09 July 2010

Feeding the Mosquitoes

An entomology grad student and amateur photographer I once knew had a photograph on his office wall, a close-up of a female mosquito dining on what was obviously a human arm, the blood she had already ingested clearly visible through her translucent abdomen.

People seeing the photo for the first time always had the same response:

"Whose arm was that?"

Who in their right mind would stick their arm into a cage full of hungry mosquitoes, and sit still while one drank her fill?

Another time, Scarecrow and I were up at his family's cottage in northern Ontario. Against my better judgment, we took a canoe out on the lake at sunset.

"They're flying around, but they're not biting," he said.

"They're not biting you. I'm getting lightheaded," I replied.

When we bought our house I thought it would be nice that it was across the street from a park. There was even a paved path through the park, so I could roll along when Scarecrow took the dogs for a walk. Perhaps I should have given a little more thought to what the name Swamp Creek might imply about a park.

After a relentlessly gloomy spring, we're finally expecting a weekend of sunshine and blue sky. I'm looking forward to spending as much of it as I can out in the yard. This is not without risk, you understand, particularly in the evening. It's an interesting experience to watch a mosquito land on your person and begin tanking up, and not be able to do anything about it.

But what the heck. Live dangerously. It will be worth it.


  1. You paint a lovely picture of why I didn't go outside last evening. We have two ponds next to the patio, and have recently run out of our mosquito killer pellets for them. Mosquitoes like me. They REALLY like me. By the time I feel the bite and can still swat at them, it's too late. I just keep them from getting their fill, I guess. I wish I was numb enough to not feel the itch, though! P.S. Fleas like me, too! And I have the red spots on my ankles to prove it.

  2. Well, stupid me. I went out at dusk to cool off, and before I had a chance to spray my legs with OFF, I was bit. In a day or two it will itch like crazy, I'm guessing. Plus, now I smell like Deet! Yuk.

  3. Mosquitoes are fond of me too. I was always the kid at summer camp or on family campouts that was covered in bites (in spite of repellent) and sometimes sporting an eye swollen shut much to the amusement of my siblings.

    Gads, no I can't imagine having to watch while the nasty little things tanked up on me. I'd say some experimenting with someone putting various repellents on you is in order. From the Deet to natural. Oh, if you find a natural one that works longer than a half hour, please pass that info on. Good luck!

  4. I can't remember where you guys live, but I have never ran into more than 2 blood suckers my entire 26 years in Seattle. I lived in White Cntr (Oh, right, Web lives in Tacoma and QA b4) by a pond, atop Elliott Bay (at the Newmark), worked at Bethlehem Steel in W Seattle, now live 2blks from Lk Union...always apts (except the bottom flr condo 3 blks from the locks) and always up a bit (well, 14 stories downtown) maybe they don't fly high? Or just are homophobic? I do agree though--live it up, maybe they will take out some bad MS iron-blood...

  5. Mosquitos! I hate them! Luckily for me though I don't seem to get bitten all that often. Though they did get me at least three times on the 4th of July. I tend not to mind too much because I am able not to scratch them. My husband, however, is a completely different story. He hates them and often refuses to stay outside. I agree with you. A mosquitoe bite is a small price to pay for enjoying some nice weather.

  6. mosquitos rarely bite me. spiders loveeeeee me. especially texas jumping spiders.

    i live in the woods and the woods are full of spidies and they all find me. i smash every spider i see...i don't ask if it's a good or bad spider, i don't care!

  7. They usually leave me alone if someone else is around I guess I am not as tasty LOL