Saturday, June 21, 2008

Suburbia - not for me!

So there I was yesterday morning, weeding my apology of a back garden. It has rained pissistantly for a few days, so there was a bit of a jungle developing. And here, when the weather is hot and damp, and there's a lot of flora, there's also a high chance of mosquitoes. Granted the city isn't as bad as the subsurbs, but the one that was out and about yesterday had its beady eye on me as soon as I stepped outside.

And the result:



It's fair to say that I don't do things by half, so naturally when I get bitten (and I always do) it's not just the red or white itchy blotch. No siree Bob! (Very appropriate American saying!) As can be seen, my whole elbow has swollen rather attractively - believe me, I don't like my arms at the best of times but they're not this weird looking. I once got bitten on the back of the hand and it was so swollen that I couldn't move my fingers for a few days. Decades ago in Jamaica I had 26 bites on one foot (too fed up to count further) and the Jamaicans would follow me around pointing at my red, swollen ulcerations.

The Ball & chain uses me as his personal mosquito deterrent; sit next to me and you won't get bitten. They only have probosces (sp?) for me. I get bitten through clothes, clouds of spray and even sitting next to those expensive back garden machines that effectively suck the little buggers right out of the air. I swear they have a quick nibble on me as they're hurtling past to their fate. A bit like a death row inmate's last meal before execution.

It's even worse when we go on a 'hot' holiday. By the time I have a very light (make that very light) tan, I'm also so covered in bites that I should receive an "R" rating - a regular horror movie in flip flops.

So it's city living for me and holidays in the Antarctic I think. Right, where's that anti-itch cream?

21 comments:

  1. Oh dear I feel your pain, maybe that's why American men like Brit' women secretly!

    I got one on my forehead the other night and it's the first ever that hasn't swollen grossly. We have a Mosquito Magnet in our yard and it does help but if they do bite it's always me. Tonight we went to a cookout and I was coated in DEET and jeans and cowboy boots in 85 degrees! Just to avoid the damn Mossies....

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  2. Oh dear! You and me must have sweet blood!
    I went to France camping in the woods & got so covered in mosquito bites that you couldn't see a good bit! (But definitely a good bite!) I had to go on antihistamines as I felt so ill.
    We just get gnats here but they leave me alone!

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  3. Mosquitoes, one of the forgotten pleasures of living in the States. We just returned from our bi-annual sojourn and, as we were staying with a friend out in the country this time, my wife was introduced to mosquitoes and various other blood-sucking insects. She hasn't ballooned up like you, but she has acquired some interesting welts.

    Having grown up there, the bugs totally ignored me in favor of my wife. It must be a genetic thing.

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  4. Hmmm - that's what they mean about the "special relationship" then?

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  5. Hello fellow British/American Mum, I've found your blog via the wonderful May article in the Telegraph Weekend, which my Mum sent over here to me in Northern California. Am having a great time uncovering so many witty women's blogs out there in the outposts of the UK and beyond! I also have three American born kids (all boys).

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  6. Welcome - and how are you with the mosquitoes?

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  7. Before we went on holiday to Australia I would have said,try taking Vitamin B supplements. Not now, though. Apparantly Australian Mossies luuuuuurve Vit B. Blast them.

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  8. The bloody mozzies are as big as helicopters here. Even if you cover yourself in spray they bite you through your clothes.

    Someone suggested I dab myself in Dettol, but I haven't tried it yet, so I don't know how effective it is.

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  9. The entire premise of my blog (and, hence, my life) is that of an urban exile in the suburbs. Ravenous insects and overgrown flora are merely the tip of the iceberg. Beware. Stay away.

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  10. someone told me they are attracted to the CO2 in our breath. SO, drink copious amount of wine & eat garlic bread. Even if you get bitten, you'll be too smashed to care.

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  11. I'm all over that one as we speak! Ball & Chain just came in from the back garden/yard and I noticed a black speck on his forehead. It was a huge moz. If they're going for him they have to be ferocious!

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  12. PS. Just for laughs - if you click on the photo, my arm gets really HUGE, but it shows off the bite rather nicely! It's actually gone down a bit now and is pointy and orange. Probably festering away and due to drop off on Wednesday. Watch this space!

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  13. Ow :(

    I feel your pain. My feet are infested with bites everytime I go back to Kenya.

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  14. Eeeeew, poor you. US mosquitoes are on steroids, I swear. I'm lucky in that they prefer my husband to me - but they still take the odd nibble or two. Apparently they are attracted to people who are deficient in one of the B vitamin complex - can't remeber which one - 6 or 12 I think but might be worth swallowing a pot of the whole bunch jsut in case.

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  15. OK - BRIT GAL SARA AND THE BRIT AT SPINNING THE WHEEL - since you've put the fancy blog roll on, I'm not being allowed to leave comments on your blogs. I thought it might be me - but this is too much of a coincidence!

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  16. Don't get me started on American mozzies. I've had a terrible time with the things. The first summer I was here they flew up my skirt at a garden party and I spent the entire evening trying not to look as if I was scratching my groin. Sadly I've discovered that I'm so allergic to the things that the bites swell up to the size of an orange and then leave a huge bruise. Last year one intrepid mosquito even dared to bite me through my cycle shorts while I was biking. Naturally it was the glutimus maximus that it went for and I was in agony for days. I'm buying shares in Benadryl.

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  17. I hope the swelling is coming down - this continent does insects like no other...

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  18. I am another brit allergic to trans Atlantic mosquitos. When we went to Newfoundland last year I had some corkers. Hope it is settling down now.

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  19. I usually don't get bitten too badly, but there is some form of mutant mosquito where I am in Mallorca. They won't stop biting, and when they do, the damn things swell up until they've completely taken over my body! I feel your pain...

    http://travelday.today.com

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  20. Apparently they don't like marmite - that doesn't mean you have to smear it all over you, but start doing that essential brit abroad thing and start stockpiling. Lx

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  21. Hi there - sorry to hear about your mozzie bites...try something called "Fenistil gel". It was recommended to me by a pharmicist in Barcelona and it is brilliant! Just bought some more in Switzerland and if you are really nice to me I'll give you a tube. (We'll need it for pub garden midges. Looking forward to meeting you soon.) Salve! Hadriana.

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