Incomer Musings: The Year of the Bug

By Louise Froggett

I hadn’t even opened my eyes yet and I was already grumbling, “not again!” My wrist felt warm and itched like crazy. Stupid mosquito!

During the night, I vaguely remembered a buzzing sound around my head and flailing my arms madly at the offending creature. I didn’t really wake up enough to deal with it properly and so I paid the price of my inattentiveness. The next day, I had one bite on my little finger and three on my wrist bone, what I could see of it. It was all puffed up and looked bent and strange, almost as though it was broken. “After Bite” to the rescue.

From what most people are saying, this has been a nasty year for bugs, mosquitoes especially. Almost everyone I’ve spoken with has a story; hikes ruined, picnics ruined, a camping trip cut short. During the evening, or by the trees, you see a lot of angry gesturing as people try to protect themselves.

Our apartment has no screens, though that is partly our fault. There were a couple, but they impeded our view (supposedly) and we had them removed. Occasionally, we regret that hasty decision, generally as wasps do laps around the room and aim at our dinner. Or, just as we are getting ready for bed when a monster moth decides to bang around, bouncing off every surface but never managing to find the open window.

We thought we had corrected this problem when we bought a bug trapper at Lee Valley. We saw this marvelous contraption in an advertising flyer and made a special trip to acquire it. It’s merely a little stick with an attached plastic pyramid-shaped box. The box has a sliding door so, in theory, the bug lands (sometimes they actually do that) you place the box – door open – atop the bug, then slide the door closed. The bug is now trapped in the box. You then carry the bug to the window, flip the box so the door flies open, and the bug dutifully flies away. Of course this only works if you don’t turn the box too soon and the bug flies around the room again. I must admit, I have considerable experience in this part of the exercise.

Great as the bug trapper is, it is no good for mosquitoes; they are way too small to catch that way. So, once again, I have awakened in the morning with a maddening itch. This time, there are two bites on one ankle and two on the back of my other calf. Oh yes, I went for a walk last night; that’s all it takes. “After Bite” to the rescue, again.

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