Friday, August 17, 2018

Next Port-of-Call: Culicidae Central

Pope wants me to go on another sailboat cruise. He promises minimal heeling, elimination of all boat leaks, and no mosquitoes.

Ha ha, just kidding! The only thing he promised is that he will take the helm and I can stay in the cabin when blood-suckers strike. He hand-crafted a wood-framed mosquito screen for the companionway. Very classy. Score one for Homo sapiens.

Pope is rarely attractive to mosquitoes (Culicidae). I suspect his consumption of meat and alcohol (B vitamins), junk food (poisonous preservatives), and sugar (bleached and stripped of nutrition) has created a toxic environment around his pores.

I, on the other hand, eat healthy, organic produce with natural spices and the purest milk, butter and local honey. Sweet nectar to the discriminating ectoparasite. Bzzzzt bzzzzt. Yum yum. Scratch scratch.
To weed our garden plot yesterday, I donned long pants, long sleeves buttoned at collar and wrists, plus Deep Woods Off (25% DEET) on hands and face. I ran the gauntlet, then raced for the shower to cool the itch. I counted 11 bites--five on my left hand alone, and two on my left thigh--THROUGH THE DEET AND CLOTHES! I even caught Pope scratching. 
According to the pest-control firm Orkin, DC is the fourth worst city for mosquitoes. And they can be deadly. For now, I'm giving up on lemon eucalyptus and raw garlic and switching to 40% DEET!
On the boat, the situation exacerbates. Covering up in hot sun risks heatstroke. Showers are the one-minute variety. DEET blows into eyes and ears. Pope THINKS he's in control, but when I'm on board, Culicidae rules.

Another sailboat cruise? Maybe. If we start in October and head for Iceland, one of the few places in the world without these hungry beasts.

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