Mosquito Battles

Mosquito Battles

Part of daily life in West Africa is the battle against mosquitoes.

Reread that first sentence and put great emphasis on the word “daily”.

We DAILY engage in the battle against the tiny, pesky, annoying, horrible things called mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes love me. As in… if there are 100 people in a room… the mosquitoes will FIND ME.

They find me and like me and bite me. I swell up. Hives. Itchy, red, annoying bites.

There are days that the battle is ON against the little buggers.

Camping in the swamp… x10.

And as anyone who lives in mosquito infested places on this planet has had to learn, we are learning to battle them.

Because it takes some skills and some serious smarts to battle mosquitoes.

They might be tiny and pesky but they are also mighty and sneaky.

So to skillfully do battle with mosquitoes, we’ve had to learn a few things.

Combating them with more than just a little spray or a mosquito net.

Mosquito Battles

Mosquito Battles include:

1} Have the necessary tools in every room. Bug spray, hydro cortisone cream, outlet diffusers, candles… all available in all rooms of the house.

2} Keep greenery around the house trimmed up.

3} Make sure there is no open, standing water anywhere around you or the house. No random buckets or wet, marshy ground. During rainy season this was near to impossible but now it has much improved.

4} Keep your body spritzed with some kind of repellent. I have to do this. Morning, noon and night.

5} Make sure those windows and doors are closed up and the screens are in good condition! They can get in the smallest of ways… so keep those screens closed!

6} Wave your arms violently around, under, in anywhere that you plan to sleep or sit. Seriously, scare those awful things out of hiding before you settle in for coffee or try to sleep. They hide under tables, behind couches, in the window curtains… you must wave them out.

7} After you wave, start clapping quickly!! This is a learned skill. To be able to clap quickly enough to catch and kill mosquitoes is quite the skill to have. We all love when our clapping actually kills one. Hearing random clapping then someone shouting, “I got it!” is a good thing for the whole family.

8} Work on your slam skills. To get a mosquito that has landed somewhere, you need to be able to slam quickly. And, if it is a soft surface, have the skill to slam and kill. When that happens, it is quite impressive for all. We do brag on it.

9} After slamming and clapping, have wipes or paper towel handy. Or just make your way to the sink. If the mosquito was already successful at biting someone in the house, it tends to make a nasty mess. A quite gross clapping, slapping mess. And we all wonder who the unlucky victim was… wait… it was me.

10} Apply cream and take some benadryl. Because your skills really won’t rid your house of all mosquitoes. So apply and continue battling.

11} Spray bedrooms – over the bed, under the bed, around the bed – with some good bug spray around 4pm. Close the door and let the spray do the job of keeping the mosquitoes away prior to bedtime. It does help fight some of the battle for you.

12} Lay down in bed about 15 minutes prior to sleeping. Turn off the light. The key to this one is that you are using yourself as live bait. I promise… if there are mosquitoes around, they will come and find you. {or maybe you need me. because they like me so much} Quickly flip on the light and start clapping and slamming. We killed over 12 using this method just last night.

13} Use a mosquito net. Although we don’t. I hate them. The mosquitoes STILL get in the net and then they are trapped INSIDE the net with me. Feasting all night long. So… no. And I am a mom who birthed 3 children. I don’t just get in the net and stay there all night. Nightly bathroom visits keep the net opening and closing which allows new mosquitoes in. Maybe we just have not mastered the net skills yet… but right now, I have little faith in them.

14} Wear pants and/or long sleeves. The extra clothing coverage does help. But, in most tropical climates, this increases the sweating and misery. So choose your battle there…

15} Antimalarials – yes. we take them. and probably will continue to take them for a while. There are some good choices out there now and with as much as we get bit by mosquitoes, I think it is still a pretty smart choice in the battle against mosquitoes. So, we swallow meds with dinner and call it good!

16} Sleep with the AC on, if possible, and pull the sheets right up over your ears. If there is a random one still flying around your room, it will buzz around you and you won’t know it because your ears are happily covered.

17} Use fans… this has not been very successful for us but it is still worth a shot when the mosquitoes are bad. Blowing a fan directly at you, or some people like to use a high powered ceiling fan, will create wind currents that the mosquitoes won’t be able to easily fly through… fact or myth… not sure but worth a try.

So those are our few weapons in the battle against pesky mosquitoes…

What is something that works for you and your family?

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