midges, mites and mozzies!

And flies…..lots of them.

If you’re reading this in the UK this week with all the storms and floods etc or heaven forbid in the Southern US states or in the Caribbean with Hurricane Ike and the like battering you to hell, I’m sorry, but the weather here’s been glorious for weeks now. We’ve had a bit of rain on one day since we got back. The rest of the time’s been sunny with max temperatures consistently in the 30s. It’s just beginning to cool a little, but I’m talking mid-20’s still. Well I’m not saying this to gloat – the weather in the UK has been awful this whole summer – we were there for 3 weeks and saw maybe one or two days when it didn’t rain. No the reason for writing is to talk about how nature balances things up; we get the lovely weather but we also get the bugs that bite.

They drive us nuts. We leave a lot of windows open to get some air in the place. The house was very musty when we got back having been closed up for a year. Now it’s fine but boy you cannot avoid the flying insects of every description. We must kill a hundred flies and mozzies a day and no matter how many you kill, within 5 minutes they are back bugging the hell out of you. Even after we’ve shut all the windows etc.

We seem to have had a plague of tiny, tiny flies which just play around the windows. They are slow and dopey and you can kill 20 or more on a window without too much effort. But we’ve a lot of windows and you find yourself doing it hour after hour. We’ve tried all sorts of remedies but nothing stops them coming in. We don’t yet have screens on the windows – we’re sure that’s help a lot but even our neighbour P says her screens don’t prevent the little blighters from getting in.

We’ve got some little midges with long dangly tails that are window huggers and are fairly easy to execute. Earlier we had a load of biggish flying insects that were yellow and black with a large lower body and long pointed tail or stinger – they looked fearsome but flew erratically and were no match for the swatter. We haven’t yet seen the black and red bugs that invaded and occupied our window frames during our first year here but the little green hard backed flying beetles have suddenly started appearing. They are slow and dopey and give off a clicking sound to let you know they are around. The only problem with these is that they are also full of green puss gunk which makes a swell patch on the plaster work if you splat them. So these we try and capture and let out of the house. It’s a more civilised relationship.

The mozzies and midges are bad though as they buzz before your eyes or in your ears for a quick second then become invisible. They are hard to catch. But the worst buggers are the truly microscopic mites which sit in our floor rugs and lurk everywhere in the grass. These are the kings of the biters – you just feel it happening but can’t see the blighters or prevent them from doing unless you smother your legs or arms with unattractively smelling unctions. C and I are starting to build up a resistance again but poor R who has very fair skin still gets bitten several times a day. Some of our guests suffer because of their fair skin too.

I’m told that taking benyllin expectorant or cough medicine works as a deterrent because the smell seeps through your skin’s pores and the insects find it noxious. I think I’ll avoid becoming dependent on the stuff and risk it with my trusty fly squatter. But if anyone has any better ideas out there?

Now you must be thinking, the poor sods having to endure that glorious weather and it’s attendant insects eh? Yeh right. It’s a hard bugs life.


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