Maggie Heumann is many things — Artemis founder, podcast host, outdoor gear hocker, fisherwoman — AND… entomologist. This week we’re talking bugs in the field. From finding a treasure trove of bug artifacts at an estate sale to inadvertently having a sleeping bag full of fleas, there’s a lot to know about our six-legged frenemies. 

  • 1:25 – ‘Bugz with Magz’ webinars
  • 3:30 – Maggie’s quarantine: Knitting, bread-baking, watching bug videos. Yep.
  • 5:25 – Maggie’s Instagram… sweet entomology finds from an estate sale.
  • 8:30 – Big snow year = big skeeter year… womp womp. But on the flip side, drier years often mean more ticks/fleas
  • 9:30 – Mosquitos are attracted to the output of CO2 (= breathing) and lactic acid. They’re remarkable at sensing people from afar
  • 12:00 – Skin-liquifying bug enzymes
  • 13:00 – Colors. Mosquitoes love them!
  • 14:30 – Black flies, horseflies, deer flies
  • 19:00 – Anytime it’s above 50 degrees, it’s mosquito-hatching time
  • 20:30 – Caterpillars… A good rule of thumb: If it has really vibrant colors or spines, probably not a good one to handle.
  • 21:30 – Ants… geography makes a big difference. Fire ants in the Southeast are worth steering clear of.
  • 22:30 – E.O. Wilson discovered imported red fire ants as a youngster… and he went on to be a big bug guy ever since.
  • 23:00 – With ants, wasps, bees, hornets — the biggest concern is allergies. Keep antihistamines and antiseptics in your first-aid kit. If you’re not allergic, try not to itch! It further distributes the insect’s poison on your skin.
  • 24:50 – Dip spit may, or may not, alleviate the pain of a sting. 
  • 25:00 – Bees/wasps/hornets — they’re bugs with four wings. The two-winged bugs are the flies.
  • 25:30 – Fleas! Fleas don’t just live on your dog and cat… they love to live in your house. No wings, but those buggers can jump.
  • 26:30 – White is a bug-neutral color for the most part… except when it comes to fleas. Don’t wear white socks. Get colorful socks!
  • 28:00 – A cautionary tale of tossing white ankle socks on a sleeping bag in flea country
  • 31:30 – Moving on to ticks… not actually insects! As larvae they have six legs, but when they molt they become 8-legged. (Chiggers and mites: also arachnids.)
  • 33:30 – It’s worth dumping some time on YouTube to see how ticks find their hosts. Check this one out.
  • 35:00 – The signature ‘bullseye’ of Lyme disease is only specific to one tick… you can still get it without experiencing that.
  • 37:00 – Lyme disease is still concentrated in the East/Northeast. Out West though, there’s Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the way of tick-borne illness
  • 38:00 – Scorpions… most of the time they’re harmless. Painful bite, nothing more.
  • 39:00 – Handling tick- or flea-laden game
  • 41:00 – Send us your pictures of bugs on game! Artemis@nwf.org
  • 41:30 – Black widows, brown recluses, hobo spiders — those are the big arachnids to know
  • 43:00 – Chiggers don’t actually burrow into you
  • 45:00 – Deet… really bad for your outdoor gear, really great for keeping bugs away. But maybe not for everyone.
  • 45:30 – Alternative bug sprays: IR3535 – a new insect repellent from Europe, Picariden, and essential oils (lemon, citrus, catnip oils), or Thermacell fan
  • 47:00 – First aid: Have a first aid kit, know who’s allergic, and try to wash those bite sites as soon as you can
  • 51:00 – “No Shit, There I Was” book