Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So How's That Mosquito Plague Going?

We have had afternoon sprinkles, showers, downpours or blinding rainstorms every day for a month.  The ground is saturated.  Last week we were bombarded by mosquitoes.  I wrote about it.

The mosquitoes have gotten worse.  So much worse that they made Diario headlines three days in a row and the city is (supposedly) working the fumigation trucks around the clock.  Until I moved into this blast-into-the-past-time-machine called Mérida, I hadn't seen, heard or smelled a mosquito fog truck since I was a kid in Toledo in the 60's.  I haven't heard one this past week, but that doesn't mean it hasn't passed by. We can't hear street noise in the back bedoom.  I have no issue filling the air with certain toxic chemicals out of necessity. It's full of them already, so what's a little more toxicity if it avoids us all coming down with dengue?

The city also hired hundreds of men to assist with backpack fumigation.  The biggest worry now is August.  The officials are worried about an impending rise of dengue, and have seen 270 cases of hemorraghic cases thus far. As wet as our environment is, it's very difficult to avoid mosquito breeding areas.  At home, we actively seek potential breeding grounds, clear them - and then the bastards appear somewhere else.  My house is surrounded by three overgrown abandoned properties.  I wonder if there's any standing water or breeding grounds over there? 

The mosquitoes also got BIGGER.  There were two photos in the Diario of wasp-sized (ok, slight exaggeration) GIANT MOSQUITOS.  They are as big as flies at least. They're all over the peninsula.  Luckily the Jurassic Park Breed doesn't carry dengue- so they say.  There was no mention how their bites compare to the smaller striped anopheles bastards, that I constantly fight myself to NOT SCRATCH.  Hopefully the bigger the mossie doesn't mean a worse bite!

I HEAR the Zap Racquets in Mérida sold out and I KNOW there is NO REPELLENT anywhere...the shelves are all empty.  All that's left are coils and Baygon to spray entire rooms.  We "zen ourselves" into believing the Raid coils are lavender incense by necessity.  The racquet is the greatest, even if we do look like lunatics flinging them around the house and patio all the time. Playing air tennis.  You get to LOVE that zap sound!  The good news is the cats have become accustomed to our new bizarre behavior and don't freak out at the sight of our new weapons anymore.

 My house is reasonably waterproofed....compared to others I have seen....so I do continue to enjoy the afternoon rain squalls.  I spend a lot of time on the weather sites.  Whether we see as many tropical storms as were predicted this hurricane season remains to be seen, but it's safe to say so far we are having a much rainier rainy season than the past two summers.


Islagringo said...

Knock on wood, but we get very few mosquitoes at my house. Mostly in August when the winds die down. Otherwise they can't compete with the direct ocean breezes we get. I do fondly(!) remember the mosquitoes in Minnesota though. The mosquitoe is officially our unofficial state bird!

Linda Dorton said...

You have the advantage of something like tradewinds, due to your location on the northeastern tip of the peninsula. That is a great help! If I were you though, I would get some repellent and stock up on whatever your mosquito fighting weaponry is NOW because the shelves are emptying in Mérida. There is so much mosquito news in today's paper...the problem is now national. The skitos are becoming resistant to insecticides in northern Mexico where it continues to rain. Dengue is rising in our peninsula, and 43%are hemorraghic. They are really worried about August. Just get some stuff and have it on hand. If you end up not needing it, we will buy it from you. You could probably clear the shelves up there, bring them here and double your money! Ha that's an idea!

jleo71 said...

Hi, hope you can help me with this dilemma. I am a retiree and very seriously considering moving to Merida in the next year. I am also allergic to mosquito bites and often swell up and itch for days. I have a pool cage here at my home in Florida so that I can actually go outside at night and swim, have dinner or sit by the pool. In all the searches of homes in Merida I have not seen one such pool cage. Is it not possible to have this done? Would the local Home Depot not have the materials or professionals to do this?
Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated as I understand the problem of mosquitoes is no small matter in this area of Mexico. Or should I consider a more amenable spot like the coast?

Linda Dorton said...

Jleo71, I'd have to say you are in a bit of a dilemma. And I am either the worst person to ask or the best. I'm not sure. I have been eaten alive twice by mosquitos, and the thought of multiple bites sends me through the roof. So far I have not encountered dengue or malaria. This summer is not as wet as it was in this 2010 article. But those pesky mosquitos come out with the slightest rain. I spend a lot of time at the computer, with a fan on full blast and a mosquito coil or two burning at my feet. Could you email me and we can chat? chujukcheel@gmail.com. Thanks, Lin

jleo71 said...

OK, sent an email. Please make sure you have this address in your address book so you can receive it.