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Gnats

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Redwinger

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Re: Gnats

by Redwinger » Tue May 27, 2008 8:38 am

Robert Reynolds wrote:There are worse pests than gnats. I talked with my Dad this afternoon, and he recounted having killed a 4 1/2-foot-long copperhead snake this morning, between his house and my sister's (she lives just down the hill from him). Talk about something to disrupt a bbq party, a copperhead would have been just the thing to do so!

That is indeed one very large copperhead. As a youth I learned they have a nasty disposition and are more prone to holding their ground that most snakes. I seem to recall they are responsible for more envenomations than any other species here is the U.S. but I could be wrong about that.
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Howie Hart

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Re: Gnats

by Howie Hart » Tue May 27, 2008 10:12 am

Robin Garr wrote:...I've always admired the name of the Savannah minor-league baseball team, the Sand Gnats.

You've got to wonder about their team cheers. ("Go, Gnats!"?) And I find it particularly difficult to imagine what the team mascot might look like ...
To avoid confusion, I think we're talking about at least 3 different animals here. From my understanding, gnats are harmless little bugs that fly around. Fruit flies are similar but are attracted to fruits, including wine. I've never heard the term "Sand Gnat", but Parris Island, SC is not far from Savannah and they had what Marines called "sand fleas" which would bite you anywhere. I recall being bitten inside my ear while standing at attention. The act of slowly trying to rid myself of the pest with a finger cost me 25 pushups. Several years later, while honeymooning in St. Thomas, I was bitten by "no-see-ums", all over my feet and ankles, so bad I couldn't sleep, until one of the natives suggeted liberally applying aloe to the affected areas. It was like a miracle. Aloe plants grow all over the place in St. Thomas.
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JC (NC)

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Re: Gnats

by JC (NC) » Tue May 27, 2008 10:53 am

They called them "no see-ums" in Charleston, SC when I was on a house and garden tour. Shortly after Hurricane Floyd (or was it Hurricane Fran) blew through Fayetteville, I went on a Crop Walk to raise money for food banks and world hunger causes. I remembered to apply sun screen but didn't think to use insect repellant. Clouds of gnats attacked us on the walk. I asked a policeman directing traffic at one intersection if he could please shoot them and he laughed and said that would be a mighty small target to hit.
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Paul Winalski

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Re: Gnats

by Paul Winalski » Tue May 27, 2008 2:45 pm

No-see-ums were an alternative name for what we called chiggers when I lived in Omaha, Nebraska. Nasty little mite larvae that burrow in the skin and raise up huge, very itchy hives, usually in closely-covered parts of the skin such as the ankles covered by socks. Fortunately we don't have those here in New England. We just have mosquitoes and black flies. The wine pests are fruit flies.

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Re: Gnats

by Paul Winalski » Tue May 27, 2008 2:49 pm

Robert Reynolds wrote:Reminds me of the old story of the South Georgia garden party, during which the host and hostess keep getting complemented on the delightful bite the sprinkles of black pepper added to the potato salad. Later the wife worriedly confides to husband, "I didn't put black pepper in the potato salad!" :shock:


Reminds me of a Dilbert cartoon. Dilbert is in the kitchen with a fistful of uncooked spaghetti. Ratbert is having a bath in a large pot on the stove. Ratbert says "Uh-oh. I'm usually done with my bath before you come in to cook the spaghetti." In the last panel, Dilbert and Dogbert are at table with a spaghetti dinner in front of them. Dogbert says, "It makes you wonder about the capers." Dilbert says in shock, "Capers??"

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Robert Reynolds

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Re: Gnats

by Robert Reynolds » Wed May 28, 2008 12:54 am

Redwinger wrote:
Robert Reynolds wrote:There are worse pests than gnats. I talked with my Dad this afternoon, and he recounted having killed a 4 1/2-foot-long copperhead snake this morning, between his house and my sister's (she lives just down the hill from him). Talk about something to disrupt a bbq party, a copperhead would have been just the thing to do so!

That is indeed one very large copperhead. As a youth I learned they have a nasty disposition and are more prone to holding their ground that most snakes. I seem to recall they are responsible for more envenomations than any other species here is the U.S. but I could be wrong about that.

Fortunately for those bitten, it is extremely rare for a healthy adult to die from a copperhead bite. I recalled reading that fact shortly before I found myself standing in the woods, fingers smeared with blood trickling from the twin punctures on my right calf, watching the small serpent slither into the underbrush, an hour's drive from the nearest medical facility. :shock: This was back in 1996, and obviously I did not expire. Thankfully. The worst part of the whole ordeal was having to hear the ER doc's bad snakebite jokes.
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Jon Peterson

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Re: Gnats

by Jon Peterson » Wed May 28, 2008 2:50 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Robert Reynolds wrote:Gnats in the Deep South are a fact of life

I've always admired the name of the Savannah minor-league baseball team, the Sand Gnats.

You've got to wonder about their team cheers. ("Go, Gnats!"?) And I find it particularly difficult to imagine what the team mascot might look like ...


Not to be confused with the Washington Nats baseball team. (Now that I mention it, I'd much rather deal with gnats than Nats, given their current record.)
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Howie Hart

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Re: Gnats

by Howie Hart » Wed May 28, 2008 4:09 pm

Robert Reynolds wrote:...The worst part of the whole ordeal was having to hear the ER doc's bad snakebite jokes.
So, how many ER docs does it take to change a snakebite dressing? A priest, a rabbi and an ER doc are playing golf...
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Re: Gnats

by Covert » Fri May 30, 2008 6:29 am

Robert Reynolds wrote:Fortunately for those bitten, it is extremely rare for a healthy adult to die from a copperhead bite.


A friend of mine here in New York caught and kept for his amusement a timber rattler. Showing off with it got him a small bite on the end of his finger. Albany Medical Center, which he drove himself to, had no antivenom and had to fly it in from Arizona. I guess the venom somehow causes the system to view blood as a foreign substance and attempt to eliminate it through the bladder. The antivenom turned out to be almost as toxic as the snake venom. Andy was in the hospital for a couple of weeks and nearly died, both from the bite and from the snakebite jokes around his bedside.
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Robert Reynolds

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Re: Gnats

by Robert Reynolds » Fri May 30, 2008 9:54 am

My ER doc opted not to give me antivenom for my bite, as I was not showing signs of any serious allergic reaction 90 minutes after the bite, and he said the antivenom reaction could be worse than the venom in my case.

Rattlesnakes are a different story - people can and do die from their venom every year.
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