Sep 132009

We have had a population explosion of mosquitoes here in Elkhart this summer. We’ve been coming here to Elkhart Campground for years, and I don’t ever remember them being so numerous or so hungry.

I have heard about a million and one ways to keep the bloodthirsty little parasites at bay, and trust me, none of them work. We have tried so many commercial sprays that my blood type is now A+DDT. We bought little battery operated electronic gizmos we can clip to our shirts that emit a high pitched noise that is supposed to keep bugs at bay. It hasn’t worked, but the good news is that nobody’s yappy little dog pees in our RV site anymore!

One time a bunch of us were sitting around telling lies and swatting skeeters, and a friend of mine who flew med-evac helicopters in Vietnam and worked as a prison guard, mentioned that if you put Avon Skin So Soft on, it will keep them at bay. Another gent, with a dry sense of humor, asked “Jim, how does a guy like you discover that?”

I long for the good old days, when we didn’t worry about the environment or our lungs, and the spray trucks would come through the neighborhood sending out clouds of gas guaranteed to kill mosquitoes, gnats, and flies. We kids used to chase the trucks, dodging into and out of the mist. Sure, my weird cousin Terry ended up with that third eye, and his son Patrick was born with nipples on his knees, but we didn’t have to swat mosquitoes!

But alas, we don’t have spray trucks anymore, so we have to make do. We’ve tried several types of citronella candles, with no success. However, I have found that if I fire up the old Detroit diesel engine on our bus conversion, I can lay down a fog that will wipe out an acre or two of mosquitoes in record time.

One person who never seems to be bothered is my pal Ed Allard, who stopped in last night with his lovely wife Alice. Ed is an honest seven feet tall, give an inch or so, and while the rest of us were brushing the bothersome critters away from our faces, Ed was perfectly comfortable. I guess mosquitoes don’t fly that high. Either that, or they get a nosebleed at that elevation, get lightheaded and crash before they reach his neckline. 

The latest thing we are trying is a concoction that our friend Billie Barker came up with, a solution of Downy fabric softener and water in a spray bottle, which the ladies sprits over everybody. It smells much better than Deep Woods Off, though the other day I turned my head just as Brenda Speidel was squirting some at me and took a shot of it into the eye. The cops ought to throw away their pepper spray and use this stuff! It’s a lot cheaper, and belligerent prisoners would smell wonderful once they wrestled them into handcuffs.

Oh, how does it work as a mosquito deterrent? Not worth a darn. There are just as many as before swarming around us when we sit out every evening. But I will say this; I haven’t spotted one yet with any wrinkles!

Thought For The Day – It’s not hard to meet expenses, they’re everywhere.

Register Now For Our Ohio Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  13 Responses to “Our Skeeters Look Great!”

  1. Man, Nick, I can’t imagine what it’s like being with all of those blood-sucking scourges of the earth! That’s one of the reasons I live in sunny, hot, smoggy So. California. We have virtually none of those miserable creatures here. I’m a card-carrying wimp when it comes to skeeters and make no bones about how I’ll pass up an incredible opportunity to see some awesome natural beauty (like in Alaska) if there’s even a hint that there are those nasty creatures lurking outside.

    You’re a far, far better person than I for willingly living where there are bughs that bite. Ugh.

  2. OK here goes. Take garlic supplements. Of course if you can get past the taste of the nasty things, and the fact that when you burp you can taste the garlic and everyone around you knows you have eaten garlic. Then if you have a testy stomach they can be irritating to that. OK OK OK I have never tried it, but I know of one sure repellent. Stay inside. Enjoy your life. Great luck with your upcoming gathering. Sure wish I could be there, better yet if I could afford your bus.

    Take care

  3. So here is your solution which really works. OFF makes a Clip-On fan that you put a refillable mosquito repellent packet in. Each packet works for 12 hours. It has a visual gauge that tells you how much you have left in the packet. You can clip them on the back of a chair, a table or on your clothes. They seem to work better if you are stationary than say when you are walking around a lot. The Clip-On has a fan than you turn on when you are ready to use it.

    But they really do work. You can find them in Walgreens. At one point I had a hard time finding them because they were flying off the shelf. So if you find a couple, be sure you buy extra refills ($5 for package of 2) and the Off Clip-On is around $12.

    We have used them a number of times and are still working on the original refill that came with the Clip-On.

    No mosquitos here in Coralville Lake Dam COE (Iowa City, IA) but I guess it has been very dry.

    Safe travels.

  4. Nick,
    You should write a travel journal. LOL!
    Barry & Joyce Crocker
    Valley of the Rouge State Park, OR

  5. When we were in Alaska, there were hardly any mosquitoes. Did we miss something?

  6. We spent more than a month in Alaska two summers ago, and didn’t have any problems with mosquitos anywhere in the state. We had been warned that they grow huge monsters up there, but we certainly didn’t have any problems with them. Perhaps we just got lucky!

  7. I just read a medical column that said brewer’s yeast is effective against mosquitos. (500 milligrams a day). It also warned that some people may experience side effects such as head aches and flatulence and if they are allergic, they could get hives. Doesn’t that sound like fun. And as all medical advice columns do, they advised consultation with your doctor before taking the supplement to prevent any drug interactions.

    Since mosquitos really like to chomp on me, I try to stay away from them. But if I had to be outside for any length of time I might give the yeast a go.

  8. And here is our “skeeter” advice. Take Vitamin B-1. We know hunters who take it to keep the bugs away, but it also hides the “human scent” for hunting trips. Down side, it needs to build up in your system, so begin taking it early on. When we were stationary, I would start taking it in February so it would be in full force by spring and last through the summer. Now, I just take it all the time:-)

    It DOES work! I have been sitting with a group of people swatting the mosquitos like crazy all around me and they don’t even land on me:-) I have been using it for years and have had NO BITES!!

  9. Nick, just wanted to let you know that Polk County, TX (Livingston) still has a mosquito sprayer/fogger truck! Yes, we are not “environmentally correct” in Deep East Texas and boy am I glad! When the skeeters get bad, Escapees calls to schedule the truck and then everyone is notified by e-mail and we await it with much anticipation! Only problem is they don’t call often enough. About Alaska mosquitos…they make for a good campfire story but really, they are BIG but very slow flying. You can always kill it before it bites you. We have spent 3 summers in Alaska and have never been bothered or bit. Now the black flies are another story. They bite and sting and you don’t see them, just hear them buzzing in your ears.
    Happy Travels!

  10. Nick,

    What Sandy forgot to tell you is that those little fans made by Off also keep tigers, lions and the wooly mastadons at bay. Ain’t seen a one of them in Coralville. Not yet anyway, but there is always tomorrow.

    P.S. Now don’t anyone tell Sandy I posted this response.

  11. I agree with the advice for vitamin B-1. We workcamped in Olympic National Park last summer, and we started taking B-1 in the spring. We only had a couple of bites all summer. And it was the wettest, coldest summer they had in the last 50 years! We enjoy reading your blog every morning, and we a long time subscriber. Thanks for all of your hard work.

  12. Here in SW Louisiana they still have a sprayer/fogger truck come around occasionally in the evenings and a truck with a contraption that shoots mosquito pellets in the road ditches during the day.

  13. Ed says to try Cutter, it is the best there is. He says Off only gives them a high and they come back for more. He draws mosquitos when no one else is bothered by them and swears by Cutter, but sometimes it is hard to find. Linda

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