I was disturbed to notice when I woke this morning that there were three mozzies trolling the mozzie net on my side of the bed – and none on Matt’s. Ironically although I have just been sleeping in the ‘open’, open to attack by mozzies that is, for the last three months, I felt a bit trapped in the mozzie net by the presence of the little bastards.
I later noted, when it was just Matt under the net and I’d been out of the room, that a solitary mozzie was hovering around Matt’s foot. Clearly when I am not around, Matt is an acceptable substitute food source, but when I am in the room, all the mozzies in the room are like, ‘Matt who?’.
I’ve tried almost everything you’re meant to, you know. I use Rid and Bushman spray on myself – but I get bitten anyway, it doesn’t seem to repel them at all. * I wear long trousers every single day to work (and it is HOT here), but you know what? When they see my trousers, mozzies think, ‘Oho! I know this trick! These pant things have HOLES at the end!’ and they fly right up them and bite me on the calf. Like, five times.** Just to make a point. Or they just land where the material touches my skin and sink that little proboscis thing right on through.
I haven’t bothered with soaking my clothes in Permethryn, which is a chemical solution (apparently smells awful when wet but not at all when dry) you soak clothes, mozzie nets etc in that is supposed to repel and kill mozzies. Since there was a distinct lack of mozzies falling down d-e-d (more like staring pointedly) off the mozzie net this morning, which was treated with Permethryn, I’m very glad I haven’t bothered trying with the clothes.
I could wear long sleeved shirts to work every day, but man, it’s hot here, and the long trousers don’t seem to work. People tsk tsk tsk at me for wearing black, because supposedly mozzies are attracted to black, but this goes into a whole nother argument about suitable clothing for the tropics, and let me just summarise here and say … I wasn’t gonna wear white for a single day, let alone an entire year.
The only thing that seems to mostly work so far is the physical barrier of the mozzie net. If anyone knows of a good essential oil mix I’d be willing to try that too. Other than that, I take my anti-malarials, try to swat and spray, and just generally cultivate an attitude of resignment: I’ve had dengue and I’m probably gonna have malaria. Oh well.
- Plus I am not keen to develop a rash from having the chemicals on my skin every day. Seems pointless if the stupid stuff doesn’t repel them anyway.
- * I wrote that as a hilarious exaggeration. The next day I found five mozzie bites near my right knee, after I had worn long trousers to work. Are the mozzies lurking on my blog???
- ** I swear Matt and I are the only people I know who are taking their antimalarials. Everyone else seems to try them and then say they can’t stand the side effects and oh well, isn’t it a really small chance they’ll get sick, anyway? I can’t fault disliking the side effects – I rejected two different brands of antimalarials for that reason – but why wouldn’t you get the good ones instead?