It's Friday May 24, 2013
October 19, 2011
They swarm, they bite. We slap, we swat. In these weeks since Hurricane Irene, it’s seemed that the mosquitoes have been winning in many parts of Pamlico County.
The Town of Oriental has been spraying to counteract them in town. Pamlico County government has also sent mosquito trucks out spraying county roads (that, after a plan for one $200,000 aerial spraying was scrapped in September.) The spraying has helped, if only temporarily. Repeated sprayings have been necessary because while the chemical kills on contact, it doesn’t leave a lasting insecticide on the ground. In other words, still more mosquitoes can zoom in.The buzz. The occupation continues for a large percentage of Pamlico County residents. (Design by Paul Sligh).
Oriental and Pamlico County residents have come to know some idiosyncracies about our county’s mosquitoes. In most other places, a forecast for a north wind may sound like it will bring relief in the form of cold air which mosquitoes don’t like.
But unless it’s freezing, north winds only make matters much worse. Our little low-lying peninsula sticks out in to the Pamlico Sound and by some cosmic joke of geography, provides a landing ground for mosquitoes airborne from swamp lands to the north. So until temperatures really plummet, north winds are the bane of our existence. And when they come on the heels of a good rainfall, the mosquito misery index spikes even more.
The swarms in the county these days have been especially bloodthirsty, working as tag teams. Some types are out at dusk and dawn, others in the middle of the day. They trail us in to our homes. They hitch rides in our cars, creating a new road hazard: Driving While Swatting.
They’re here until the weather gets cold enough to freeze them out. In the meantime, what can we do to deal with the mosquitoes? We put that question to readers. The solutions included turning a garage in to a death chamber, making some additions to your diet, a science experiment involving the mosquitoes diet and some fashion tips. That’s where we start….What To Wear, What To Wear….
Wearing more clothes usually works. The more you cover up, the less skin surface area you leave for the mosquitoes to bite. Long pants, long-sleeve shirt. If it has a button-up collar, have it do just that, right up to the neck. And down there at your feet… as dorky as it looks, wear socks – with your Keens or other sandals. Your ankles will thank you.Deb Iannitto models the outfit she puts on to walk her dog in Arapahoe. Deb accessorizes her thick foul weather jacket with a bandana and a “Buzz-Off” cap designed to repel mosquitoes. Her fragrance she says, is Ben’s Max Formula.
But in these post-Irene days, the mosquitoes are biting through our clothing. So much so that in Arapahoe, TownDock reader Deb Iannitto has taken to wearing a foul weather jacket when walking her dog. (With the air foul with mosquitoes, this makes a perverse kind of sense.)
The hat is treated with some kind of insect repellent. I think it’s good for 3 years but I douse it with Ben’s before walking. The Ben’s formula is 95% Deet. ( I purchased it from Cabela’s when we went to Alaska.) Deet, as obnoxious as it is, is the lesser of two evils.
I haven’t seen mosquitoes this bad since a bike ride I took in the Everglades about 8 years ago. Let’s bang the drums for an early frost. Our property escaped the wrath of Irene but Mother Nature always wins…