I have a very intense and volatile relationship with mosquitoes. I HATE them and they LOVE me.
Some people are known as chick magnets, guy magnets, money magnets or fame magnets – why is it that I am one of the top 10% of the world’s population who are mosquito magnets?
YAY – I feel so special 😦
The upside of this is that people invite me to a loads of parties, particularly when the fun takes place outdoors. I can hear them planning:
“Honey, we MUST invite Dianne Gray. She can sit in that corner over there to keep the mosquitoes away from the kids.”
Living in the tropics is wonderful. The weather, outdoorsy life, clear air and a never-ending supply of sunshine is the perfect lifestyle. But with this comes hordes of these creatures who I’m sure would be verging on the brink of extinction if it weren’t for me.
Below is the enemy – aedes aegypti. You can tell it carries all sorts of nasties like Dengue Fever and Yellow Fever because it wears those stupid striped football socks.
I have two solutions for my ongoing war with this little critter:
My rusty tin can containing a mosquito coil (dried, pressed pyrethrum)
A pink spray container (the local shop had run out of every other colour – I can’t imagine why) containing tea tree oil, lavender and water. I decided to add tea tree oil because it’s the only thing that keeps the ants out of my kitchen (so small critters obviously hate the smell of it = small critters will hate the smell of me) and it’s great for the skin (= win win situation).
I’m not against off-the-shelf mosquito repellents, I’m just not keen to lather myself in chemicals (such as diethyl-meta-toluamide) for the rest of my life.
I’ve had people assure me that eating bananas will keep the mosquitoes at bay and I stuffed myself with them until my skin turned yellow. No luck – I woke up one morning with a bite on my eyelid (and for those of you who have ever had a mosquito bite on the eyelid you’ll understand how incredibly attractive I looked for a few days).
Garlic is supposed to keep them away (after all, mosquitoes are vampires). I eat plenty of garlic and it’s great for keeping everyone else away as well.
I know you’re supposed to empty anything that collects water to stop them from breeding, but I live on a sugar cane farm and walking through hundreds of acres of fields draining every puddle isn’t my idea of a fun day.
Wish me luck with my new fashion accessories and if you have a better idea please feel free to fling it in my direction.