What I won’t miss about New York: Mosquitoes

This will be redundant for those of who follow my tweets, but I had a hell of a night last night being attacked by mosquitoes.

The suckers have been a problem ever since I moved into Manhattan. At my old apartment, I’d do battle with the buggers well into October. Then a new crop would appear during any warmish spell in the winter. I’d wake up looking like I had leprosy of the face, or with a bite the size of a snack product.

Till recently dousing myself with any repellant did the trick, whether it was wen bu ding, a green tonic I picked up in China; citronella spray; or OFF! But suddenly this summer, everything stopped working. Citronella spray – child’s play! OFF? Just like candy.

Like last night. Before I went to bed, I thought I saw something flying around but convinced myself it was a gnat. As I was falling asleep, I felt a tickle on the side of my face. I rubbed it a few times; then it started to swell. Dammit!

Out came the OFF! Spray, spray, spray, spritz, spritz, spritz – probably way more than the recommended dosage. Plus I stayed up and hunted the thing down, virtually impossible, but somehow I spotted it hanging on the underside of my dresser. Whack! Gotcha.

I lay back down, closed my eyes, and a few minutes later. . .more bites. This time around my eye, where I didn’t put any OFF!

Up again. By now it was after two AM. I was so desperate I thought about covering my head and face with pantyhose cut with nostril holes. As I was trying it – very uncomfortable, by the way – the skeeter attacked my knee. I stuck my legs out, trying to catch it, but it was so fast, it bit me half a dozen times before I finally spotted it on the side of my lamp and smushed it.

After a whiny text to MB, followed by a sympathetic phone call, I tried to go to sleep again. By now it was almost 4. Every tickle and dust particle on my face was a potential biter, which I brushed obsessively like a meth addict. I finally drifted off into unconsciousness, only to be woken by a suddenly itchy shoulder. No, it couldn’t be. Yes, it was: two new bites!

It was 5. I got up yet again and was up for good, on one hour of sleep. I made a half-hearted attempt to look for the mosquito, then Googled mosquito repellants. Basil, supposedly. Rosemary. Catnip. One of those plug-in things, citronella candles, garlic rubbed liberally over the body (no thanks). A mosquito coil or a mosquito net. As I was searching, guess what came buzzing on my leg? Itchy insect number 3. Bad Luck Girl SMASH! This one was bloody – with my blood.

Then later in the bathroom, I killed yet another, number four.

I doubt if that’s the end of them, which is why I’m tempted to crash at my parents’ for the next couple of nights. Of course New Jersey has mosquitoes, but they don’t get into my mom and dad’s house the way they do New York City apartments.

1 comment

  1. Yeah, it’s been a bonanza for the mosquitoes this year, for some reason. We’ve got a big problem with them in my office. And with fruit flies as well. Grrr!!!