The 2001 Bug Season in the San Gabriel Mountains


Bugs: I've sampled the same location, Big Horn Mine and Manzanita Trails from Vincent Gap (~6500'), seven times this summer, on 28 May, 15 June, 10 and 25 July, 10 August, 9 and 21 September. Biting snipe flies appeared in large numbers on 15 June and then declined, being nearly gone on 25 July. Annoying gnats were present in force from 25 July through 21 September whenever the wind was still and especially in the shade.

In detail, on 28 May Jane and I found no bugs, but on 15 June, the biting snipe flies were moderately bad. Interestingly, they affected only me and not my hiking companion Craig. When we stopped in the shade, I would have ten flies on me within a minute or two, and Craig would have none! The flies were also bad on the Manzanita Trail, but people reported very few flies on the Baden-Powell Trail. I put on my mesh shirt to protect me from the snipe flies on 15 June, but didn't need it in July when I found only about ten snipe flies in total. The annoying gnats were only in the shade on 25 July, and were much preferable to the biting snipe flies since the gnats mainly annoy instead of bite.

Other experiences this summer:

Ticks: Ticks were present from late December 2000 through at least April 2001, and seemed very much worse this year than in previous years. Terry Morse picked up two on the Idlehour Trail on 12/23/00, his hiking buddy Roger Weingaertner picked up one from Trail Canyon to Tom Lucas Trail Camp on 4/7/01, and another hiking buddy got one at Mt. Lukens on 4/28/01. Jane has been picking up at least on every hike in La Tuna Canyon from February through April.

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Copyright © 2001 by Tom Chester.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Last update: 4 November 2001.