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Old 06-24-2009, 12:56 PM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 11,869,550 times
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Calamine lotion is a joke even for little nuisance bug bites ! It doesn't do diddly for a serious case of poison ivy. If you ever get poison ivy real bad, use clear benadryl spray. I tried a product for bites and poison ivy from Aveeno once and it was a joke also. I get poison ivy so bad now as I've had it so many times that I generally have to get either cortisone shots or I have to go on a prednisone series. I have even been hospitalized for it.
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,570,254 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickers View Post
Calamine lotion is a joke even for little nuisance bug bites ! It doesn't do diddly for a serious case of poison ivy. If you ever get poison ivy real bad, use clear benadryl spray. I tried a product for bites and poison ivy from Aveeno once and it was a joke also. I get poison ivy so bad now as I've had it so many times that I generally have to get either cortisone shots or I have to go on a prednisone series. I have even been hospitalized for it.
My advice is to stay out of the poison ivy Since you get it that bad you might want to carry epinephren (and mind the expiration date, it DOES die on schedule), or at least atropine (which keeps forever regardless of the exp.date).

I always found calamine worked pretty well for skeeter bites. Never tried it for anything else. If I get a black widow bite (which happened occasionally when I was working for the beekeeper -- beehives attract the damn things) I found that injecting atropine all around the edge of the swelling will stop it cold.

The other thing that helps, if you know you have a reaction to something, is to take an antihistamine BEFORE you might be exposed. Helps cut down the reaction when/if you do get nailed.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:46 AM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 11,869,550 times
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[quote=Reziac;9454827]My advice is to stay out of the poison ivy [quote]

I grew up around lots of poison oak and had developed radar for detecting it. After moving to Montana I got poison ivy each summer for the first three years that I lived here. I haven't gotten into it for 9 years now and that's a feat for a river rat who loves to fish in Montana. I have radar for poison ivy now and don't need to bother with antihistamines for "just in case" !
I have a friend who lives in the mountains who will come close to dying if he ever gets stung by a yellow jacket wasp again. He has to carry epinephrine everywhere he goes or he will be in a very bad hurt if stung. He heats with wood and gets all of his firewood himself. You should see him freak out when a bee or a wasp comes near him ! I've never seen arms flailing about so fast in my life and the look on his face is one of pure terror. We joke him about being a wussy when he does that and his expression always turns to a very annoyed look.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:52 AM
 
Location: cape girardeau
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I would think the Montana winters would keep the bug pop down. I've thought about moving to Montana for that very reason, lol. I guess I wont be/ As far as mosquitos, they don't bother me. The yellow jackets and hornets though........thats a whole different story!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,570,254 times
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Originally Posted by spanko75 View Post
I would think the Montana winters would keep the bug pop down. I've thought about moving to Montana for that very reason, lol. I guess I wont be/ As far as mosquitos, they don't bother me. The yellow jackets and hornets though........thats a whole different story!!!!!!!!!!!!
If winter made a difference, Alaska's state bird wouldn't be the twin-engine mosquito -- they're so bad that people slather "bear grease" (thick gooey stuff) on every bit of exposed skin just to keep from being eaten alive. One of the leading causes of death in caribou is severe anemia from mosquito bites!!

Conversely here in the SoCal desert, where winter only comes a few days a year, there are almost no mosquitoes, except where there are oak trees (one species can reproduce in just the moisture trapped in oak bark).

In general, the more standing water and vegetation, the more mosquitoes. And remember that stock points and eddies along the riverbank count as standing water, as does the dew that collects in grass.
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Old 06-25-2009, 03:21 PM
 
Location: In The Outland
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There are a lot of black widow spiders in western Montana, I don't know about the rest of the state though. One thing I noticed about western Montana after living there for 12 years is that an astounding number of people there (even doctors) think that there are brown recluse there. Doctors are constantly mis-diagnosing hobo spider bites as bites from brown recluse spiders in western Montana.
There is certainly no shortage of ignorance and stupidity all over western Montana.
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:07 PM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 11,869,550 times
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Another example of bug ignorance; way too many folks see these harmless guys and think they are looking at really big mosquitoes. They really do look a lot like mosquitoes but are really crane flies. They are also called mosquito hawks because they eat mosquitoes as well as the larva. Leave them alone they are good bugs.

http://i573.photobucket.com/albums/ss174/nomadiyak/cranefly.jpg (broken link)
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,570,254 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickers View Post
Another example of bug ignorance; way too many folks see these harmless guys and think they are looking at really big mosquitoes. They really do look a lot like mosquitoes but are really crane flies. They are also called mosquito hawks because they eat mosquitoes as well as the larva. Leave them alone they are good bugs.
Actually ... adult crane flies eat nectar (if they eat at all; some species don't) and the larvae eat roots. They can be a lawn pest if they get out of hand and destroy the roots, but personally I've never seen them cause a problem (might only happen in fairly wet environments). They are food for a lot of birds and insects, and otherwise harmless. I rather enjoy watching them. They're very dainty and fragile for their size.

The notion that they eat mosquitoes probably comes from confusing them with a small species of dragonfly, which can look much the same at a casual glance, and are no larger than the biggest crane flies. However, I've noticed that crane flies seem to crowd out mosquitoes, or maybe attract more predators that also eat mosquitoes -- so when there are lots of crane flies around, you usually see fewer mosquitoes than usual.

So, yep -- overall, they're one of the good bugs. And once you've seen one up close, they're real easy to tell from mosquitoes.
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,570,254 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickers View Post
There are a lot of black widow spiders in western Montana, I don't know about the rest of the state though. One thing I noticed about western Montana after living there for 12 years is that an astounding number of people there (even doctors) think that there are brown recluse there. Doctors are constantly mis-diagnosing hobo spider bites as bites from brown recluse spiders in western Montana.
There are a bunch of black-widow lookalikes that are harmless -- but some are aggressive and it's not really possible to tell them apart without a close examination.

Only place I ever saw black widows in MT was in the window wells at East Jr. High School in Great Falls. Dunno why I never saw 'em anywhere else. They're probably the 2nd most common spider here in the desert, after the long-leggers (which are a true spider, not a daddy long-legs). They both come indoors in hordes. When I bought this place.. the rental house had been vacant for a couple months and it looked like a TV spook house from all the black widow webs. I actually had to use a shovel to break them down -- they were so thick a broom didn't cut it! -- Last night one built a big web across my front porch, so I had to bash through it to get outside this morning!

I let the tarantulas and wind scorpions come inside if they want, because they eat the damned black widows.

We aren't supposed to have tarantulas here but we do -- albeit a very small one, only about 2 inches (legs and all) at its largest. Dunno what species it is, but they have very good vision for a spider: Couple years ago I caught one and kept it in a jar, and fed it grasshoppers -- it got so when it saw me coming with dinner, it would go round and round in its jar, all excited! (It didn't do this if I didn't have a hopper.) I'd drop in the hopper and the tarantula would grab it and MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH GONE that quick -- didn't take 30 seconds. It ate everything but the feet.

We aren't supposed to have brown recluse spiders here either, but there are tons of them. They are easy enough to tell from the harmless ones because they are slick-bodied with no visible hair, plus they've got a squash-shaped abdomen that doesn't look like any other common spider.

But my favourite "things we aren't supposed to have here!" was the hooded cobra that was living in the baggage terminal at LAX! They thought it had come in someone's luggage from India. When it made the news they still hadn't caught it. A week or so later I was working on a film shoot in the terminal, and saw it poking its head out of a cargo crate full of baggage!!! Good-sized snake, probably 8 feet long. I never did hear what became of it.
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:29 PM
 
Location: somewhere in the woods
16,885 posts, read 12,994,700 times
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try cooking with garlic on your food, it leaches out of the pores of your skin and helps keep mosquitoes from coming near you.

sort of a natural repellent.
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