The Italian contingent is supposed to be a Guru Plinck's this week for silat. Guru has small groups of dedicated students around the world -- the Finns/Swedes, and the group in Italy usually manage to get over this way every year or two, and it's always fun to train with them. Nice guys, one and all.
And since the weather has finally warmed up and gotten a bit drier, we have moved outside, to Guru's front yard and the sand pit. This is good and bad: The sand has gotten seeded over a long wet winter and spring, and sports patches of grass; the record damp and cool spring has also produced a bumper crop of mosquitoes.
God, the old joke goes, made two mistakes: Mosquitoes and Teamsters. I've known some decent teamsters, but I never met a mosquito I liked.
Some of the guys in class are trying the fabric softener dryer sheet remedy as a repellent, though Snopes allows that anything less than DEET is a waste of time. Citronella and Pic coils work -- if you are in the smoke. Zappers are inefficient, spraying insecticide kills all the useful bugs along with the skeeters. Better to stay inside behind the screens, but if you can't, either DEET or some of the aromatic oils -- Eucalyptus, for example -- work, if not as long.
As a fair-skinned lad, if there was a female mosquito -- it's the females that bite people -- within a hundred miles, it would find me. And Louisiana mosquitoes, if you went into the woods hunting or camping? Punch through your wallet. Carry off small dogs and children. Make the back of your shirt into a bear's pelt, they were so thick ...
Once civilians could buy the stuff, starting in 1957, I put 6-12 on in the summers every time I ventured outside of my neighborhood after dark. Didn't have to do it there because the big DDT trucks would roll up and down our streets every so often, putting out a dense white fog that slew bugs every which way. We liked to ride behind the truck on our bikes, the spray so thick we couldn't see each other. I mean, the Government wouldn't do anything that was harmful, right ... ?
Yeah, DEET is bad for you. So is malaria, yellow fever, West Nile Virus. Pick your poison ...