I've kept an online eye on the Groundhog Day Blizzard that has paralized a sizable portion of the USA the past couple of days. In looking at the videos and photos posted by midwesterners, I can feel the bone chilling cold pass through me, and it brings back lots of cold memories. I remember how beautiful a whiteout winter scene can be, and how treaturous, and I don't miss it at all. I do send my sympathy to those folks who are snowed in.
Here in Merida, we've been enduring a storm of our own the past several weeks. It's not a snow or rain storm - it seems we have had very few days of rain since October. That makes this experience more remarkable.
What we have here is a slow moving, long lasting MOSQUITO STORM. At first, I thought it was just in my house. I moved here from another tropical locatioon and try to be careful about not creating breeding grounds for them inside or outside the house. The fact that I'm surrounded on three sides by overgrown abandoned properties nullifies my futile attempts.
We see mosquitoes year round in the tropics and our colder months (Oct-Feb) present a higher risk of contracting dengue fever. This year the mosquito population is exaggeratedly troublesome. Today when I walked into the corner store I was swarmed. I felt like I was in a tv commecial - the one where the guy sticks his arm in a box of mosquitoes. At the Duñasusa store two doors down most customers are buying Raid coils or Baygon spray and saying, "¡Ay, Diós Mío, los moscos! ¡Son una plaga exagerada!"
I wake up early most days, make coffee, take care of the cats, and head to the computer to check emails. The past several weeks the morning ritual also includes lighting and strategically placing several "Mexican incense coils". I stopped buying the lavender ones, I don't want any sweet smell that attracts them instead of zapping them. That may be bullshit. Truth is I'll use just about any repellent method. I've taken to wearing long pants, long sleeves and socks around the house - not always because it's cold - I overdress to deter the pesky mossies. I've got a coil lit on each side of my chair as I write this, with the ceiling fan to aid in smoke dispersement.
Mosquitoes don't usually bother the locals, they tend to be attracted to the new blood in town! But even Pablo has to light a coil in the middle of a cold night to keep the buggers from buzzing our heads. We might get some rain (slight chance) today or tomorrow, which should help the mosquitoes to keep on multiplying. I looked up information about mosquitoes and found this interesting link. There is a short video. The gal puts some mosquito eggs into a small vial with warm water, they shake it up, and within seconds the little black dots look like swimming sperm (I imagine). Within an hour the vial was FULL of little swimmers. The gal said they would be mature within 4-7 days. It was an eye opener.
Luckily the screens on the doors keep out swarms that are visible from inside the kitchen looking out. But....I don't remember to shut ALL the screens. Ok, I'm a little stubborn about keeping doors and windows open. I don't like to feel closed in. I wait until I absolutely have to close up the house, like during a tropical downpour. On a cold day I'd rather put on an extra sweatshirt than close my windows or doors.
I keep a bottle of calamine lotion at my side to use before I scratch, and all of my efforts are my best defense until I can get my hands on some terribly toxic body repellent! I've been eaten alive by mosquitoes a few times in my crazy travels....and I have a low tolerance for the multiple itches. I have got to get some new zap racquets! Take care and use repellent til the all clear is posted. Don't hold your breath though.