Recently as most of you know, we made the move from Victoria back to my home state Queensland. We did the research and leg work and found the perfect Queenslander style home for us here in a reasonably quiet town which seems to be moving along with industry quite well, but not enough to turn into an ugly workers’ town the place of my birth further up the coast has become over recent years.
We were ready for the change of climate. Victoria is mostly cool and for a good part of each year I found it downright cold and uncomfortable. We were ready for the change of pace. The shops don’t open here 24/7 and in fact they close at 5 pm on Sundays. This doesn’t bother us, but it is a little like taking a backward step after being spoiled with the extended hours of shopping in the south.
We were ready for the change of jobs. We tried our best to be ready for the distance from our friends and the few family members we have in Victoria. All presenting varying problems and emotional reactions on a daily basis.
The one thing we didn’t prepare ourselves for was the mosquito hazard.
The mossies love my feet and my hands. The rest of my body they have deemed unfit for mosquito consumption – thankfully. They have deemed almost everyone else in the house as having distasteful blood too it seems, so they make up for that void by zooming in on my feet as soon as the sun begins to dip, the air gets cooler and I take a rest on the veranda with a cup of tea.
Kamikaze mossies they are. They see their target and nothing is going to get in their way. Except occasionally my clapping hands if I’m lucky enough to spot the little critters on their descent. I remember as a kid they used to buzz a warning of their encroaching presence, but the 21st century mosquito has clued up to that and he now zooms in silently. They are evil and deadly.
There are various sprays and creams of course to keep them at bay. I’ve used up several tins of the non-odour repellent sprays since arrival. A friend told me there is a sun screen you can buy with a mossie and bug repellent in the mix. Two for the price of one so to speak. I am yet to find any such thing.
Gardens are a great breeding source for the mosquito families, especially where there may be pools of water for their larvae to mature. The garden/jungle on our block behind the house is the perfect place for these monsters to breed. The previous owner was obsessed with bromeliad plants, and of course their leaves hold water for days. We have plans to eradicate that jungle, or most of it when we demolish the old derelict house and replace it with a new, clean, shiny shed.
I can’t wait for all this work to happen, but of course there are road blocks every move we make. First we had to find a demolition team, who then advised a permit has to be sought from the local council, who then advised an engineer’s report needs to be acquired. There were murmurs about the derelict dump being heritage listed until I commented that if it was heritage listed, so should I be! It’s just a heap of old wood and junk.
Anyway back to our friends the mossies. Night time is the worst for them. Or rather for me. As tired as I might be, I can hear them sending texts to each other about who is in the room and what part of the body is exposed for sinking their fang in to. A big can of fly/mosquito/bug spray is on the floor by my bed taking the place of the many magazines and newspapers that usually reside there. I was told as a child that the female mosquito was the biter. Lord only knows what they thought the males did…sit back and wait for the blood to be served up on a tray by the female I guess.
The main weapon we use to fend these horrid bitey pests off, is a wonderful creation called an anti mosquito coil. The kit cost us about $30 and included a metal can with a spike standing up in the centre of the bottom of the can. The lid has numerous holes punched into it to allow the smoke to pour out into the atmosphere. The tricky bit is getting the coils apart from each other when you take them out of the plastic bag. They are entwined in twos and it’s no easy feat to separate them without breaking bits off. They do however, once lit and smouldering inside the can, work a treat most of the time.
There is always the odd mossie who is undeterred by the choking ingredient of pyrethroid alliethrin the foils are made of. When this super mossie zooms in and around the smoke trail, you just know he is going to break through in his super sonic in-built jet and get you. The itch will drive you crazy for longer, because he is going to go in deeper to make you pay for holding him up from getting his dinner.
Sometimes I think the mossies I catch by swiping madly in the air, or clapping my hands have just given up due to starvation and weariness at being kept from snoozing between snacks by my constant clapping noises.
Others of course fly off to their dark corners to digest their huge meals during the day, ready for the next attack to be launched at dusk the following evening.
Now, where is that new can of repellent? I need to give my toes another dousing as I can hear one or two nearby.