From May to September “THEY” come. They prey upon innocent victims like vampires getting jumped into an East LA gang, attacking unsuspecting bodies they can victimize and draw blood. They are MOSQUITOES. The female vicious six-legged insect buzzing around your ear teasing and enticing you into a slapping air fight. Their tactics are relentless. Like the Spartans of ancient Greece hazing young soldiers by whipping them to see who could endure the punishment without screaming, they are savage. They bite, pierce and feed upon your ankles, arms, backs or any available canvas of skin exposed and vulnerable to these predators. Mosquitoes find the one spot on your left shoulder that didn’t get drenched in the layer of Off DEET Woods Repellant that you showered in just to sit on your porch. Well I surrender, I'm screaming.
Mosquitoes are flying syringes. They puncture your skin, suck your blood and then inject you with their vile poisonous saliva which your allergic to. This causes your bodies to send a code red alarm to create chemical histamines. They call your immune systems into action. Here is the result, the bites swell to the size of nickles that itch like a teenager with crabs afraid to tell his parents. The more you scratch the more they itch, turn neon red and force your nerve endings to freak out! Dawn, dusk and early evening are their feeding times and most people's favorite time to be outside. You worked all day inside a fluorescent filled room, in recirculated air and invisible germs. If your lucky you have a window, and you want out, outside.
What does one do, surrender, stay inside? NO! I just paid a lot of money to have a concrete patio poured so I could live outside this summer as much as possible. I've decided to wage a war and researched some defense tactics of my own.
Prevention: Prevention is ultimately what I strives for. Experts say stay inside or wear long sleeves and pants when outside. Really? I want to be outside not inside, summer is hot, and dressing for winter won't work for me, avoid static water, so don't go to the swim club on off hours and keep trash lids closed, no brainer, smelly.
Products: There are many. This is a bit of a financial investment but I'm willing to take the hit to avoid the histamines. For most people, over the counter sprays containing deet is the go to product. Deet is an invisible oily liquid that doesn't appeal to their blood sucking cravings. I use Off! Deep Wood Insect Repellant. It costs $5.99. I like citronella candles too. I have bought buckets of them. The odor is repulsive to mosquitoes but smells good to me and they give my surroundings ambience. I light them and strategically place them according to the wind forecast, which is my wet finger pointed up in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. I have so many lit at once I could start a citronella cult .If your high tech, there are mosquito repellant appliances. Patio lanterns claim to keep away up to 98% of mosquitoes. They work like a grille heating up a butene cartridge. The cartridges smell like chrysanthemum flowers. These cost about $29.99. They come in different colors and the light is illuminating. I think this will be my next years strategy, for both décor and result driven purposes.
Perseverance: Don't give up. As we age we build up tolerance's for things that we are allergic to, including mosquito bites if we let them bite us. I am perplexed as to why I am getting bit so much at my age?? I'm allowing myself to be bitten as much as possible this summer to prepare for the rest of my life. I sit in my rocker and allow the mosquito fest to begin all over my body. I expect to be bit zero times next summer. The fact is you are going to get bit and you will want relief. Here are some remedies. Please consult a doctor, I am not one.
1. Rub a bar of soap over the itch. I just tried Ivory soap and the relief was near instant.
2. Place a piece of scotch tape on the bite, you can't scratch it.
3. Take a hot shower or try the opposite, ice cubes. If your in the woods camping , a fast hot isn't gonna happen but your cooler filled with food, alcohol and juice boxes will have ice, use that. Vodka might work, if not, drink up and you just won't care. Multi-tasking gets the job done! Ironically, the next section uses some alcohol based products.
1. Nail Polish - preferably clear but in a pinch, any color will work. Are you man enough to wear pink?
2. Toothpaste – I suggest paste not gel.
3. Rubbing alcohol or mouthwash -As stated before try cutting out the middle man and go to the booze.
4. Vinegar – logically apple cider is sweet and balsamic is not so I'd go with balsamic.
Commercial Product Lotions, Creams & Applications:
1. Calamine Lotion - This is my favorite, it reminds me of my childhood. Apply it on the bites with a cotton ball. You have pink spots of empathy awaiting condolences from other victims. It's great for starting conversations and pity parties.
2. Benadryl Cream – don't get confused with the pills. They cause drowsiness which could work in your favor.
3. Orajel - if you have a baby go grab it. Children and babies are mosquitoes favorite people to bite.
Paste Applications: All mixed with water
1. Baking Soda
3. Tums Tablets
Salt is my top pick but I use spit. I fight saliva with saliva. I spit in my palm, mix in some salt and apply the paste to the bite. It feels soooo good. It also exfoliates the skin by scrubbing of the dead skin cells. That's a beauty perk.
I know that summer is coming to an end and we are all waiting for the burst of crisp fall air to freeze these suckers out. But with global warming, we could have an indian summer which could last until November. End of the summer sale items are in effect so stock up for next summer, be prepared... They'll be back.