Down a Quart

Summer is a wonderful time of year to be outside.  It’s warm, breezy, and the days are long.  Of course, there is one little tiny thing.  Actually, lots of little tiny things.  Mosquitoes.

Thanks to the oversupply of rain this summer, we’ve been cursed with more mosquitoes than most people can remember.  Although, it’s hard to remember anything while you’re itching and scratching from head to toe.  Especially between your toes. 

The authorities make the brilliant suggestion to avoid getting mosquito bites, due to the potential of acquiring various diseases.  Among the worst are encephalitis, West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever.  We only have the first two around here, but the point is, mosquitoes are very good at sucking diseased blood out of someone or something and injecting it into someone else.

The problem is, avoiding getting mosquito bites is more easily said than done.  The chemical that goes by the name of “deet” does a pretty good job of keeping mosquitoes away, but it also does a good job of getting into our eyes and lungs.  There’s nothing like a cocktail of mosquito repellant, sunscreen and sweat to make your eyes sting.

Some people say that taking vitamin B1 causes us to be unappetizing to mosquitoes.  I’ve never tried it, but somehow I have my doubt that the solution could be that simple.  I may buy some, though, because if it works, it would be a great discovery.

The other option is to avoid mosquitoes.  The easiest way to do that is to move to San Diego.  Other than that, you can stay inside, assuming that nobody ever comes or goes from your house, since the most temporary opening of a door will let in a dozen of the little buggers. 

Since mosquitoes are attracted by vapors we emit (I won’t go into detail), you can also remain motionless at all times.  Frankly, I think they’d figure it out eventually, and you’d be a casualty of their little proboscises, poking through your epidermis (translation: pointy things poking into your skin).

Fortunately for us, we live in a part of the world where malaria and dengue fever are not a worry, though a couple of cases of dengue fever have been reported in Key West this year.  From what people say, people who survive dengue fever report it as being extraordinarily painful.  It makes a few days of itching seem pretty minor.

If we have a few dry weeks, perhaps the mosquito problem will become less of one.  If not, the only hope for us is an early, hard frost, which will also mean the end to our vegetable gardens and flowers, so that’s not something we want to wish for.

I’ve found that it’s helpful to try to put a good spin on things that don’t seem to have an up-side.  To that end, I’d like to suggest that we look at the mosquito infestation as the newest diet plan.  An hour outside may result in the loss of a pound’s worth of blood.  And, not only that, but you’ll also feel too weak to eat when you crawl back into the house in search of calamine and Benydryl.

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