Monday, 3 July 2017

Mosquitoes

The warm weather is alternating with cold weather and the mosquitoes are breeding.
They love it; their paternal and maternal instincts are going crazy. Eggs everywhere.
Three days after the rain stops, the mosquitoes hatch.

I was raised in mosquito-land.
You can be bothered by them or you can focus on something else.
You scratch like crazy and it doesn't limit the itch. All it does is to leave scars.
You can cool the skin with ice, you can sooth the itch with camphor or salt-water, you can spit on it.
The scars fade but leave on me, white spots as the pigmentation is destroyed (not that I had much to begin with anyway).
However, slowly, an immunity can be built up.

A few summers in the early 1990s, I taught canoeing to children and tourists.
This meant I lived by the shore, with the mosquitoes for the entire season.
I decided I needed an immune system against them in full working order.
They were just too many to stay away from.  So I let them bit me. Unrestricted.
Wore sandals and shorts at dusk.

The bites were all treated individually and immediately. In the beginning, each bite was covered with local anaesthetics to reduce the itch and the reaction.
When it got bad, the allergic reaction was reduced with anti-histamines (allergy tablets).
When I worked in Massachusetts, I bought Sting-Eze (product name, I am sure there are many others equally good and this is not necessarily a personal recommendation, just an observation that it worked for me). It contains Benzocaine and had a snazzy little nozzle to apply on the bite by the drop.
It lived in my pocket and in my hand for three solid summers.
As the allergic reaction to the mosquitoes was reduced, I used it less and less.

I bought a new bottle in Wisconsin eight years later, nineteen years ago.

That bottle just ran out.

This home-made immunisation worked a very long time and for the type of mosquitoes I had where I lived. The Guatemalan mosquitoes were different but also had malaria so there was a strict-no-bite policy for them. Later on I lived inside in an office for many years and did not get bit by mosquitoes very often..

Now 2017, my immune system is wearing thin and I am again starting to react to mosquito bites.
I bought a German product Juck-Reiz in an emergency a few years ago. It is oil-based and more natural I think. I'll keep with me from now on. For two reasons.
One to apply to mosquito bites hoping it will work on the reaction
Two to keep me amused as I smile every time I read the name. (I am easily amused.)

If need be, I'll stay outside and let the mosquitoes bite me for a season to re-immunise myself again.

Note: Mosquitoes are very different in different countries and regions. Some carry deceases and you should not let them bite you unrestricted. People are even more different from each other. If your initial allergic reaction is severe, do not do this without medical support. You have been warned. I am not responsible for the consequences.

4 comments:

  1. I live in mosquito country and they are annoying especially if you are trying to sleep. I am used to their bites, but I still don't like them. Sometimes the itch can be relieved with a dab of ammonia if necessary.

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    1. No, no, liking mosquitoes is not possible - unless you are a swallow. Or like swallows.

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  2. Mosquitoes are a part of life here...I never thought or heard of building up an immunity to them. That takes some dedication! I like it!

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    1. Look it up, there is lots of read and understand about your specific mosquitoes. It makes life so much easier when there is no itching so it is well worth a try.

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