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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Necessary Evil!

CHEMICALS! I'm talking chemical warfare but no, not against people but against Mosquitos!
We haven't had this bad of an attack from Mosquitos since we first blogged about it back in March of 2010. Back then, the capital city Montevideo sent workers around in haz-mat suits (protective clothing) and they sprayed the parks and a few people (waiting for the bus as the trunks went by) spraying street curbs as well. I should have gotten pictures of that but Wally did that post. So far, we haven't heard of any Government response to this flying hoard of insects but yesterday Monday, December 17th, was bad, really bad and today as well.

How bad, you ask? Read some amusing comments from what other expats had to say about the onslaught, I'm quoting them word for word.

If you heard somebody in Atlántida hooting and cursing in Spanglish today while swinging shopping bags around madly, trying to slap himself while not dropping the beer, soda, meat, and bagful of insect killer and repellant, that was me. The blasted things were even attacking the hand carrying a bagful of bug death, even with my hand wrapped with a mosquito repellent moist cloth.

They [mosquitos] are so bad here... The neighbors across the street left to go back to Montevideo like Armageddon was happening. Fast acceleration while not holding the wheel, still one passenger half in, holding a suitcase,yelling, go go (well it was something in spanish) 15 hours ago.

Mariellen, a neighbor of mine in Marindia:

OH MY GOSH......yesterday morning I went ouside in shorts and I looked down at my legs and they were COVERED with mosquitos....was like something out of a B rated old sci fi movie. Imke my housekeeper and I were trying to clean up after Busters 10th birthday party  from the day before, and we were getting eaten alive. I was ready to go to the hospital for a blood transfusion! They sneek into my house too, they are all lurking on the walls,  up high enough I cant reach them. I think I counted 15 just in the kitchen. We do have one of those plug in things I think Raid makes in our bedroom. Not quite sure how it works, and right now dont care! But it works, didnt get bit once last night.

While not a fan of chemicals we couldn't stand it any longer and Wally armed himself with bug spray in hand or in this case a giant spray container full and went out to spray our yard and window ledges. He looked like an Arab sheik since he wisely covered his head with a cloth to protect his head and neck. This was a picture I took of him while I stayed safely inside with my dogs and cat.

We would have been happy to stay holed-up inside but the poor dogs have to go outside for their potty breaks several times a day and the amount of flying predators waiting for them at the door was just too great! So we felt we were forced to spray.

We have also tried to seek alternate, natural solutions to these flying menaces for our indoor use so here is a recipe and project we tried.

This bottle was our first attempt. It was too big! It was not cut properly in-half.
Follow the recipe and use a 2LT. soda bottle, cut the bottle in half unlike this picture.
Mosquito trap:
200 ml of water
1/4 Cup (50 grams) of brown sugar,
2 1/4 tsp (1 gram packet) of yeast
and a plastic bottle of 2 liters
black or dark material or plastic, something to cover the bottle:

Here are the steps to follow:
1. Cut a plastic bottle in half and keep the bottom, but do not throw the top.
2. Cover the bottom part of the bottle with Black Material or whatever you have.
3. Dissolve brown sugar with hot water. Then let it cool. Transfer to bottom section of bottle.
4. Add yeast. DO NOT mix. It will be creating carbon dioxide.
5. Remove bottle cap, insert the top of the bottle upside down into the bottom section, forming a funnel like.
6. Place it in a corner of your home.

I think that the bottom part of the bottle being covered in black is to hid the dead bugs from your view. Don't cover the whole bottle, just put a strip of black on the bottom part. Put 1 or more of these traps around your house. If you don't want your children or animals getting into them or spilling them over, hang them up or put them up high out of reach.

If you are bitten here are some natural chemical free home remedies to help with those bites. Some of these are to help with the itching and others are to help keep them from getting infected because of your scratching them. 

This seems to be the quickest of all home remedies for mosquito bites. Simply moisten the bite area and then rub table salt on the moistened area. Itching should cease immediately. 
Apple Cider Vinegar
To relieve the itching, rub apple cider vinegar directly on the mosquito bites. (Note: this is an old snorkeling and scuba diver's trick to take the sting away from Jelly fish stings) (that or urine!)
Toothpaste is another one of the fastest home remedies for mosquito bites. Just dab a bit of toothpaste onto the mosquito bites and the itching should stop very quickly. Peppermint toothpaste is by far the best.
Ammonia is another one of the home remedies for mosquito bites this is very effective "itch eliminator". Apply ammonia on the bites. 
Aloe seems to top the list of all home remedies for mosquito bites when it comes to both    eliminating the itch and healing the wound. You can grow your own aloe and use the gel from the leaves, or you can use a commercial aloe gel product.

The biggest problem derived from scratching one's itch is the threat of infections. So, for itching that just won't stop, and if you just have to scratch, cut a lemon in half and scratch your itch with the soft pulpy side of it. This will reduce the chances of getting an infection from scratching with your fingernails. 
Sheila from Lynchburg, Virginia writes: "Rub deodorant on the bites and the relief will be almost instant. This also works for other types of itchy bites.
Baking Soda
Sarah from San Francisco, California writes: "After trying many other home remedies for mosquito bites, I tried my own."
"I was bitten numerous times on my feet. I mixed baking soda and water together until I had a paste like substance. Then I covered the bite areas. Itching stopped within a few minutes!" 
Garlic Salt and Seasoning Salt
Stacy from Benton, Missouri writes: "I have a huge problem with mosquito bites! The quickest, simplest of all home remedies for mosquito bites that I have found that works on me, is a mixture of one part water, one part seasoning salt and one part garlic salt. It burns for about 5 seconds and then it is cured!" 

Whether you are using chemicals or trying to go the natural route, I hope this helps you win the war. 

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