June 6, 2017
San Juan, Puerto Rico
John is a mosquito magnet. He’s been this way since I’ve known him. No matter how much toxic bug repellent he slathers on, they still seem to love taking a bite out of him. Chiggers are worse, and wasps and bees buzz with delight when he walks outside.
It’s great for me being married to such a munchable man. Whenever I’m with him I never have to apply any kind of repellent. I just walk beside him and the flying beasties leave me alone. It’s sort of like hamburger vs. prime rib for them, I guess.
It’s a no-brainer.
When it comes to mosquitoes, it’s a girl thing. Male mosquitoes are nice. They just go around sucking nectar from flowers and plants and pose no threat to humans or pets. Not so with their girlfriends. The female mosquitoes are out for BLOOD…literally. Females suck up to 4 times their body weight in blood, then find water (preferably stagnant) to lay their eggs, which hatch in a few days and start the whole bloody process over again.
The bite of the female mosquito not only causes itchy, red welts, but can carry West Nile fever, Zika, yellow fever, dengue fever, chikungunya, and encephalitis in humans. For pets mosquitos are carriers of heartworms.
So, who ya gonna call? What ya gonna do?
Since we prefer tropical climates, we’ve learned a few tricks to keep these despicable vermin away, or at least under control. Here’s our top four:
We found out about Permethrin a few years back when we travelled to Panama. Great stuff. Here’s how it works. Before your trip, wash and dry all the clothes you are taking and then hang them all OUTSIDE (real important). Next, spray each piece (yes, even your underwear) with Permethrin and let them all dry completely before packing.
The Permethrin is odor-free and repels bugs (even ticks) for up to 6 weeks after treatment even if you wash your clothing during that period. It’s also great for tents and fabric camping equipment. There are several really good brands you can purchase on Amazon. Well worth the money.
We don’t really like to promote DEET because of the nasty things it can do to humans, but we are not fond of donating our blood unless it’s to Red Cross.
So we compromise.
We only use topical products that contain 25-40% DEET, and we wash really, really good (especially hands) after exiting insect-infested areas.
If you like garlic you’ll love this.
If not, do it anyway. There are garlic pills in the vitamin sections of most grocery stores.
A diet rich in garlic seems to repel mosquitoes, after all, they are blood-sucking VAMPIRES!!! Bram Stoker was onto something!
John’s favorite way to rid his space of the odious beasties is his Zapping Racket. As the name implies, it’s an electrified tennis racket that kills mosquitos. Whoever invented this handy device should be given a medal for genius.
John’s forearm and backhand strokes have gotten powerful, not exactly to the Andre Agassi level, but close. Actually, being a mosquito magnet, he really doesn’t have to do much more than hold the annihilating device in front of him and the gluttonous monsters automatically fly to a crackling demise.
Most of the rackets are inexpensive, rechargeable, and some even have a lightning bolt or atomic blaster emblem woven into the net part. Kind of makes us feel like Super Heroes as we rid the world…okay, our little corner of the world…of these vile vipers.
Take that, you blood suckers!