Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin
queerbychoice

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Mosquitoes

They're eating us alive. Every day, we get bitten five or ten or fifteen times each. Inside. I've taken to trying to keep as much of my skin as possible covered at all times, throwing a blanket over my bare legs when it's 105 degrees or hotter outside, but the moment I stand up to do anything at all, my shins get bitten. At night we have to tuck the sheet around every square inch of ourselves and make sure never to turn over in our sleep and dislodge the sheet, or else we're rudely awakened to a mosquito bite on the spine, in the most impossible-to-reach spot possible. Twice a month I buy out the entire supply of generic-equivalent Benadryl cream at the local grocery store, trying to keep the itching under control. In the evenings, we have pretend conversations out loud with imaginary strangers who ask us questions: "So what do you two do for fun at home?" "We slather Benadryl cream on each other." "No, I mean, what do you do for a romantic gesture?" "We squash mosquitoes for each other and thank each other for the valiant protection." We usually kill five or six mosquitoes in the house each day, but there are always more left in the house when we go to bed.

I guess it started in June. It got gradually worse through July, and became completely unbearable by the beginning of August. It was just as bad last year at this time, but then I was only visiting on weekends. I didn't think I could possibly survive living here under these conditions, so I bought Susan a pet door insert for the sliding glass door. She used to leave the door open most of the time so the dogs could go in and out, so I figured that's how the mosquitoes were getting in. But they still get in just as much now. The flap on the pet door isn't airtight; there are tiny gaps on each side of it, and I guess the mosquitoes are very good at finding those gaps. Susan says there are huge clouds of mosquitoes all over town, including at her school, and her students complain of horrible mosquito problems at their homes, too.

One of them just landed on my computer screen, and I failed in my effort to squash it.

This situation is truly intolerable, so I'm begging for advice. What can I do that I haven't already done? The Benadryl cream helps, but it takes about five minutes, and the stupid things keep biting so often that even five minutes of agony per bite is enough to completely ruin a major portion of every evening. I tried spraying Raid flying insect killer all over the house, but even when I sprayed an individual mosquito directly from within six inches, a prolonged burst of as much as five seconds, the thing flew away and didn't even look sick. It may well have died later - we did notice a decrease in mosquitoes the day after an intense spraying of Raid - but two days after the spraying, the mosquito population was back to normal. Meanwhile, I had a Raid-induced sore throat for a full week after the spraying.

They're driving both of us insane. I've never experienced a mosquito problem indoors before. Maybe that's because I never had indoor dogs before and therefore never needed a pet door. But Susan has had indoor dogs for about fifteen years, and apparently she's never had this bad a mosquito problem indoors anywhere but this one mosquito-cursed town where we're currently condemned to live.
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