Friday, July 11, 2008


I just found out recently that we have fifty kinds of these here. I think I met every single one today.

It's a fact of life in the Ozarks in the summer that you spray yourself down with OFF or something like it if you go outside in the evening unless you want to devoured a milimeter at a time. So the boys and I are prepared for mosquitoes.

What we weren't prepared for was their new hours. The boys walked dogs yesterday morning and came home complaining that the mosquitoes had been biting them. I thought maybe they were imagining things. Then Gary and I took a walk and they descended on us too.

This evening I sprayed myself down and stepped out to my garden to check on things. I was immediately swarmed. They bit me through my clothes, they even bit the exposed areas of skin I'd sprayed. I valiantly picked a few green beans, but did not do any of the weeding I'd planned to do. It was simply overwhelming.

I did a search on this phenomena and found out that due to all the flooding, mosquitoes are at record numbers, which means a greater opportunity to come in touch with West Nile.

As if I didn't already have enough to worry about.

**slathering on aloe vera to combat the itching**


debby said...

OOoooh. This is my job! Do you have a mosquito contact person for your county?

Mosquitoes are wicked bad here, as well. I've used more Bti this year, so far, than I used for all of last year.

Job security, I suppose, but man, I'm working like crazy. I come home dehydrated, soaked with sweat, and tired. Every night. I don't have a crew. I have me. Just me. Ack.

Scotty said...

For reasons that I have no idea about, I haven't been bitten my a mozzie since I was about sixteen.


Mary Paddock said...

Hi Deb,
Yes. I've seen their traps in the national forest when hiking. What's Bti?

I'm very glad it's somebody's job security. :) Educating the public can be fun, but going where the mosquitoes are--on purpose--doesn't hold a great deal of apeal for this camper.

Scotty--It must be all those vegemite sandwiches. :)

debby said...

And a warning for you...we just went 'positive' for the west nile virus on Friday morning.

Scotty: If it IS vegemite, I want some!

debby said...

Bti - Bacillus Thuringiensis israelis, a naturally occuring bacteria found in soils. There was a sensible fellow who wondered why some oasis were prime breeding sites for mosquitoes, and other sites had none at all. He discovered that the oases with no mosquitoes had bti leaching in from the soil. This is a bacteria which has a silicate skeleton and when the larva eat it, it 'tears up' their little digestive tracts. The bacteria does no harm to larger critters, fish, birds, the like, but it is deadly to mosquito larva and black fly larva. This discovery so greatly reduced pesticide usage that the discoverer received a Nobel Peace Prize. This would be the active ingredient is products like the 'mosquito dunks' and you can buy it in the granulated form at some lawn and garden stores under the name of Pre-Bite.

Mary Paddock said...

Just this morning the county just north-east of us announced that they'd quit testing for West Nile in the mosquites because there's no point in it. So many of the tests were coming up positive that they are now telling everyone that it's up to them to protect themselves. We've seen isolated cases in this area in the past so this is a first.

We live "second tier up" from the lake (five minute walk from our house) and the little inlet that I took a picture of a few months ago is is still flooded, so you can imagine what kind of breeding ground we've got going on here. 'Can't exactly drain that.

I've never heard of bti; thank you for the education. I don't spend much time in the pesticide section, but you can bet I'm going to look for it when we get paid again.

Meanwhile I think a little paranoia about this is going to be a good thing.