Canadian wants to know aboutMossies and other biting insects

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Canadian wants to know aboutMossies and other biting insects

Postby mosetter » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:10 am

Hi, We are Canadians who will be renting a motorhome in Sydney and travelling to Cairns (April 9/10-May 28/10). We plan to spend a lot of time in the national parks and along the coast. How annoying will the mosquitoes be? Are there other common biting insects as well?
Thanks!
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Re: Canadian wants to know aboutMossies and other biting insects

Postby GypsyLady » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:20 am

Hi Monika and WELCOME to the forum.

In answer to your question....yes mozzies are about but should not be quite as bad during April/May. A good insect repellent is advisable.

Midges or sandflies as they are also called will still be about in Qld on the ocast at that time of year but again in lesser numbers....again a good insect repellent will assisit here.
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Re: Canadian wants to know aboutMossies and other biting insects

Postby Pauly » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:31 am

Yes there are lots of biting insects in the bush, spiders, horse flies, wasps, ticks, leaches, and many other bugs that bite, not all poisonous and of course snakes. We have some of the most deadly insects and snakes in the world but most of our bitting insects are just annoying. A google search of venomous Australian snakes and insects should get you sorted, remember its rare you will encounter many of these.

Spiders, there isn't a lot of deadly spiders but plenty that pack a nasty bite like orb spiders etc. General house keeping is the best way to tackle spiders, dont leave shoes or clothes outside and if you do check your gear, towels are a big culprit so never pick something up and put it straight to your skin, always shake it out first. If you are walking in the bush and need to put your hand somewhere, look first. If you are gathering wood or picking anything up always roll it away from you so you can see under it. If you are bitten buy either a Redback (not normally deadly but requires attention) or Funnel web (deadly, requires urgent attention) you should commence first aid immediatly. Do not wash the wound, apply a wide bandage to whole of limb, start at the top of the limb then work down applying firm but not tight pressure with a bandage all the way to past the bite, where possible elevate the limb and restrict movement, get medical assistance. You do not wash bite wounds because it allows the medical people to find any venom that might be at the wound site, A towel torn into 4 or 5 inch wide strips can make a bandage if you dont have one.

Horse flies, wasp, not deadly and unlikely to carry disease but they can sting a bit. A good insect spray like aerogard or rid can help with these.

Most likely wasp you will get stung by will be a paper wasp and they kick like a mule, apply ice to the bite maybe some antihistamine and tough it out, possible small swelling at bite area but it goes away.

Ticks, not really a big deal as long as you find them relatively quickly. Peralisis tick can be a problem but takes a few days to become a problem (I think, please check). The best way to deal with ticks is a product call tick twister, extreamly easy to use and effective. Apply metho or antihistamine to entry area after removal. I use metho for most bites including annoying mosquito bites.

Leaches, no big deal but some people find them iccy lol. Again spray your self with insect repellent and they rarely attach, should you get a leach just pull it off, if you cant pull it of then either apply salt or strike a match blow it out and touch the leach, it will drop off. You will probably bleed a bit but thats because the leach has an anti coagulant to make the blood flow, its stops fairly quickly.

Snakes and lizards. Its a good idea to investigate our snake species so you can see which ones require urgent medical attention. I have camped in the bush plenty and rarely have trouble with them, you see them sometimes but mostly they dont like humans and try to get away from us. Most times you will get bitten is if you corner them, tease them or accidentally tread on them. Treatment is the same as for spiders above.

I dont know of any lizards that have toxins but plenty will bite if you really try to get bitten and you have to try to get bitten. If you are stupid and grab a lizard that bites the main first aid is to clean the wound well, very well because your only danger is infection from their mouth, they eat nasty stuff.

A couple of other things to be aware of are water born pests if your swimming. In NSW there isnt a lot thats going to bother you but a few, a water born bug that I call pelican itch, blue bottle and blue ring octopus are the main ones.

Pelican itch is annoying and treatment is basically metho or antihistimines and I remember as kids mum used to use calamine lotion.

Blue Bottles, (please read suggested websites below for revised, different treatment methods to mine)
mainly on the beach occasionally in tidal estuaries near the mouth. The have a blue coloured float with a long tail, the tail has little minute spike on it and thats where they sting. Treatment is basically with care remove the thin tail or stinger as its called and rinse with very cold ice water, do not rub the area. Metho or vinegar is very good for the pain, keep it very cool with ice or ice slurry and wait for the pain to go which dosnt take too long.

Blue ring octopus, (please read suggested websites below for revised, different treatment methods to mine)
normally you have to try to get stung by these but can sometimes happen by accident, they are not aggressive until disturbed or threatened then they become very aggressive developing brilliant blue rings on their bodies, time to retreat. Im not sure of the first aid but I would ice the bite area and get medical assistance.

Further north you get box jellyfish and irajinki (sic) and probably other things, I have a basic knowledge of these but better to let somebody from up there explain more, dont want to send you on a bum steer.

A good Bite, sting kit would consist of a couple of wide elastic bandages some antihistamine cream, some vinegar and metho and a venomous spider and snake chart and the knowledge to use all of the above. With this you will be able to handle pretty much anything.

To put it into perspective

I think we have only had around 40 odd deaths through snake bite and NO deaths from spider bites since anti venom has been around.
Last edited by Pauly on Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Canadian wants to know aboutMossies and other biting insects

Postby Pauly » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:51 am

I goggled a couple of good identification sites for you.

Spiders http://www.spiders.com.au/

Snakes http://www.anaes.med.usyd.edu.au/venom/snakebite.html

Water http://www.australianprescriber.com/mag ... /5/117/21/

I see some of the treatments differ to what I do namely blue bottles and blue rings. I have been hit by blue bottles lots and thats what works for me, next time I get stung I will try the hot water solution.

Blue rings are worse than I figured and I have no experience with their treatment so do as they say. I have carefully "played" with blue rings showing my girls what to look for and how they react and how aggressive they get so now they are very cautious when we are in rock pools extra. We have millions of these blue rings in Lake Macquarie (like most tidal lakes) around the weed beds and I don't know of anybody being stung, from my experience they tend to flee instead of attack unless provoked excessively but that's just my opinion lol.
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Re: Canadian wants to know aboutMossies and other biting insects

Postby mosetter » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:06 pm

WoW! Great information! Thank you so much. I'm going to familiarize myself with this. I don't intend to provoke anything to attack me, but I never thought about things like shaking out towels. We don't have many dangerous insects here in Canada because the freezing temperatures tend to kill them. I guess that's one benefit of having six months of winter. :o
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Re: Canadian wants to know aboutMossies and other biting insects

Postby Young Camping Family » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:11 pm

Lol - with that essay of nasties they'll be too scared to come!!
Chances are you will not encounter many or any of the nasties, but better to be aware than ignorant.
Most annoying would be mozzies, flies and sandflies.
Apparently high doses of vitamin B helps deter the sandflies but it didn't work for me as a kid. You could try googling it.
Grab a can of Aerogard or Bushman (Aerogard can be found in our supermarkets, and Bushman can be found at camping stores) and you should be fine :)
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Re: Canadian wants to know aboutMossies and other biting insects

Postby Derek Bullock » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:17 pm

I know opinions will differ but to me this will be about the best insect repellent you can get, particularly the heavy duty one. It is available in most stores.

http://www.bushman-repellent.com/products.htm
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Re: Canadian wants to know aboutMossies and other biting insects

Postby Blue Bravo » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:24 pm

Hot water is now the standard treatment for bites. Mrs Bravo was bitten by a Fortescue Fish at Easter. It wasn't until the triage nurse at the hospital put her foot in hot water that she got any relief. The Fortescue Fish doesn't usually feature in lists of nasties and I hadn't heard of them until this incident.
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Re: Canadian wants to know aboutMossies and other biting insects

Postby Derek Bullock » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:32 pm

Blue Bravo wrote:The Fortescue Fish doesn't usually feature in lists of nasties and I hadn't heard of them until this incident.


Used to catch them in freshwater creeks here in south east Queensland when I was a kid. Also called bullrout up here.
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Re: Canadian wants to know aboutMossies and other biting insects

Postby Pauly » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:45 pm

We get bull routs here too, real mungrels when your prawning. I have nailed by them lots when empting my net, now I dont bother trying to get them out I wait until they dry then use pliers to get them out, another thing that wont kill you but kicks like a mule.

I will have to try hot water just ice water is sometimes easier to get hold of.


Ps didnt think it was an essay, sorry just trying to be helpful.
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Re: Canadian wants to know aboutMossies and other biting insects

Postby Lin » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:59 am

Just wanted to add that the mozzies here in NSW aren't worse than most other places in the world I've been too. I grew up in Belgium and I reckon they were worse there. But I've never been to the tropics!

My advice would be to take some tropical strength insect repellent (flies can drive you mad here without it!), maybe some less toxic mozzie repellent aswell and some antihistamines.

Lots of the bites you can get here won't kill you but they may itch like mad or cause a rash or whatever.

PS: I've been here for 12 years and was bitten by (what I think was) a spider for the first time last week! Made the mistake of using a tree trunk as support whilst walking in the pitch dark. I can still see the bite, which is smaller than a mozzie bite and has 2 little fang marks. Only hurt a little bit for about 10 minutes and no side effects thank god!
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Re: Canadian wants to know aboutMossies and other biting insects

Postby Little Kopit » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:01 am

I like the idea of a cream or a gel insect repellent.

& pump spray containers.

But aerosol containers have two big things wrong with them over here in Canada.
1. Effect of the chemical in the spray to push it out on the ozone layer, ie, negative.
2. They have much less repellent for your $ than either the creams and gels or pump spray.

:)
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Re: Canadian wants to know aboutMossies and other biting insects

Postby Young Camping Family » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:43 am

I was only kidding about the "essay" Pauly :grin:
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Re: Canadian wants to know aboutMossies and other biting insects

Postby Redback » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:57 pm

Someone mentioned Lizards, there's only one lizard that you should steer clear of when you get up north, and that's the biggest one we have, I think they are called Saltwater Crocidiles :armsup

Other than them most are just like anywhere else, just plain annoying, get some repellent, Rid, Aeroguard, Bushman, Off, you'll find one you like out of those.

With snakes, make a lot of noise when walking through long grass, they will stay away.

I've been camping in the bush for over 30yrs and never ever been bitten by a snake or spider, lots of mossies and Horse flys though :twisted:

It's the drop bears ya gotta look out for :***

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Re: Canadian wants to know aboutMossies and other biting insects

Postby Pauly » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:03 pm

Oh no not the drop bears :roll: , nasty bit of gear them and you dont normally hear many talk about them, just dont venture to far from camp at night you will be fine.
If you hear of people talking about drop bears at your camp its a good idea not to look up when you walk under trees and some people will even make a special noise that scares the drop bears whoop, whoop, whoop its sounds like woo hoop, the drop bears seem to be afraid of this.
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