It’s the tell tale whine in the middle of the night. I snap awake.
“Mosquito” I scream. “There’s a mosquito in the room”.
I punch on the light. I see it whirring towards me, whining.
“Aaagh” I scream some more. “Get away from me – get away!”
I put on a long sleeved tshirt and pyjamas even though it’s a really hot night and plaster on some foul smelling repellant.
“Theres mosquitos in my room” I explain on the phone to Room Service. “I need a plug in thing”.
“There are no mosquitos here Madam” Room Service tell me. “There are no mosquitos on this island.”
“Yes there are” I sigh. “And they’re in my room”
I’m too scared to sleep. And as soon as I do nod off and my vigilance slips, the mosquitos strike. In the morning I am covered in bites. And the next night. And the next. If there are mosquitos in a ten mile radius they all find me. When I’m out having dinner at night I’ll look down and see one feasting on my hand or whirring in between my sandal straps. I’ve got bites on my face. Between my toes.
I’m not overreacting. Me and the mosquito species have a long and painful history and now I’m completely paranoid about them.
The people who are with me are safe from the little bastards. My husband has never been bitten when he’s with me – ever. But when I’m not there he gets bitten. Anyone who shares a room with me is guaranteed not to be attacked- they don’t even have to put on cream – the mosquitos go straight for me.
One nightmare night in Greece I got dozens of bites in one night. I’ve even been bitten in Ireland – cold weather mosquitos apparently.
I’ve got blood that insects love. Some people do and truth be told if you’re one of them there isn’t anything you can do. I’ve tried the things like Vitamin B tablets, the Brewers Yeast all that jazz. That doesn’t work.
The only thing you can do is prevent yourself from being bitten in the first place. Here’s what I do
- Cover up when you’re out in the evening with long sleeves and light trousers.
- If it’s too hot for that plaster yourself in insect repellent. This stuff stinks, but it works.
- Don’t – for the love of god – leave your light on and your bedroom window open at night. The room will be swarming in minutes. I am like a Light Nazi in a hot country.
- If you’re sitting outside at night (in a bar or restaurant) you’ll be safer if you’re beside running water or the sea (insects love stagnant water). Make sure you’re covered with cream anyway.
- Invest in a plug in repeller and an adapter for the socket. Don’t count on your hotel to have one.
- If you’re somewhere with no electricity (camping etc) get one of those coil yokes – they stink but they work.
- And if the worst comes to the worst and they do manage to get you – make sure you have some good cream to relieve the swelling and itching. That really helps.
Now, tell me what are your strategies for coping with the dreaded mossies?