Kathy Bassett: Mosquitoes make you like flies better | CraigDailyPress.com
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Kathy Bassett: Mosquitoes make you like flies better

Kathy Bassett

Where did all the Bull Bats go?

I think the ‘skeeters chased them away. Holy cow, there are lots of mosquitoes!

Not to mention those horrific little buffalo gnats!

In my research, I found that mosquitoes have been around for more than 100 million years, and there are nearly 3,000 different species found around the world.

About 200 species occur in the United States, and 77 of those species can be found solely in the state of Florida. The rest of them live in our backyard.

Mosquitoes are a nuisance and can transmit serious diseases such as West Nile Virus and encephalitis in humans, and heartworms in dogs and cats.

Female mosquitoes require protein for egg development and laying, and since the normal mosquito diet consists of nectar and fruit juice, which has no protein, most females must drink blood to lay eggs. During warm summer months, a mosquito can develop from egg to adult in less than 10 days.

The female mosquitoes locate their victims primarily through scent. They are extremely sensitive to the carbon dioxide in exhaled breath, as well as several substances found in sweat. Some people attract more mosquitoes than others, apparently based on how they “smell” to a mosquito. Mosquitoes also can detect heat, so they can find warm-blooded animals and birds very easily once they get close enough.

I read a funny spoof about the British installing devices with a high-pitched whine that is so intense that it drives mosquitoes crazy and makes them happy.

How in the world did the Indians survive, and what does the poor wildlife do? Ani won’t even stay outside because of the mosquitoes and that is bad.

Ani would make up any kind of story to get outside 24-7. But not this summer. She peeks out the door, dashes around the corner, gets her business done and then starts yelping and scratching to get back inside.

Grandma thinks they are only after her. She watches the screen door like a hawk. If a mosquito accidentally happens to find its way in through some teensy little crack or when the door opens, she descends upon it with a couple hundred squirts of Raid. If she happens to miss one coming in, she swears they zero in strictly for the purpose of making her life miserable.

I thought I would try outsmarting them one day. I dressed up complete with a big scarf on my head, ears and neck, long-sleeved shirt, Levis and went to work mowing out on the road, cleaning up the entrance to the ranch. I figured I was safe because there was a good breeze and I hadn’t seen a mosquito for about 10 minutes.

Ha. Me and my faithful little John Deere just got started whackin’ those weeds when the first bombardment hit. Then the buffalo gnats found out from the buzzin’ ‘skeeters that there was a big chunky sandwich out by the gate. They got in under my scarf, bit right through my clothes, found their way up my pant legs, and even bit through my heavy socks.

I was determined to finish my job so I revved up the engine on that green Deere and we mowed like crazy.

If anyone drove down the road during that time, I couldn’t see them and they wouldn’t have seen me, because it was all dust, weeds, sagebrush and greasewood! All those biting devils kept calling in recruits. I got the job finished, but by the time I got back down to the house, I had lumps and bumps everywhere.

And I, for certain, would have won any dancing contest. I never itched so bad in my life. I needed 14 more hands to scratch. I turned into a contortionist right then and there.

The next day, I hid in the house. Those ‘skeeters and gnats are not getting the best of me. I read where garlic will keep them away. I’ve tried everything else.

I reckon I’ll try the garlic next. I could even rub it all over me. But then I won’t be able to go lay out in the sun, because I don’t want to turn into garlic toast. I’m sure it will keep not only the bugs away, but also all our friends and relatives will buzz off, too.

My friends tell me that you all in town don’t have any mosquitoes. I know. They are all out here.


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