Fending off the manic mosquito. September 28, 2009Posted by ourfriendben in critters, gardening, homesteading, wit and wisdom.
Tags: Aunt Debbi's Garden, mosquito repellants, mosquitos
The wet weather we all seem to have been having this summer and fall has been a bonanza for mosquitos. Not only can we not so much as set foot in our yard here at Hawk’s Haven to take our puppy Shiloh to the bathroom without being attacked (forget about enjoying sunsets out on our deck), but garden bloggers from Tennessee to Texas are reporting the same horrendous situation.
We’d have thought that by now the cooler fall weather would have gotten the evil beasties, at least up here in scenic PA, but noooo. Now we’re even starting to see them in the house. (Silence named one that turned up in the bathroom Kremlin, after a particularly pesky and persistent character in one of Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels.)
Because the problem is so widespread, we’ve been hearing about all kinds of mosquito controls recently, up to and including body armor. (See Frances’s wonderful post, “Two New Things,” over at Fairegarden, http://fairegarden.wordpress.com/, for an example of the latter.) But being Luddites, we’d really like a simple solution that of course doesn’t involve some kind of toxic spray. So our friend Ben and Silence Dogood were indebted to Aunt Debbi of the delightful Aunt Debbi’s Garden blog (http://auntdebbisgarden.blogspot.com/) when she shared some rather unique but super-simple methods of fending off mosquitos with us. We’re not going to spill the beans here in case Aunt Debbi’s planning to write them up herself in a future post. If you want to know more, you’ll just have to head over to Aunt Debbi’s Garden and ask her.
However. Aunt Debbi’s solutions reminded our friend Ben of a foolproof method of my own from back in the day when I was often out in hot, sticky, mosquito-infested weather taking botany field trips. I’d completely forgotten about it, so bless you Aunt Debbi for spurring my memory, such as it is or isn’t. Before heading out into buggy areas, I’d brew up a cup of pennyroyal tea. (Pennyroyal tea is now considered unsafe to drink, but you can still find dried pennyroyal in health food and herb stores, and the plants are readily available.) I’d let the tea cool to room temperature, then take a cotton ball and swab it over my face, neck, arms, and legs before heading out. Not only was I not bothered by bugs of any description, the refreshing mint smell was cooling on those hot, humid days.
Simple, safe, effective. What more could one ask? Except, perhaps, that Kremlin and his colleagues stay out of our house. We have more than enough pets in here already.