The mosquito bite of DOOM

I am strongly affected by mosquito bites. I am almost always the first or only person bitten in any given group. The bite swells up, and it looks like someone shoved a nickel under my skin. I feel a harsh, stinging, searing itch that goes on for many hours, and the swelling stays for a day or so.

I HAAAAATE mosquitoes!

Mosquito season here began May 1, six weeks ago. Last calendar year (2018) was the wettest year in recorded history, but the April-April year ending just before May was even wetter. Combined with warmer temperatures, we were prepped for the Mosquito Apocalypse. Invasive Asian Tiger mosquitoes have been thriving here and expanding their range, but the native biters are still a threat.
But this year has been blessedly free of them. Totally free, in fact. Suspiciously free, as it were.

It turns out there’s a reason.

Only one significant mass extinction of insects is known from the fossil record – the great granddaddy of them all, the Permian-Triassic, aka the Great Dying. We are, apparently, in the beginnings of another:

And for the past six weeks, my enemies, my tormentors, the parasites that make my summers miserable, have been nowhere to be seen or felt.

But tonight I was bitten – for the first time this year. As I type, I can feel the burning, insistent throb on my forearm…and I am strangely conflicted. My hate for my traditional enemies is blunted by my worry for the natural world and where we may be headed.

Do I wish her well, my tormentor? Do I secretly want her brood to hatch and thrive and fill the skies with that droning whine that chases me indoors?

I do not know. But a new, nagging itch I cannot reach troubles me.

So you’re saying that most of the mosquitos are gone, but you were bitten by a … special mosquito? Have you had any unusual urges lately? Say, a desire to suck blood, or to bother people while they’re sleeping by buzzing in their ear? I’d start thinking about a costume design, just in case.

Same. Skeeters screw my world up every summer. It’s been an awfully wet spring, early summer. I’m waiting on the first sting. Ugh!!

I’m curious where ‘here’ is?

Somewhere tropical? Exotic? In another hemisphere?

Virginia, US east coast. Very humid here in summer.

For the past two weeks, my brother-in-law in Kansas has been suffering badly from what doctors are guessing is West Nile Virus (awaiting test results). I’m a bit freaked out about it hitting someone I know. It’s not safe to go outside.

You do know what this means, Sailboat? From ancient times there has been a curse. An unholy force that will twist your very soul. It starts with a simple itch, but then it grows. A strong desire to protect follows, but then… a thirst for blood. You are a…


[sub]You do know I’m going to have to kill you with fire, right? No offense.[/sub]

Wetter weather doesn’t necessarily mean more mosquitoes. They breed in stagnant water but not in flowing water. If things are really wet it can actually suppress their breeding for a while. Intermittent streams with lots of stagnant puddles can become streams. Swampy areas can actually start flowing slowly into stream and rivers instead of just sitting stagnant.

You could be in for wild assaults as it dries out some and there’s still lots of standing water left over for their breeding.

Ha! I’m sitting at an airport bar getting ready to board a fight after a week’s vacation on coastal Virginia (Chincoteague). While I was swarmed and covered by mosquitos time and again, none of the bites ‘stuck’ and I’m itch-free. The sunburn was a bummer, though.

Say, what ever happened to Zika?

It’s still a thing. It had been a thing in Africa for a couple decades before the furor. Suddenly showing up in the Americas, and especially Brazil, before the Rio Olympics got it a lot of attention. People from around the world were going to be exposed and potentially take it home.

Most of the threat in the US was from travel to areas with issues bringing the virus back. American mosquito transmission is mostly in the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Those cases for the rest of us dropped in 2017 and from the CDC:

With Dopers skewing towards living in the continental US most of us reasonably shouldn’t hear much about it on a regular basis. It’s dominantly a travel risk.

Time for the state bird of Michigan to go the way of smallpox and rinderpest.

There is a variety here which causes a lot of swelling in my wife whenever she gets bit. It looks horrific.

Lanacane. I’ve already laid in my summer supply.

And look for mosquito dunks to throw into any big honkin’ puddles nearby, or containers of standing water you cannot drain. Mosquito dunks look like a big cookie, and the contain an enzyme that keeps the eggs from hatching.

Not an enzyme, a bacterium, specifically *Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis *. Mosquito larvae ingest the microorganism and die. So the eggs do hatch but the larvae do not mature.

Thank you for the correction.

Actually, it could contain itsy-bitsy killer ninja robots, as long as it works!

We live out in the middle of nowhere in AZ. After monsoon rains, there are often big-ass puddles, and the mosquitoes are ready to lay eggs immediately. Being able to throw mosquito dunks in them has made our lives much better!

so true! Die DIE DIE!

Mosquito bites bother me too, way too long. It can heal somewhat and then start itching all over again. For days. Nothing helps.

A few years back I was being absolutely tormented by mosquito bites. Huge welts and uncontrollable itching. In the middle of the summer I was having to take oatmeal baths in the middle of the day just go get by.

Now all of a sudden when I get bit (and I do get bit!) it’s a little itchy but very manageable. I got a ton of bites on my back (mowing in a tank top) and it’s been…just fine.

I dunno what changed in me or what changed in the mosquitoes. I wonder if before it was related to higher bloodsugar and now that I’ve been diagnosed with T2 and have it under control, I have less of a histamine response or something?

Mosquitoes fucking suck. But not as much as they used to…?

PS I got a bite on my butt last night.