The little things would be sort of cute if they weren’t vampire bugs. The past week, the mosquito population in my neighborhood has increased exponentially. Early last week I saw maybe a couple of them here and there. By Friday, they were swarming in the shady areas near trees, bushes and the north side of the house.
My front door is on the north side of the house. Trying to enter or exit the house without mosquitoes invading the indoors is a bit tricky. Just when you think they’re shooed away, you get inside and notice that one is dining on your arm and another one is feasting on the back of your neck. This is after applying insect repellent.
Being a fair-skinned person doesn’t help, either. I’m often the person who is attacked more often than other folks when I’m part of a group. I’ve tried the standard tips to be less attractive to the vampire bugs. Yes, I apply the Avon “Skin So Soft” lotion. It helps a little bit, but the occasional brave skeeter gets through anyway. Supposedly garlic consumption helps. I’ve tried that. Also onions and bananas are mentioned. Nada on those.
I’ve had limited success by wearing lighter colored clothing. When I compare my favorite dark tee-shirts and jeans versus a white tee -shirt and khakis, the lighter clothing yields fewer bites. If I’m only going to be outdoors for a short while, I’ll apply some “Skin So Soft” and put on a white tee.
I guess I’m just a magnet for females? The mosquitoes that annoy the rest of the animal kingdom are all females. They need the extra protein for egg production. There are some comments I’ve heard about blood suckers from fellow gym rats in the locker room, but I won’t repeat them here.
The experts seem to agree that the best solution is to apply a quality insect repellent that contains deet. I’m not a big fan of putting chemical compounds all over my skin, but I don’t like the itchy sensation of mosquito bites either. So, if I’m going on a hike or engage in yardwork, I’ll apply it on exposed skin surfaces.
I heard that there is a collection program that health officials are conducting to examine any dead birds that people find in their yards in our town. This is to find out if the West Nile virus is being spread by the mosquito infestation. It turns out that raptors like crows and blue jays are susceptible to West Nile infection. I haven’t heard that there has been a rash of dying blue jays so I guess we’re safe, so far.
West Nile virus is not something you want to get. I’ve known two people who were infected a few years ago. They both required hospitalization. They were weakened by the malady for several months.
I hear blue jays screeching right now. That’s a good sign for the jays and the humans. Now, I need to figure out an effective organic mosquito repellant. Do you have any ideas?
The blue jay of happiness hopes you have a bite-free time in the great outdoors.