Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mosquitoes; What's The Point?

     I love summer.  However, one of the major pitfalls for me is the wretched mosquitoes.    In the spring when mosquitoes first start to appear, I could swear I can hear them sing and dance, the moment I step outside.  I currently have 15 bites.
     It was one of the lovely things about living in SoCal; very little humidity= no mosquitoes.  In the 8 years that we lived there, I got 1 bite!  And I am certain that little sucker traveled oodles of miles just to find me.  Maybe I should feel flattered.
    Since I am one of those who has always served as a buffet to the little pricksters, I have researched and tried a number of solutions.  I won't waste anyone's time with the standard tips that I think we all know.  (Tips like no standing water, no dark clothes, etc.) There are many sites that list many different natural and homemade concoctions, so I assume if you are in need of something, you've done the research as well.  If anyone's curious, I take vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and garlic capsules.  However, I lapsed for a few days, thus may be the reason for my current status.  In addition, I spray on a homemade spray made from Witch Hazel, and citronella, lemon eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender essential oils.  On top of that I spray Off.  When I use all of these, (in addition to wearing light colored clothing, staying away from standing water, and staying in at dusk) I usually come away with just a couple of bites, if any.  Hallelujah!
     This post is just a quick short vent to share some maybe interesting points, so to speak.  Hopefully you've found your magic concoction, and this just brings a couple of smiles till the little buggers are frozen out.
      Mosquitoes' scientific family name is Culicidae.  There are over 3,500 different species!  Thankfully, only about 150 of these species call America home.  There are 3 subfamilies, with Culicinae being the largest, having a little over 3,000 of the species under it's domain.  The subfamilies are comprised of 43 genera.  The females are the ones that cause all the trouble, as they are the ones that feed on blood; they need the protein to produce eggs.  The males feed exclusively on flower nectar.  Females also feed on nectar to give her eggs sugar.  Mosquitoes have been around over 200 million years, and show very little change in the last 46 million years.  I guess why fix what's not broken.
     In summation:  they're a large organized family with females at the helm.  These godmothers will do whatever it takes for the family to survive; including bearing the bad rap of being the blood suckers. She mates only once in her life.  That's all she needs for the up to 500 eggs she will lay.  Efficient and effective.  Ideal conditions, she lives more than a month.  The male, how many times he mates, is anyone's guess.  He only lives a few days and in that time helps to pollinate some flowers with other males.  How nice.
     If you haven't guessed, with over 3500 hundred species, they all hanker for a little something different.  Meaning, different blood for different bugs.  So, if you want to look on the bright side- it's just a testament to each of our own unique specialness.

Why can't they all be this charming?