Saturday, September 5, 2020

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

All my ruminating about bloodsucking insects brings back numerous memories. And many are fond, believe it or not, such as during the summer of 1999. My husband and I spent a week in Alaska, meeting my parents during the pinnacle of their transcontinental camping trip. Among my souvenirs is 'Skeeter', who hangs out on various magnetic surfaces.

Only today did I realize her proboscis is bendable...

To our good fortune, though not Alaskan residents, that season was unusually dry. We didn't have to worry about their legendary insect population while those communities had to cancel all Independence Day fireworks displays.

One fall trip to North Carolina's Outer Banks is another story. We arrived on the island as a hurricane swept out to sea, leaving behind wet and flooded conditions that spawned an epic mosquito population. Hungry females swarmed me every time I entered or exited our condominium, the shaded entryway a perfect place for them to congregate. Thank heaven for liquid bandage, which helped stop the itching.

A most memorable incident occurred at the Pea Island Nature Preserve. Alas, we did not get very far. My husband still marvels at seeing me flee before a cloud of mosquitoes.

A visit to the Indiana Dunes National Park introduced me to biting flies. The whole point to view an ocean-like setting, we never did. At least we enjoyed wildlife at the man-made lake outside our motel room. That and some fine dining made the trip worthwhile.

I've had similar experiences at home, too. Take the work lunch break I spent reading in an old cemetery. A few days later I visited my doctor thinking a medicinal side effect caused itchy bumps. Nope. She asked if I'd spent time among un-mown grasses. Yup. Chiggers found me that year. My guy teases that I should have known to expect bloodsuckers there.

Did you know not all mosquito species require blood for egg production? Or that the name is Spanish for 'little fly'?



  1. Your post today reminds me of a camping trip The Hubby and I took to the Florida Keys, and noseeums who followed us home. Luckily, they didn't like the colder climate!

    1. Oh, we celebrated our marriage in Key West! :) I'm glad you made it home in one piece.

  2. You sound like quite the mosquito magnet. I am too so I avoid the outside as much as I can- not a fan of the heat or sun either. I don't mind outside in the fall and winter though :)

    1. Guess where I am right now. Our back patio. ~grin~ It's lovely today.

  3. Oh man, they sure like to bite you, don't they? I'm getting itchy just reading this.

  4. When mom and dad are out hiking he's usually the mosquito magnet and they typically leave mom alone. The Alaska stuff is cool, but dad says there's almost nothing as hilarious as Gary Larsen's stuff.

  5. Just in case I never commented or blogged about it let me go on record as saying that I HATE THOSE BLOOD SUCKERS!!!! And they usually love me! Mine will not normally be a small bite, mine gets big and ugly. I had heard that about the blood before, I think they all come to me to get their supply!


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