It seems everyone is focused on caterpillars at the moment. Yes, they do hang from trees and find their way into all sorts of places (found one inside a classroom the other day), but I would like to draw your attention to a far more evil sign that spring quarter is here.
Would it be an exaggeration to say mosquitoes are the bane of my existence? Maybe. But then again, maybe not. After all, these blood-sucking devils have me changing into long sleeves and pants when it’s 25 degrees outside (Celsius), clapping at the air in what appears to be a show of insanity and squirming in my seat during lecture as I try to satisfy an infuriating itch.
I have nothing against insects or arachnids in general. Spiders are cool (They eat mosquitoes!), caterpillars are fine (as long as they stay on my bike or in trees), bees are awesome (#savethebees), but mosquitoes are absolutely everywhere, and they are vicious.
Let me clarify: There are three types of people in this world. Ones that mosquitoes avoid, ones that sometimes get bitten if the mosquitoes are particularly hungry and … ones that get completely, absolutely, positively, indescribably devoured. The first two tend to be indifferent to these little devils. But the last … well, you can imagine.
I have therefore decided to share a list of all the things I have been told to do in order to protect myself from these blood-sucking beasts. Enjoy.
- Wait for winter. Apparently for three months a year there are no mosquitoes around, so all I have to do is wait for the right season. Woohoo.
- Wear long pants and sleeves. I’ve tried. Really. But the other day I squashed two mosquitoes who did not care whether I had a shirt on or not and just went ahead and bit me through it.
- Wear thick clothes. I suppose this might be nice in winter (But there are no mosquitoes in winter remember?), but in 100 degree (Fahrenheit) California summers, I don’t know if heatstroke or mosquito bites are worse.
- Keep moving. Guess even when I’m shooting (archery) I should make sure I jump around.
- Keep windows closed. But mosquitoes use doors …
- Keep doors closed. But humans can’t use windows …
- And my favorite, from a little cousin: “Just ask them to stop!” (Unfortunately, mosquitoes don’t care much for politeness).
But no matter what happens or how ruthless these demons become, I will meet their attacks with resourcefulness and determination. Mosquitoes, be prepared. You will not get my hemoglobin without a fight.
Contact Axelle Marcantetti with your mosquito horror stories at axellem ‘at’ stanford.edu.