How Do The Bugs Know All The Cool Spots?

We moved on board the boat with a bug-repelling bandana and sunscreen/insecticide for Honey. We knew we’d be visiting some interesting places. And of course, they’d be buggy.

How do the bugs know all the cool spots?

Wearing lots of clothes protects us from bugs. And cold.

In this picture, we’re dressed for the cold. But it’s also a good wardrobe for bug protection.

Visit The Adirondacks In The Rain

Have you ever visited the Adirondacks Park in upstate New York? It’s gorgeous.

The largest protected wilderness area east of the Mississippi River, the Adirondacks Park is larger than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Canyon, and the Great Smokies National Parks combined.

The Adirondacks of New York.

New York, Adirondacks.

Let that sink in a while. That’s a huge area.

And who lives there? Billions and billions of biting flies.

When we visited it over a decade ago, we were lucky that it rained nearly every day. It was the only sure protection against bugs.

My husband and I had netting to cover our faces and gloves for our hands. But our poor pup Agatha had only her fur.

If it hadn’t rained so much, I would have worried about taking her outside and subjecting her to the biting fly menace.

We’re facing another bug menace in our current location. But lucky for Honey, her fur protects her pretty well.

I Can’t See Them; But I Feel Them

Right now, we’re enjoying lovely warm temperatures in the Low Country of South Carolina—Beaufort to be specific.

Well, enjoying might be a little strong. To cope with the bugs, I’m wearing long pants, shoes, and a sweater on an 80+F (27 C) degree day.

To visit the marina bathroom this morning, I covered all but a few inches of exposed skin and sprayed poison on myself.

Arriving at the dock last week, I was unprotected for a brief moment with still winds and vulnerable to the dreaded no-see-ums. I counted thirty-four bite marks on my left ankle alone.

Honey the golden retriever and Pam row to shore in dinghy.

You may think those oars are for rowing. Actually, they’re giant fly swatters.

Luckily for Honey, fur keeps the biting midges from gaining access to her vulnerable skin. And there’s not any part of her body besides her eyes and nose that isn’t protected by fur.

I just hope the wind picks up a bit so I can enjoy exploring lovely Beaufort (the entire town is on the National Historic Register).

It’s gotta be a fabulous place. Because bugs always congregate in the cool spots.

Which reminds me…

Talking Trash For The Best City For Pet Travelers

I’m supporting lovely Charleston, South Carolina in the Best City for Pet Travelers brackets over at Go Pet Friendly.

Honey the golden retriever and Pam in White Point Garden in Charleston.

On a hot and humid day, White Point Garden could be my favorite spot in Charleston.

We just spent a month there. Charleston is lovely, cultured, and yes, very pet friendly.

Charleston is competing against Nashville, Tennessee in round two.

Charleston battery from the water.

Honey wonders why we ever left beautiful Charleston.

How do I know Charleston is superior to Nashville in every way? When you do an internet search on bugs in Nashville, you see an occasional article on bed bugs. But Charleston is swarming with no-see-ums right now.

Honey and Mike at Waterfront Park in Charleston.

After so much walking, I’m happy to have a place to sit and enjoy the view from Charleston’s Waterfront Park.

Bugs know all the cool spots. And Charleston is one of the coolest.

Let me tell you a few other reasons I know Charleston is a much more fun place for you to travel with your pets.

Trash Talking To Nashville

  1. Nashville is the capital of Tennessee. And we all know how cool capital cities are—Harrisburg, Albany, Bismarck. Charleston didn’t need to be the capital to convince people to live there.
  2. Nashville has a hockey team. Hockey! In freaking Tennessee. How weird can you get? Charleston has roller derby.
  3. Nashville is famous for hot chicken. And hot fish. Charleston is famous for she-crab soup, Low Country boil, shrimp and grits, and gumbo. Which sounds more delicious to you?
  4. Nashville has a variety of religious thought, sort of. It’s home to the national conventions of the Southern Baptists, National Baptists, and Free Will Baptists. Charleston, however, wrote religious tolerance into its founding documents and was, in 1800, the largest settlement of Jewish people in the country.
  5. Nashville does not allow dogs on their public transit system. Charleston also does not allow dogs on their buses. But they have a cool water taxi which is pet friendly. And dogs ride for free!

Pet Friendly Charleston

We loved exploring Charleston with Honey.

It’s a very walkable city so we took her with us most of the time.

Honey casts shade on the Battery in Charleston.

It’s bad enough that you’re acting like a tourist and taking all the dumb pictures. Couldn’t you at least find some shade?

In fact, Free Walking Tours of Charleston allows dogs to join the fun. We left Honey at home when we did our tour. But she would have loved getting lovies from the tourists as we checked out all the magnificent architecture.

Charleston has many excellent restaurants of all types. Many have pet friendly patios.

Since we live on a boat, we didn’t investigate pet friendly hotels. But even some of the elegant mansions have pet friendly accommodations, as we learned when our friends from Groovy Goldendoodles visited Wentworth Mansion.

So what are you waiting for? Hop over to the Best City For Pet Friendly Travelers and click on Charleston (second from the bottom). And all your other favorite pet friendly cities in the brackets.

And don’t worry about the bugs. They’re just the easiest way to know you’ve found a really cool spot.

Canadian naval vessel in Charleston Harbor.

Charleston is so cool it attracted the Canadian Navy for shore leave.

Your turn: Would bugs keep you and your pets from visiting a really cool vacation spot?

photo credit: Lone Maple via photopin (license). Click on the image to learn more about the photographer.

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  1. Yikes, 34 on one ankle alone? Holy cow, that is a bunch. I use essential oils on me and Sam which seems to help without the fear of using DEET. Eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender, cedar to name a few mixed with 100% witch hazel (not the alcohol infused variety) and we’re pretty good to go even to the horse barn where horse flies can carry off small children! May you and sweet Honey-girl have many bug-free days on the water. ღ

  2. I HATE bugs. It is my least favorite parts of spring and fall. Those woods swarm with them and they congregate in the dogs eyes. UGH.

    I’m rethinking my goal of moving south. I can’t deal with those bugs.

  3. I HATE bugs. Visiting in FL sometimes being driven out by bugs was the only option! We went for a hike one time and ended up being attacked by noseeums, and some nasty wasp!! Ended up running like crazy back towards the car a half mile away!

  4. Just say “no” to bugs! Another reason we love winter. Bugs are no fun!

  5. Can’t say I have a remedy for keeping the bugs from biting, but once they get you – I dab the bite with a lime slice and it stops the itch right away #truestories Since it works here in Charleston, I believe the same effect should occur in Beaufort. Happy sailing my friend and keep on voting….

  6. We’re in Florida. Bugs are nothing new to us! I want to visit Charleston sometime.

  7. BJ Pup (Lynda) says:

    I hate bugs. So maybe I wouldn’t go to a city with a gazillion bugs.

  8. We have our share of no-see-ums up here in Greenville, SC, too. I’ll have to try Cathy’s lime slice trick next time I get bitten. I love Charleston so I definitely voted, just a minute ago.

  9. Yes, biting bugs are definitely a huge turn off. Sometimes when the winds are wrong in Myrtle, the flies on the beach are you bad you can’t stay out there! They bite right through the fur on the boys ears and for some reason, Wilson attracts many more than Jimmy. Weird!

  10. Oh, those dreaded no-see-ums!! We spent a couple of days with Haley on remote Portsmith Island, which is just a little north of where you are now and it was rough. During the day, the island was the most beautiful place on earth but the nights were truly a nightmare with the mosquitoes and no-see-ums. I felt like I was on a episode of survivor while we were there but Haley had a better attitude, lol!