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HELP! Blood Suckers Take Bites Out of Us in Bari

Vampire like mosquitos have been biting and drinking our blood at night ever since we arrived in Bari

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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.  

We’re not sure if the Bari green lagoon adds to our mosquito issues

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.  
  4. 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 

  1. 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 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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’.
Pink Grapefruit Gin
Or Blue Slate Gin

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”

4 Responses

  1. We have a new patio and we will be trying these (link below) and let you know. We wanted to avoid sprays/chemical applications to our bods. These were top-rated by Wirecutter, an NY Times rating site that we’ve had good luck with in the past. A couple of these below decks might do the job, if they work!

  2. Hi,
    I too am a “mosquito net” for my wife, as she says. If a mosquito is in the room, the bedroom, she will never be bitten, on the other hand, I will be entitled to it…
    I now successfully use a diffuser (brand Raid, by Johnson, theoretical duration of 45 days, sold in supermarkets in France not to advertise for it) whose active component is prallethrin @ 1.2 – 1.6% depending on the manufacturer. Guaranteed effect even with windows open in a room. Unfortunately, you need an alternating current source (main AC, here 220 volts), but the heating element which is put in the socket must be able to be easily modified to adapt to 12 volts because it is only a resistance which heats the wick to evaporate the product. I have hack one…

    The other solution, more noisy, is to use one or more fans in the room, but the noise bothers me a bit, and as soon as I go outside or on the deck, if there is no wind, the mosquitoes arrive…
    I also used anti-mosquito repellents in spray to be sprayed on the body, sold in specialized stores for sports, very effective, tested in Martinique and West Indies with a total success, but it is necessary to apply it, there is a little unpleasant smell, but the product is not harmful for the man, the molecule was found by the US Army for the war in Viet-Nam…
    Being too close to the coast is also a factor to have mosquitoes on board, especially when the land wind blows towards the boat. The ideal is to be 2-300 meters from the coast.

    I see that all occasions are good to drink gin, but it’s expensive for the evening, even without taxes! 8:-)
    Best Regards from France, where mosquitoes are still active even now because of a too mild weather for the season…

    1. Philippe, your response is so valuable and entertaining. Thank you for all of your mosquito experience and knowledge.
      We are stuck in Gibraltar and they continue to be a problem. We spend some time at night, even when sleeping, swatting away at the pesky things.
      We have been closing our boat windows and doors early – about an hour before dark, but to no avail. We don’t know where they are getting in.
      We do have some mosquito coils (Raid) which we use when outdoors, and some mosquito spray called ‘Off’. The sprayer on this bottle has given up so we have taken to schmearing some on our skin in hope. I have found that t-tree oil is something that seems to work quite well. Whilst not a romantic smell, its effectiveness has been quite good.
      After the Canaries we will head to Martinique so will try your suggestion the plug in pads. The captain can likely make them hack to work too.
      kindest regards and fair winds

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