Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mosquitos In The South

Brace yourself, summer is coming. Well, here in the South, it's already here. The rest of the country may be digging out of a late spring snow, but here in the South, we've got temperatures in the 80's already. Soon we'll be encroaching on the 100's and yes, Arizona and New Mexico already hit near the 100's and do it all the time, but it's a dry heat and they're not in the South so I won't include them here, so there.

I hate the heat. I mean REALLY, I hate it. Even more than the heat, I really hate the bugs. And in the summer, we got those harbingers of death and pestilence - the Mosquitoes.  Big ones.  I mean big.  I know everyone says that the mosquitoes in their area are the biggest, but here in the South they really are.

In fact, in Florida they expect an influx of a super sized mosquito, Psorophora ciliata, known colloquially as "gallinippers."  How big  you might ask? The 'Galnipper' can get to be as big as 20 times the size of a standard Mosquito.  TWENTY TIMES!  That's easily the size of a small dog!  (ok, maybe not THAT big, but pretty dang big!) I read one description that says the bite of the Galnipper is like "having a hot nail driven into their skin." Yeah, that's a reason to get up every morning!  (Factoid: The name Galnipper allegedly got this moniker "because they're so big they can nip a gallon of blood with a single bite.") Ok, seriously? This is not good.

Ok, Easy Fix.  Machine gun on the roof, pointed South, Florida, right?  Nope, not enough ammunition in the world to take them on.

So the next step is to slather yourself down with some DEET based ointments, or maybe some of those ookey smelling oils just to keep them critters from biting.  Head on down to the drug store and you'll find all sorts of products just made for this one problem. 

More than 20 years ago, when I first moved to the South, I found that those blood thirsty critters found my blood to be in high demand.  In addition, my daughter also found that she was allergic to their bites, swelling and itching like mad.  At about the same time, a neighbor nutritionist gave us a bit of information that in years since, I've never found anywhere else, not in print or on the net.

Vitamin B-1.  Yes, vitamin B-1, when taken in mega doses keeps mosquitoes from biting.  It sounds like some sort of urban legend, but sure enough, it works.  I take two 250 mg tablets each day during the bad months (just one if I'm not going to be outside much) and I've not been bitten by more than one or two in the last 20 years. When I try to tell folks about B-1, they look at me like I'm wearing cats for earmuffs.  That's ok, I'll continue to take them, safe in the knowledge that, at least for me, B-1 works.

Why does it work, you ask?  Good question! From what I understand, the B-1 is a 'water soluble' vitamin and any excess you take is disposed of in the usual manner: human waste and (more importantly for our discussion) sweat. Yes, your sweat now smells like B-1.  Mosquitoes don't particularly like it, so they stay away. Only the hungriest of flying pests get through it, and make no mistake, a couple do make it through - just a lot less than without it.  So, ask your Doctor, and give it a try.  Just be sure to tell your Dr, that Marv, that good ol' boy from the South suggested it. 

1 comment:

  1. It does work. I take thiamine before a hike. The skeeters aren't as big as yours...but, I watched one land on my hand, walk around, and then fly off. Ordinarily, they land and stab you immediately.