I’ve told friends in Texas and Louisiana that their mosquitos are big, but we have beards on ours longer than some prized gobblers.
I’m not sure what’s the point in having a patio if you risk the chance of losing a couple of pints from the blood-thirsty pests, or even being carried off to some damp dungeon by the tyrannosquito each time you venture outside. During my last failed attempt to enjoy said patio, I began a mini inferno in my fire pit. Yes, if I sat two foot away, the mosquitos couldn’t bare the heat. The problem was that neither could I. And three feet away I looked like the day’s blue plate special for mosquitos.
A friend suggested smoking a cigar, but I hadn’t eaten yet and a cigar would ruin my taste buds.
Another friend suggested a fan because mosquitos don’t like wind. That means I’d have to stay in one spot. Pass.
Still another friend suggested buying rosemary and putting it on the fire. I wondered what rosemary had ever done to deserve such an act, but the friend said the herb is a natural repellent. Hmmm. Worth a shot.
My sister then suggested patchouli oil and citronella oil. OK, for starters, what the heck is patchouli oil. Secondly, I’ve seen mosquitos sitting on the edge of my citronella candles while they were lit, so I am not a believer.
It was so bad earlier this week that I resorted to the end-all know-it-all Google. Did you know there was the American Mosquito Control Association, or AMCA? Sounds like an awards ceremony, then again, those Hollywood pests have enough for everyone.
AMCA said to always remember the 3 D’s of protection from mosquitos.
* Drain: Many mosquito problems likely come from water-filled containers that you can help to eliminate. All mosquitos require water in which to breed. Be sure to drain any standing water around your house.
* Dress: Wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing. Studies have shown that some of the 174 mosquito species in the U.S. are more attracted to dark clothing and most can readily bite through tight-fitting clothing of loose weave. When practical, wear long sleeves and pants.
* Defend: Choose a mosquito repellent that has been registered by the Environmental Protection Agency. Among those are DEET, Picaridin, Oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535.
There is no water source on my property other than a hose. I’ve checked.
It seems like 147 degrees in the shade at times, so don’t worry, I’m not wearing dark clothes... well, unless you count blue jeans to keep the mosquitos from attacking my legs like a bacon-flavored chew toy. As for loose fitting clothes... ah, they all seem tighter these days.
As for defense, I don’t want to use anything that sounds like a concoction Harvey Updyke once used on Toomer’s Corner. I just wanted to kill an insect, not my oak trees.