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Danecdotes: Spring is for the birds; summer is for the bugs

Summer can be lots of fun, if you remember the bug spray

An Aedes aegypti mosquito. Daniel Becerril / Reuters
An Aedes aegypti mosquito. Daniel Becerril / Reuters
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Summer bugs me.

Stay with me now. Summer is great. I enjoy the warm weather and the longer days. I love going to baseball games.

When I say summer bugs me, I mean that somewhat literally.

The bugs can be out of hand here.

Granted, I live in a heavily wooded area, and bugs tend to be worse there. But all the bugs do take some of the fun out of summer for me.

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First of all, mosquitoes and gnats are terrible in very small doses here. I will often step outside and walk face-first into a literal cloud of gnats. Mosquitoes will show up in droves too, and my kid’s leg is full of little red spots from those monsters.

Both bugs are usually here for a few days at a time - usually after it rains - and then they disappear for a while.

One reason they are only bad in small doses is because we get dragonflies by the hundreds here. Dragonflies are pretty cool and they are harmless, but when dozens of them are in your driveway and on your deck, it’s a little inconvenient.

One more reason for the small doses of the pesky bugs is the spiders - oh, the spiders.

They are all over the place. Spider webs on the house, between the deck spindles, on the swingset and just about anywhere else you can think of.

They keep the other pesky little creatures at bay, but they are also the masters of breaking into the house. The main issue with this is my wife hates spiders with a burning passion that I cannot fathom leveling against any species of animal.

So if one gets in the house, she treats it like there is an actively ticking bomb in the house and I have to deal with it. Some people are deliberately very careful and gentle when it comes to removing spiders from their houses. My wife has more of a “show no mercy” mentality.

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We also have a variety of ants. There are big ones, small ones, red ones, black ones - all I know is we have to spray around the house a few times a year, and there is always an ant trap in the bathroom and near the fridge.

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Wasps and hornets also insist on hanging out in our area.

A few years ago, I had a wasp nest the size of a volleyball in an old grill. The next summer, an even larger nest was found - the hard way - under the deck.

While pressure-washing the house this past weekend, I managed to completely destroy a small nest, and one of those evil little buggers took offense to that, which I suppose is understandable.

And of course, there are wood ticks.

I don’t think there is a person on the planet who likes wood ticks, but I really don’t like wood ticks. If someone mentions wood ticks, I feel about a dozen imaginary ones crawling on me. So the fact that my kid can end up getting one on him just by playing on his swingset annoys me to no end.

I just have to grumble a bit. I love living where I do, and I love the lakes area. If you think that all of these godforsaken creatures will keep me from enjoying the nature this area provides, you are sorely mistaken.

Maybe I just need to invest in a fogger.

Dan-Determan-head.jpg

Dan Determan, sports writer/staff writer, may be reached at 218-855-5879 or dan.determan@pineandlakes.com . Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Dan.

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Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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