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Sur un lac entouré de conifères, des hommes en canots pagaient la tête recouverte d'un morceau de tissu de manière à éviter les piqûres de moustiques. / On a lake surrounded by fir trees, men in canoes are rowing, as their heads are covered with pieces of cloth so as to avoid mosquito bites.

Mosquito Lake

in Henry Youle Hind, Explorations in the Interior of the Labrador, 1863
Musée de la civilisation, Séminaire de Québec Library, 709.2


The French in all Canada call the gnats Marangoins, which name, it is said, they have borrowed from the Indians. These insects are in such prodigious numbers in the woods round Fort St. John, that it would be more properly called Fort de Marangoins. The marshes and the low situation of the country, together with the extent of the woods, contribute greatly to their multiplying so much; and when the woods are cut down, the water drained, and the country cultivated, they probably will decrease in number, and vanish at last, as they have done in other places. (See Pehr Kalm)


Gnats are innumerable here; and as soon as one looks out of doors, they immediately attack him; and they are still worse in the woods. They are exactly the same gnats as our common Swedish ones, being only somewhat less than the North-American goats all are. Near Fort St. Jean, I have likewise seen gnats, which were the same with ours, but they were somewhat bigger, almost of the size of our crane flies. Those, which are here, are beyond measure bloodthirsty. However, I comforted myself, because the time of their disappearance was near at hand. (See Pehr Kalm)

Gnats (2)

The Gnats in this wood were more numerous than we could have wished. Their bite irritates the skin. The Jesuits Fathers of Lorette says that the best remedy against their attack is to rub the face and the bare body parts with grease. Also, It is said that cold water is the best remedy against their bite, as long as the wounded places are washed with it immediately after. (See Pehr Kalm)


The common houseflies have but been observed in this country about one hundred and fifty years ago, as I have been assured by several persons in this town, and in Quebec. All the Indians assert the same thing, and are of opinion that the common flies first came over here with the Europeans and their ships, which were stranded on this coast. I shall not dispute this; however, I know, that whilst I was in the solitudes between Saratoga and Crown Point, or fort St. Frederic, and sat down to rest or to eat, a number of our common flies always came and settled on me. It is therefore dubious, whether they have not been longer in America than the term above-mentioned, or whether they have been imported from Europe. On the other hand, it may be urged that the flies were left in those solitudes at the time when fort Anne was yet in a good condition, and when the English often travelled there and back again; not to mention that several Europeans, both before and after that time, had travelled through those places, and carried the flies with them, which were attracted by their provisions. (See Pehr Kalm)