Tuesday, 17 September 2019
Englishman in Dubrovnik Englishman in Dubrovnik

I am losing the war with mosquitoes terribly

By  Jul 28, 2018

I mean what real purpose do they serve? When God was creating all the creatures why, oh why, did he think to create mosquitoes? When Noah took the animals onto the ark, one by one, I am pretty sure that he didn’t take two bloody mosquitoes with him. But knowing these extremely annoying beasts they probably flew on by themselves anyway!

Without doubt one of the banes of my life in the Dubrovnik summer heat are these buzzing pests. However well I protect myself, or maybe I should have said “try to protect myself”, these flying insects find a way to attack me. They are the ninjas of the animal kingdom. Kamikazes raining down, and I am their Pearl Harbour.

Did you know that there are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes? And I am pretty sure they all have my address in their GPS. They awake me from my sleep. Terrorise me at my laptop (yes, I have a couple on the hunt around me now) and use me as a human pincushion whilst I stand at the BBQ. I must have a big neon sign on my forehead “Bite Me” or maybe “Here is lunch.” I have a drawer in my house dedicated to anti-mosquito measures. Sprays, tablets and coils that you burn. They all have very limited effect. The smoking coil which is supposed to protect me whilst I grill another dozen cevapi seems to act like a smoke signal to attract even more of their friends.

So this year we went a step further and bought one of those see-through screens that you fix over the windows. I spent hours fixing it correctly. Managed to glue it to my fingers twice. And when it was up spent another few hours watching the cats bounce off the unexpected new barrier. It was like watching balls hit the net at Wimbledon. For a few days it kind of worked. I would sit on my laptop watching the pesky flying insects whacking their heads on the net. I felt like sticking a middle finger up to them, “Where are you now!” However, the joy was short lived. It would appear that the mosquitoes in Zupa have an IQ similar to Einstein. They saw the new net as a challenge and not as a barrier. For they knew that if they could break in they would have my sweet skin to plough their noses into.

And break in they did. Had they dug a tunnel? Pretty soon the new barrier was having the opposite effect. It was actually keeping the beasts inside. Should I go outside now?

Did you know that only female mosquitoes bite? Why am I not surprised? Yes, as you have already guessed I have been doing a lot of mosquito research over the past weeks. However, all this reading has yet to reveal what purpose these pests serve. I suspect none. I also suspect that without the various tablets and electronic devices that light up my bedroom at night that I would be in fear of losing vast amounts of blood to these suckers.

Why do they always find me first? I seem to act as a decoy for the rest of my family. Whilst they snore away I am left scratching like a dog with fleas. If you think you are too small to be effective you have never been in a dark room with a mosquito. And they always seem to bite me in the most awkward of positions. From big toes to the middle of my back. Once my wife caught me in the middle of a darkened kitchen with a wooden spoon scratching my back. My silhouette in the full moon probably looked like I was doing something else!?!

We have bought some crazy online devices to counter the attacks. None have worked. Although to be fair most of our online shopping has been, well, less than successful. Just last week my wife bought two “cold dog rugs.” You are probably scratching your head in disbelief now, as I am scratching my back from yet another mosquito bite. They are supposed to keep dogs cool in the summer heat, however both our dogs turned their noses up to these refrigerated rugs. Sorry, I digress.

If Mohamed Ali has said “I float like a butterfly and sting like a mosquito,” rather than like a bee he would have been much more dangerous, at least in my eyes. So with the heat of August almost upon us I can almost hear and feel the sound of a swarm of mosquitoes blocking out the sun in our neighbourhood. Winter cannot come soon enough.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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