Don't laugh - they are out there and bigger than ever.
I know there have been articles back in the late spring about the mosquito problem with too many stagnant pools of water, but they say this every year as if the mosquitoes might have an uprising, stage a coup and take over the government. (Of course, given the state of the union and our monetary situation, maybe we should give the mosquitoes a shot. They could hardly do worse.)
I had the mosquito repellent device from last year that comes with an insert and two batteries that one wears on the belt and it worked very well. When I was in my hammock, it hung off of one side, gently whir
ring away and keeping the flies and various insects at bay. When we went to events, it hung from my belt and worked very well - not a single welt anywhere. It was wonderful.
Earlier this summer, after a day in the hammock, I came back into the house, turned off the little repellent and as I was putting it down, it slipped from my hand and crashed on the floor. I put it back together and although it was just the batteries and insert that came out, it was broken. Crud... The person who suggested getting this to me last summer said they had come out with newer, smaller models that took the same inserts and batteries, so I figured why not and finally went to the Right Aid and spent the very affordable amount of $10.00 to get a new one. (When you consider the cost of buying something containing Deet and spraying smelly, oily crap all over your skin for the same cost by the time insect season ends [here it begins in May and can run as late as October] for two bottles at $5.99 each, this is more effective.)
In the last few years, due to overuse, antibiotics have become less and less effective in combating many ba
cteria-caused infections. Partially it was from doctors doling it out like candy and also doling it out for the wrong reasons. If the patient has a virus, the antibiotic won't do anything to this. It is not designed to do that. Consequently, many bacteria have mutated to insure its survival and unless we can come up with a killer antibiotic, this won't go away. So I have been wondering...
...if this is what has happened with mosquitoes.
At the concert on Thursday, I had on my little mosquito repellent belt piece, whirring happily away, thinking I will be safe from whatever evil 6-legged, bloodsucking, winged creatures might be out there. As the night wore on, I began scratching my right elbow a lot and then the back of my right thigh as well.
When I got home, I slathered on the Rhuli Anti-Itch gel on both spots, each of which had a massive welt. I am not kidding - the welts were at least ¾" across. They are still visible and itchy as all get-out even though it has been four days.
At the end of June or maybe early July I was sacked out in my hammock and had not gotten the new repellent thing and on the back of my right ankle I had two huge welts, one right above the other, that remained red, raised and itchy for almost three and a half weeks. I put the get on those constantly, too. I was at a disadvantage with those, however, more so than the ones I've got now, because the back of my shoes rubbed against those all the time. Even so, I don't want to meet the mosquitoes that made those welts - any insect that big has to be able to walk up and introduce itself.
Usually birds are the predators of mosquitoes, but unless there are still pterodactyls around, there is no bird big enough to hunt these blasted things down and eat them.
It isn't as though mosquitoes provide something we need. These bloody things carry and transmit Dengue fever, malaria and other diseases as well as leaving us marked and itchy just from the basic motions of eating. Mosquitoes have something in their saliva that acts as a temporary topical anesthetic to numb the area where they will insert the proboscis to take the blood. Then as they drink, they transmit whatever they may be carrying as well. When they are finished, the anesthetic wears off and the result of the meal is a red welt that itches. Normally the effect of constant itching is short-lived, and any subsequent itchiness results from something touching the remaining bump until that, too, heals. Until then, there is not much to do but avoid scratching the welt.
Something has changed, though, as the welts are lasting far longer than they used to and they itch incessantly. The welts are much slower to heal. Is this some new type of mosquito or is it a new one to this area that maybe once was only found in the Amazon or African continent? Either way, maybe we need to find a way to eradicate them. You can't sell me on the idea that less or no mosquitoes has a downside.
Hopefully there will someday be a cure for the "common mosquito". I'd like that more than a cure for the common cold.