(Following is my weekly column that appeared in the July 10th edition of the Devils Lake journal, where I am a writer and ad sales rep.)
Brace yourself. This entire column is about mosquitos. So if that doesn’t sound like something you want to read about, turn the page now! As a child in Devils Lake, I was covered in mosquito bites every summer, despite using mosquito repellant and often chasing the mosquito spraying truck down the street, which of course was not a bright idea. I still have a picture of my older sis and I when I was about six years old. We are wearing identical, plaid dresses with angelic smiles on our faces. My legs are covered in red skeeter bite welts, and my sister’s are not. That’s the thing about mosquitos, they seem gorge on some people and leave others alone! This mosquito magnet is most definitely in the first category.
When I first left North Dakota and moved to Denver I was pleasantly surprised my first summer there to not be bitten by even one mosquito. That trend continued for the most part when I moved to DC, and for 20 plus, blissful, itch free years I had very few bites in either city. However, it was a skeeter feeding frenzy every time I returned home to North Dakota. On one visit, I flew into Grand Forks, and when I stepped off the small plane directly onto the ground, I kid you not, I was immediately bitten by a mosquito! I swear that skeeter got wind that I was coming and decided to welcome me back home. I made it a mission to try and have a bite free North Dakota visits, however, I don’t think it ever happened. Not even once.
Most people here in DL keep saying the mosquitos are not bad this year. Well maybe for the average folks and not me the mosquito magnet. At a recent city commission meeting, the commission voted to delay spraying because of the low skeeter population. I wanted to raise my hand and ask if perhaps I could pay a nominal fee to have the sprayer swing by my yard.
I recently decided to try a new mosquito repellant by Off. It’s a small fan that clips on your pants or sets on a chair. I chose one that had army green and tan combat colors, thinking that might amp up the protection. For the most part it works pretty good, especially if you’re sitting and don’t move much. I think several of these skeeter scatterers might work better, clipping one on your shoes, your shorts and maybe a hat. However, it might look a little funny and be a little noisy.
In spite of my efforts, my current season-to-date skeeter bite count is 10 plus and climbing. I don’t want to wish the summer way – it’s one of my favorite seasons. However, I very much want to wish the mosquitos away.