Ochlerotatus notoscriptus, Tasmania, Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’m aware that my recent rants pertaining to rain and floods may have been deemed a little negative by some of my readers who are probably enjoying the drop in temperature, so I thought that I’d tell you in this post about one of the positives of the cooler weather.
There are NO F*CKING MOSQUITOES!
And I thought Id then go on to describe the way in which the old man and I are managing to single-handedly cull mosquitoes in our new house, because let’s be honest, we are effectively re-writing science by shortening the life-cycle of the mosquito. (And animal lovers, before you get on your high horse, may I remind you that mosquitoes are THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL ON EARTH. Fact.)
You see, this new bout of bloody rain has had SOME benefits (as well as destroying my rental sofa), because the drop in temperature from the forties to the twenties has finally meant some respite at night.
Those ludicrous desert temperatures are fantastic if you’re settled comfortably under an umbrella with a cocktail in one hand and Chris Hemsworth in the other, but they were sorely testing my hormones and my body temperature regulation, (which these days can easily increase by five or six degrees on a normal day let alone on a bitchin hot day). I may as well put a sign on my forehead saying, ‘LOOK AT ME, I’M PERI-MENOPAUSAL!
And even worse, those temperatures encourage mosquitoes to search for fresh meat.
It’s the perfect opportunity really, all that plump, wilting flesh, thrashing its way out of over-togged doonahs in search of some breeze.
My flesh in particular seems to have ‘that scent’; (it’s apparently like ‘truffle’ to the gourmet blood-seeking mozzie), hence my amazing capacity to attract vampire-esque mosquitos like bees to pollen, like Taylor Swift towards any toy-boy penis, or like my ADHD son to caffeine and sugar.
I reckon those mozzies can smell me from Canberra.
Did you know that only the female mosquito bites? ….. B.I.T.C.H.Y
It’s not that I’m particularly concerned about catching malaria in Sydney, but from a style perspective, angry, raw-red blotches of itchiness are not the most complimentary accessory to the ‘deshabille’ look of Summer.
And mosquitoes are not good for my anxiety either.
I lie in bed as we turn out the light, ears pricked up for THAT noise, (harder to discern now that we live closer to the city and the night outside is busy with the nocturnal activities of our fellow city dwellers, drunks, revellers and yappy spoilt dogs), the first sign of ‘the whine’.
I worry if I don’t hear it, I worry if I do. Catch 22. If I don’t hear it immediately, I know the little sod is probably just playing ‘the waiting game’; waiting until I’m sound asleep before it unscrupulously mounts its blood-fest.
If I hear the buzz immediately, the games commence.
I assure you that this is not me being over-anxious or neurotic. But I’m convinced that I have some sort of super-allergy to insect bites, because my bites mutate beyond the irritating-but-bearable, ‘itchy’ symptoms. And I don’t get the ‘odd’ bite either. My bites usually come by the legion and to one particularly defenceless area of my body, which reacts by swelling immediately into an infected mass of feral frothiness. And my usually easy-going, sunny temperament then changes into something akin to a rabid dog.
I remember once, naively thinking that maybe I COULD do something quite normal like go on a short bush-walk in the local national park, but within minutes (of pretending to admire the boring old roots of some very ugly native tree) I had been savagely attacked by a tick on the neck. Within an hour my wound was the size of a goitre, horrifying my walking companion who was at one point considering calling 000 to get me airlifted out of there in case I self-combusted from swelling.
So when the old man and I hear that first torturous whine in the bedroom, (because fortunately the old man becomes as crazed as me in the company of mosquitos), the hunt begins in earnest. We’re usually naked (try not to visualise that part of the scene too closely because it’s not pleasant), because the hunt obviously has to be immediate and effective, as it is a well-known scientific fact that the hunting mosquito is the master of camouflage.
Our weapons of choice are as follows: the old man will usually go for one of my prized magazines, (this is often where our strategy for speed fails at the first hurdle as we waste precious ‘stalking’ time arguing over whether the carcass will look better on my World of Interiors or his Golf World); I grab a towel, because that whole noisy, SPLAT effect makes me feel quite nauseous.
The resulting ‘kill’ is a short-lived triumph, for it is common knowledge that the Liam Neeson or Bruce Willis of the mosquito’s extended family will be lurking somewhere in the curtains or perched on a light globe, waiting for its moment of justice.
Nevertheless, ‘a kill’ does calm the imagination for long enough to induce sleep, so that usually I am blissfully unaware of Liam Neeson abseiling down from the globe of my bedside lamp, proboscis twitching.
And that is how we have managed to shorten the life-cycle of the mosquito in our neck of the woods.