Saturday, 8 September 2007

Mozzies

I can't sleep. My skin is all reflexive shudders. The night world thrums and hums and buzzes. The whole house has tinnitus. Upstairs the mosquitoes thrive and feed on my blood, raising small welts of absurd and long lasting itchiness. Tubes of sting relief are scattered within easy reach. I clap my hands and in minutes squash a dozen of the flimsy insects; speed is not one of the tricks in their armoury. Under the inadequate protection of the duvet I dream of being swathed in muslin and the mosquito net turns into a shroud.
I come downstairs in the middle of the night to seek some quiet and then depress myself by looking at what can be done to diminish their numbers. On a farm not much, unless you want to deprive the livestock of water and create massive feeding grounds for blowflies and worse on their resulting rotting carcases. Perhaps it is simpler to get the river re-routed.
Last autumn it was the cluster flies and perhaps that is yet to come, although some in the north are already infested. These beasties behave very oddly, congregating in huge, unbelievable numbers at the windows and cling there buzzing whilst you swat the lot to death with the tried, tested and effective fly swat, purchased two for a pound at the local market. That's one for each hand. Outside their feet stick to the peeling whitewashed walls, perhaps providing food for any non-migrating birds and bats; their sole redeeming feature.
Enough already. My sleep has been disturbed by the mozzies for several nights and I am tired and irritable. The dogs sleep through, their thick fur a solid protection. If I am to function during the day I must drown their night noise with interesting thoughts that bring buzz-free dreams.

17 comments:

Totty Teabag said...

We have simple rules for a mozzie free bedroom. Always keep the door shut. Make simple wooden frames to fit into window openings. Staple netting across the frames. We hold ours in place with a couple of panel pins set into loose holes so that they are easily removed in case of a storm.

tim relf said...

That fly swat looks fun. I've tried lots of different ways of tackling flies and mossies, but there's something uniquely satisfying (if a little brutal) about hand-to-hand (or should that be hand-to-wing) combat!

Rob Clack said...

Deet. Available from Boots last time I looked. I used it in Greenland and it's completely effective provided you apply some to every exposed bit of skin. Miss a square centimetre and you'll get bitten there!

Eurodog said...

Three cheers for the polution in Brussels!!!!
No mozzies for sure and sadly no more sparrows.

Mopsa said...

Welcome Totty - I suffer because I can't contemplate shut doors on a hot night. I share the bedroom with bats, mozzies and the odd visiting bird!

Tim - the cheaper the fly swat the wangier and more effective it is. Doesn't last too long tho - too strong for light work is the phrase often used about me!

Rob - what does Deet smell like? Could I bear it all over?

Eurodog - that isn't something I'd welcome here, but at least you get respite in Brussels (and wonderful fish and seafood restaurants).

Hannah Velten said...

We have a nightly ritual at the moment with mosquitos (we live opposite a dairy farm)...swatting with a magazine seems to work, although leaves horrible squished mossie marks on the wall - will have to get the paint pot out when the season is over!

Mopsa said...

Welcome Hannah - how did you find me? And yes, failing to remove the mozzie bodies before staining occurs will almost certainly mean splashing the paint about in due course.

GeraniumCat said...

When we had a cluster fly infestation a couple of years ago, I found the hoover was my favoured weapon. We seem to be missing the beastly things this year, they are clustering a bit further south, and it's a bit cold up here in the northern wilds for mozzies, though I got bitten when I was in Devon recently.
Don't like Deet, it's yucky, but it's also horrid when you try to sleep and your skin is prickling all over - poor you.

Mopsa said...

Welcome Geranium Cat too! How lovely to have new visitors. Thank you for the sympathy - my wrists in particular as as itchy as , well, as mozzie bites!

lady thinker said...

Ah - I remember this problem well - so far - touh wood - I don't remember being bitten since the menopause - so that's a good point for it! something for you to look forward to.

I've named you for a meme - hope you'll be able to do at some time.Sorry about disturbed sleep - surprising just how it affects one so badly - no wonder they use it as a form of torture.
http://sidmouth-town.blogspot.com/2007/09/name-game-meme.html

Rob Clack said...

Sorry I took so long to get back. Deet does smell a bit 'chemistry labs' but I found I was only aware of it for a short while after applying it.

Certainly your nose should quickly habituate to the smell, but whether other people would notice, I don't know, since we all used it all the time in Greenland, so we all would have smelt the same. I don't remember it as a strong smell, so not one I'd expect to detect from feet away.

Best bet is to buy a small bottle and try it out. Or speak to the pharmacist.

Flowerpot said...

you poor thing - mozzies love me too and I com eup in great itching lumps just thinking about them. In the days when I smoked, that got rid of the buggers, but sadly no more.

Mopsa said...

Lady T - I will see if I can get my head round this one!

Rob - you must be a scientist with an answer like that! thank you.

FPot - sympathy is good - and the current bumps are now going down and the weather is getting cooler...but the buggers are still everywhere.

Totty Teabag said...

Thank you for the welcome!I should have said that we only keep the bedroom door shut during the day; at night it is wide open, as the bathroom and hall windows are all netted, and we get a good breeze blowing through. When a little blighter does slip through the defenses (usually piggy-backing on a cat entering through the cat-flap)I find tea tree oil gives fast and effective relief.

Hennie said...

Hi - I used to live in Botswana and have used a fan for years to keep the mozzie's away. They get blown around by the moving air, and if they are particularly insistent - you won't hear them as the fan distorts the noise!

Dr. James P. Holdren said...

I live in a swamp zone and we ahve ways - any shop near ehre sells you the fumigators et al. Why don't you do this?

Mopsa said...

Hennie - that's a v good idea.

Laziness, James, sheer laziness. And a fear of poisonous fumes.