OMG Mosquitoes with a capital M

mosqitoMosquitoes. OMG mosquitoes with a capital M. I haven’t seen them this bad in several years. The summer was going great. Just last week I was out walking the dogs and thinking what a splendid summer — mild days, prefect cool nights you could actually sit out and enjoy. All that rain we had, yet very few mosquitoes for the month of June.  Then two days ago they emerged and all of my county is one giant OFF commercial. Remember the one where the crazy guy puts his bare arm in the container full of mosquitoes to show before and after  examples of just how well the bug spray works. Well makers of OFF, I dare you to come test your product in my yard.

In addition to transmitting the West Nile virus, the mosquito can also give you encephalitis and the microscopic roundworm that causes filariasis, that debilitating tropical disease that affects 40 million or so people every year. Then there’s malaria and yellow fever. Let’s not forget dengue fever and heartworms in animals too. Mosquitoes are considered the most deadly creature on the planet by those who treat pest-borne diseases. They’re part of the extraordinary network of nature’s checks and balances.

That said, I loathe mosquitoes. Being an allergic person to begin with, their bites take a very long time to heal on me. I’ll carry welts from summer into fall. I even have scars from bites.  Oh sure, I know they’re part of a healthy web of life. But we don’t have a healthy web of life. Too many parts are broken, too many opportunities for things that would normally be checked by factors like mosquito-eating birds, are now free to run rampant because the habitat etc for those birds are gone. I’m fortunate to live with plenty of mosquito-eating birds. But I think they’re so stuffed right now they can’t even fly to eat more!

Picture this, it’s 92º and I’m walking my dogs wearing a shawl. Not for keeping me warm obviously, I wear it so I can flap my arms up and down like a madwoman to keep the mosquitoes off my face. Everything is slowing down for my old puppy. At 13, she just needs a longer walk to see to business. It’s an absolute nightmare. They’re biting her belly, they’re covering her eyes and ears, they’re even biting under her tail! On top of that misery, it’s an ordeal just to get the dogs back in the house because they have to be debugged at the door. Then the door has to be debugged. Then the dogs have to be debugged again. The I have to be debugged. Then the house has to be debugged! I can’t tell you how many bites are on my backside right now because for some reason, my behind is the point of attack when I’m writing. I just swatted one before that last sentences was written.  Grrr…

I can see how heard animals will run to their deaths to get away from the swarms. And that sound. That high-pitched zeeeeeeeeee that you hear by your ear but you can’t see the damn thing to swat it. It’s driving me nuts! My dogs go out a minimum of five times a day. Like I said, it’s a nightmare.

Last year at a local flea market, I found a mosquito trap. These gadgets are different from Bug Zappers that only kill night-feeding insects like moths and June bugs. The machines give off carbon dioxide, the gas land-living creatures like humans exhale. Mosquitoes are drawn to that gas. That’s how they find us. We breathe. This nifty thing runs all night with carbon dioxide and a dab of mosquito pheromone luring mosquitoes to their death. I’ve seen them in action. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to see a full cup of dried mosquitoes come morning. You can fit a lot of mosquitoes into a cup! My husband assembled it yesterday. Now we have to find the bait. I bought it second hand. If it works, I’ll take a picture of the results. Boy, it’s going to be a long unpleasant summer.

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About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
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