Insect Repellant

LisaSusan

Posted: Mon, Jun 11, 2012, 18:22

Hi there can anyone advise on the need to take insect repellant. Bugs love to bite me and I end up looking like the Elephant Man. I am trying to keep my bag light but don't want to scare other walkers if there are biting insects around. We are GR 20ing between end of August to middle of September. Can anyone whose walked around those times let me know whether there were biting nasties. PS we are camping so won't be sleeping in the refuges.
Thanks

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Lisa



Gaffr

Posted: Tue, Jun 12, 2012, 6:56

I cannot recall any problems with insects during the traverse......maybe being, for most of the time, and travelling above the 900 metre level lelps with this? For us, coming from Scotland, where the dreaded midge can ruin most evenings and mornings during the summer months it was a real pleasure to be able to be outside the tent to eat and drink. Our journey was in june/july but would it different during other months?
The only place where we came across any biting insects was at the camping in Porticcio, which is beside the sea, before we travelled over MM Sud etc. The camping was close to ponds which would be natural mosquito rearing areas. They obviously have an control programme at this site which had me running from the area when a couple of folks in full cover with masks etc started to spray some white powder over the vegetation!

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Gaffr



dinny

Posted: Tue, Jun 12, 2012, 8:40

Hi Lisa,

The only problems I had with biting insects were: camping at low level at the beginning and end of the trail (I used Deet to disuade the little blighters!), and decending Monte Renosu through maquis, when some nasty bugs flew up my trouser-legs and feasted on the back of my knees. Those bites bothered me day and night for days - I'd advise tucking trousers into socks or boots when walking through shrub-land.

Happy hiking :-)
Dinny



Michele
moderator

Posted: Tue, Jun 12, 2012, 8:51

I agree with Roger. I don't remember having had any problems with insects. Just steer clear of armyworms and their nests and you're going to be ok :)

--Michele



Gaffr

Posted: Tue, Jun 12, 2012, 13:08

Hello Michele,
Are, what you call 'armyworms', the chenille processionaire?.....I only ever came across the nests of these creatures in the pine trees. I was informed that they were not to be touched.....is it bite or some toxin in the hairs. I have seen pictures of these in travelling mode....its kind-of weird they link up into a long chain and then?
When we had our tent pitched beneath a nest at Sega refuge area some French folks, seeing out tent position, got a bit agitated and said that they would never do this! It obviously just was not their time to start moving. :-) With these guys it would appear that you should give them a wide berth which is much more preferable to insects seeking out humans.

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Gaffr



Michele
moderator

Posted: Tue, Jun 12, 2012, 17:03

Roger,

I looked up in my dictionary for the correct English word but I got the unconvincing "armyworms". I was in fact talking about the "chenille processionaire" (or "processionaria" in Italian).

Apparently Corsica is infested with this worm. It's important to steer clear from it because it is toxic and can cause rashes and such. But it's not aggressive and if you leave it alone nothing is going to happen.

During my travel I didn't get to see the worms themselves but I noticed their eerie nests enveloped in gossamer/cobweb or whatever up on trees or bushes.

http://www.lanature.fr/insecte/photo/nid.de.chenille.processionnaire.du....



Gaffr

Posted: Wed, Jun 13, 2012, 8:06

I came across these wee nests after getting it wrong going up to Bocca a u Saltu on the first morning first time in Corse. Basically we somehow missed out the zig-zags and ended up on a 'bit of a path' below a broken craggy area.....decided to tough it through the prickly stuff, not a good decision, and rejoined the correct route just before the Bocca. It was in this area when we first saw the nests!
On subsequent visits to the other routes these nests were to be seen in many areas where we pitched our tent. Certainly after our meeting with the knowledgable folks at Sega we treated these nests with more than a little caution.

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Gaffr



jsoap

Posted: Wed, Jun 13, 2012, 8:17

We seen a bunch of these on the trail last month, but I didn't realise what they were.
Luckily, I'm aware that some caterpillars can 'sting', so I usually leave them well alone.
The english name is the Pine Processionary Caterpillar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_Processionary and reports suggest that they are now in the UK!



Michele
moderator

Posted: Wed, Jun 13, 2012, 9:35

Thanks jsoap for providing the English name :)



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Mon, Jun 18, 2012, 7:23

Aha! I wondered what those nests were...

I agree with all the comments.

There aren't biting bugs on the GR20 unless you're unfortunate enough to encounter the bed bugs.

I wasn't bothered by anything on the approach through the maquis either or the campsite nearest to Bastia Airport (Camping Isabella).

Alan

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Alan