth it, the fly fishing was phenomenal. Kind of miss that area.
 

Brock A

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
2,763
Location
Buckley, WA
I was up trying to scout some spots in the Apline Wilderness Area (Wa) this past few days and the bugs were horrible. The flys dont bother me much and even the mosquitoes are mostly bearable but I got to this lake at 6200 ft and the mosquitoes were so so bad they drove us into the tent for the remainder of the day, Im talking almost as bad as those videos of the guys in Alaska. The day before at a lower lake 4500 (I think) the bugs were completely tolerable. Is this common for this wilderness area or most of the Wilderness areas in the cascade range (WA)? Or how can I identify location that may be less troublesome for unbearable populations of biting bugs? I have scouted 4 different spots in the Apline Wilderness Area and about to give up on it.
I was up in the ALW yesterday too, If I stopped, I was covered in them. The lady at the ranger station did say they abnormally bad right now.
 
Last edited:

Ridgerunner

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
389
That is one downfall to summer scouting for sure, wait till the black flies come out then it's really fun.
 
OP
pyroducksx3

pyroducksx3

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,249
Location
Kitsap Co, WA
They are out but the mosquitoes were way worse. I had my 4 yr old with me on this 3 day backpacking trip and we could always outrun them. To his credit though he never complained once.
 

Attachments

RUTTIN

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
357
Location
Kamas, Utah
I was up at 10400 ft on a scouting trip a week ago, and the bugs were just as bad here in Utah.We just try to stay as covered as you can, but the little buggers even ate us through our clothes, makes it miserable for sure.
 

Lawnboi

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
3,852
Location
North Central Wi
Around here the skeeters will eat you up if you dont do something. Even during hunting season. And stand hunting in mosquito infested swamps is not fun without bugspray or a thermacell.

Because of them i always wear long sleeves and pants. get a little thing of bug spray for my hands and face. If they are that bad id add a headnet in there.
 

BuckSnort

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
1,034
Location
Central CA
This year the flies are the worst I can ever remember in the Sierra high country... Annoying SOB's, worse so than the skeeters... Must have something to do with the mild winter...
 

dotman

1
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
8,201
I haven't been out to CO for early scouting this year but last year at this time the flys sucked big time in southern CO, during the season they were a not an issue.
 

Tookeymonster

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
143
Location
Colorado
I have hunted Swamp Bottoms with a ThermaCell and a friend of mine was only 100 yds away and he was getting eaten alive and I was comfortable. Im a very firm believer in the ThermaCell. In the High Country you need to wrap it in a shirt and let it run for a minute before you try to start it. (some reason it is harder to start in the high country).
 
OP
pyroducksx3

pyroducksx3

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,249
Location
Kitsap Co, WA
Looks like I'll be picking up some thermacells. The mosquitoes werent fazed one bit by the deep woods 40% deet I was using.
 

BroodBuster

Senior Member
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
1,199
Location
Bothell, Wa
That is one downfall to summer scouting for sure, wait till the black flies come out then it's really fun.
Boy aint that the truth. Skeeters are just the opening act!

To the OP they are pretty much always bad to some degree or another in the N Cas. One can really only hope for some rain or wind. This time of year I look for the windiest spot I can find to set up camp. Even then there is no real escape.

I was surprised to find that the bugs weren't all that bad in Goat Rocks this weekend as the Raineer area seems to be the worst of the worst. I did however get warm one night so I stuck my feet out the bottom of my sleeping bag just to wake up to about a hundred ant bites on my feet :p
 

flytrait

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
108
Location
spokane, wa
Just got back from Montana 8500 foot level scouting and they were just as bad. We used the strongest deet you could buy and if you missed on spot anywhere you were screwed. They got us through our hats, shirts, and pants. Mann that stuff will numb your lips and burn your eyes.. Hopefully the cool September nights will kill them off this year..
 

HellsCanyon

Senior Member
Rokslide Sponsor
Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
3,474
Location
Lewiston ID
Late July and Early August are by far the worst for bugs in the Cascades... I bought a Thermacell this year and have used it both in Idaho in the Seven Devils area at 8k'+ as well as the ALW just two weekends ago and it ROCKS! That with some good bug spray had me honestly the most comfortable I've ever been when it was considered "buggy".

One other thing we've noticed, is that it really depends on what areas you go into. If we bushwack into lakes where there are no trails or anything, then the bug spray is MUCH more effective it seems like. The worst I've ever seen bugs NOT phased by repellant is the most popular hiking destinations...

Mike
 

dirtytough

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
1,054
It is usually only an issue until the first freeze. I have scouted and hunted a few different states and Washington is the worst I have seen. I didn't notice hardly any in Colorado. Montana was a close second to Washington though.

I have never had it bad in September in the high country during the season
 
Top