Now’d you think, what it being full-blown summer, that it’s just a little too late for that. You’ve already armed yourself with bug spray, suntan lotion, grabbed your beach chair and dipped into your savings account to help pay for a single visit to someplace like Salisbury Reservation or worse, Crane Beach.
Well, this is a classic case where not knowing can not only hurt you, it can be downright painful – and I’m not just talking your wallet.
If you are resident of this area, you know what I’m talking about.
These inhabitants of the salt marshes are powerful flyers and are not polite enough to stay by the marsh – that’s because once they have laid a batch of eggs, they’re making plans to do it again. But now they need your blood to do it. The Greenhead, Tabanus Americanus Forester is about 7/8 to 1-1/8″ (22-28 mm) long but once you’ve been victimized, you could swear they’re the size of the large model on display at the Parker River Wildlife Center. The mouthparts are for tearing and lapping, not piercing. The personal experience is a cross between a buzz saw tearing into you and a twisting jagged knife.
But that is not the worst part!
These buggers are immune to the normal bug spray. Due to their large size, they will just sweat off a good blast of DEET. There are only two known products out there that will prevent their blood lust and guarantee a pleasant summer for you and your family. But here’s the clincher! Neither are available in the typical store. This means that if you don’t plan ahead, you will be making a whole lot of Plum Islander’s very happy. They’ve got the stuff…and you don’t. To prevent physical pain you will have to suffer great financial pain.
Unless you plan ahead.
The first product is Avon’s Skin-so-Soft. This used to be only available in a lotion but now can be purchased in spray form. I personally don’t want to know why the greenheads hate this product. They just do. It costs about $10.00 a bottle and can be purchased in either form on www.buy.avon.com.
The second product, appropriately is called Greenhead. Why, because something that can stop a greenhead just about stops everything else out there in the insect world. You have this product, you can save money by not having to buy any other. Oh, as a passing note, the new chemical and electronic bug deflectors are useless against our giant flying fiends. Don’t even bother.
And since you have saved some money and pain – I can help you even more. Everyone on this side of the river (as well as the smart ones on the north side) know that Plum Island is the best place to beach. It often has far less of an onslaught from the visitors from the big cities to the west and the views are just spectacular. But this plus is offset by the exorbitant parking fees.(but the restaurants are better!)
Well, the Federal Duck Stamp is just now available at the Wildlife Center or at the Post Office. This stamp runs from July 1 to Jun 30th and is released by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. That means worry-free parking year round at the first parking lot in the preserve and easy access to the bottom where Sandy Point State Park is located. It is $15.00 and quite a bargain if you are going repeatedly to the beach or hiking trails or even bird watching. Not only that, it gives you access to the other National wildlife centers and if you have a boat; to Thacher Island where the twin lighthouses are located.
So, with a quick trip to the post office or the Wildlife Center and a little online shopping, you are just about guaranteed to have a very pleasant rest of the summer.
As for pain, just don’t pet the seals!