Bedtime on the BIObus has been a bit of an adventure so far thanks to the numerous species of biting flies here at Prince Albert National Park. So far we’ve had mosquitoes, deer and horse flies (Tabanids), black flies and (our definite favourite and what I’m being bitten by as I write) tiny biting midges known as Punkies, all eagerly waiting to help themselves to our blood as soon as we bed down for the night. Another name for the tiny flies is No-see-ums which is appropriate because they can hardly be seen and are small enough to easily slip through the window screens on the BIObus – drawn to our exhaled carbon dioxide.
We usually go on the offensive before bed to get rid of the mosquitoes and Tabanids but I’ve found the best defense against Punkies is donning a fine mesh bug jacket before getting in bed. Not the most comfortable way to sleep but better than having their serrated mouthparts buried in your neck.
Agata assures us the biting flies are less severe in the Alberta parks we’ll be traveling to next. Although it’s been interesting to see some fly species that are new to me in the form of these little biters; my fingers are crossed that she’s right.