Winter was a little late this year. So late it didn’t even bother arriving. And here it is spring in Emmaus already, and my pal Cnythia in Des Moines tells me summer in Iowa is almost half over. Everyone I marvel with about the freakish weather goes on about the freakin’ bug problems we have to look forward to. As the blue plate special on the mossie menu, I have special cause for dread. West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and canine heartworm disease are, I am assured, imminent — as a non-horse or dog I hope I am not prone, but with my luck…Ah well. So much for the joys of spring.
Just recently I completed replanting my garden (after only one year I’m ALREADY hoiking things out and moving ‘em around, poor souls) to be a doll’s house version of my English garden. (Why? Because I can! since the climate in PA has warmed to nearly zone 7). But now I’m haunted by the ghoulish thought of having to peer at it from behind screens through a miasma of insect repellent.
Thus, Him Indoors has been assigned the task of keeping the gutters clear so no water will pool in dank leaves, cracks where skeeters might lodge have to be filled, citronella candles positioned (the big ones in buckets work pretty well) and Mosquito Dunks stockpiled since, in the cause of OG’s Skills & Abilities department, we’re putting in a water feature. But I’ve tried the Dunks and know they work, they’re discreet and way cheaper than forking out medical co-pays to combat West nile virus. Last resort if I do get bitten? I know to spray the bite with ammonia. It stops the itch immediately. As I learned on a photo shoot in Birmingham AL one summer. The bugs are BIG there, and mean. We broke for lunch, and desperate to do something — anything — to stop the enormous red welts from itching, I reached for the lavatory cleanser tucked behind the toilet bowl in the ladies room. It worked! That old guy with the Windex in the Greek wedding movie was right! It’s not organic but, ahhhh, the relief!