The blood sucking night flyers we call ‘mosquitos’ have been biting us from dusk till dawn. They’ve been drinking our blood like vampires and leaving behind horrible itchy bumps on all parts of our anatomy (yes even ‘there’).
To put a positive spin on it, I guess you could say that, in the very least, mosquitos really love me.
In many parts of the world they are hated disease spreaders. A Trojan transmitter of disease making them a major foe of man. They transmit disease to around two-thirds of a billion people every year. And up to two million people a year die from diseases simply caught just from mosquito bites.
The rascally vampires zoom and helicopter around Waiata’s interior at night. The percussive sound of hands slapping skin to swat the sucky critters accompanies our early evening hours. Each night we take preventative measures including hermetically closing off any possible points of entry, burning mosquito coils and spraying rooms. Our tropical strength insect repellent body spray “Off” seems less likely to repel and more likely to attract the mozzies. We most certainly do not like spraying chemicals about but we don’t know how else to handle the eternal aerial army of mosquitos that have been attacking every night since we got to Bari. We know we are lucky to be here but some pleasure is being sucked out of us each night.
The EU even has a website and distribution maps that survey the seasonal invasiveness for mosquitos such is their concern due to their disease spreading ability.
Some Biting Facts
- I guess for a mosquito, sucking blood could be like sipping fine wine “ripe, rich, berry with earthy overtones and a smooth long chocolate finish’ It is only the females who feast on and consume our blood. It doesn’t provide them with any nutritional value. But our blood does deliver certain nutrients needed for the proper development of their eggs. That means each bloody bite is being used to make more mosquitoes.
- I know I’m delicious, and they’re taking free samples, but male mosquitoes have no need for sucking my blood. For their own nutritional value, both male and female mosquitos actually feed on nectar from plants, in a similar way to honeybees.
- Their preferred abode is steamy and humid and they love hiding in tropical plants – think Club Tropicana buzzing with mosquitoes instead of WHAM …. and the drinks are free! Dry summer heat can quickly kill mosquitoes. It causes them to quickly become dehydrated. That’s why you can find them lurking in dark, sheltered places during the day.
- There are four stages to their life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Think of it as baby, toddler, teenager and adult. If you’re at the teenager stage or beyond and a mosquito lands on your testicles, you then will see the importance of trying to stop the breeding life cycle, without violence. During the first three stages, they live entirely in water. At the end of the pupal stage, the mosquitoes crawl to a dry place to rest and dry off, with the males about ready to start mating and the females ready to start their adult lives as bloodsucking human killers.
Lessons Learned/Actions Taken
- Dad mosquito “How’s your first flight going son?”. Son mosquito “It’s going great dad, everyone is clapping for me”. Henceforth we shall start imbibing a daily gin with tonic for medicinal purposes and to enjoy the evening mosquito aerobatic flying display (due to the quinine in the gin – an anti-malarial which kills the organism responsible for the disease.). We have blue slate and pink grapefruit gin selections onboard thanks to recent friends visits
- The bitey blighters are likely coming from land. We are in a shallow lagoon with greenish coloured water which we haven’t been brave enough to swim in. But it is possible they could be living and breeding in Waiata’s bilge. Our boat is very dry and our bilges are clean but we’re racking our brains as to their source. Just the process of breathing exhales liters into the bilges daily. We have treated and cleaned the bilges again. Result: last night eight helicoptering mosquitos were found buzzing and resultingly slapped into the next world. Still, many more linger.
- We have sprayed with insecticide anywhere warm and dark including the holds, under the beds and under ‘Doris’ our Dometic freezer in case potential condensation is a contributing factor.
- We have poured a diluted solution of natural bleach down each of our four shower drainage points. And if you really want to slap someone, do it and then say ‘mosquito’.
Do You Have Any Anti-Mosquito Ideas?
But seriously if anyone has any ideas, strategies, recommendations or tactics for dealing with blood sucking mosquitos we are keen to learn from you. If you think you’re suggestion is too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito. It has been suggested we eat banana’s because they don’t like the taste. I just want to know why mosquitos can’t suck fat instead of blood.
In truth, we have tried everything we can think of. Some believers say that God didn’t create anything without purpose, but with the mosquito she certainly came close. We would love to receive your suggestions.
Queen’s of the Stone Age – Mosquito Song
From the “Songs for the Deaf” album, Queens of the Stone Age’s ‘Mosquito song’ has different interpretive meanings. To my mind, it is about the sweetness of flesh although in time, the flesh will pass.
“I know, I know the sun is hot
Mosquitos come suck your blood
And leave you there all alone
Just skin and bone”