Monday, July 12, 2010

Why I Hate Bugs

Last week I took two mini vacays: one east of Toronto, one west. Had a great time on both, just relaxing, lying around, reading, eating (lots!! including ice cream that tastes like roasted marshmallows!!), visiting with family – you get the picture. Spent a lot of time outdoors in the shade, since it was way too hot in the sun – we had a heat wave here in Southern Ontario, and I don't like the sun at the best of times, so I wasn't going to be lolling about in it.

During the day being outdoors was fine, but at night the biting buggies come out, and I hate them with a passion, mainly because they love me with a passion! My Italian relatives say it's because I have sangue dolce or sweet blood, and they must be right, since a group of us can be sitting around a campfire, and while others may get a bite or two or be ignored totally by those flying pests, I invariably end up with tons of bites unless I smother myself with bug spray (which I hate doing, especially any DEET-based chemical crap).

So I either cover myself up totally – not nice when it's bloody hot out – or give up and go inside. One night while out east, I did cover myself up – head and all – with a quilt because I didn't want to miss all the fun, and that worked pretty well, even though I looked like an idiot. Total bites: 1.

This past weekend, I wasn't so careful. The bugs weren't around initially, and I wasn't out that long once they did begin their reign of terror. I had on loose canvas pants, a T-shirt, sweater, shoes, socks and a rainjacket. I even put a seat cushion on the chair I was sitting on so the mean little critters couldn't bite my thighs or back (those suckers can bite through anything, I swear!). Total bites: 6.

One of them is pictured above. What is it? Who knows. Mosquito? Black fly? Tarantula?

Not all the bites look like that (thank god, the one on my face doesn't!). Some are more white looking and slightly swollen (the bonus of RA and anti-inflammatories: the bites no longer puff up like crazy the way they used to!). Some have red edges. It's like bug artwork...very designer-like!

And, no, RA has nothing to do with the reactions themselves. I've always reacted badly to bites. Or at least in my adulthood. As a kid I'd run around all summer long outdoors all day every day into the night well through dusk with no bug spray and didn't have a problem. I got bit, but not that often, and didn't react badly.

And people wonder why I freak out at the sight of a mosquito and won't stay outside...


  1. I've been a magnet for biting bugs since I was a child, too I was also told about the 'sweet blood' thing. Personally, I think it's something they say to make us feel better while we scratch.

  2. Haha! Those Italians – they just like being poetic! :) L

  3. Wow, Laurie, if you react that badly to mosquito bites, I don't blame you a bit for hating them! I'm not real fond of them myself, but thank goodness, I don't have your problem.

    My bug story: When I was about 7, I went camping at Yosemite with my cousins and aunt and uncle. We kids had a tent and sleeping bags. Just as we were getting ready to go to sleep, my cousin Diana screamed that there was a "giant ant" in the tent. Naturally, we all had to try to get away from it, and naturally, it disappeared. Finally, after shifting sleeping bags around, etc., we all got settled ... and I felt this ticking on the back of my hand. I looked -- it was the GIANT ANT! Sucker was a good inch long, big and black! I screamed and shook my hand as I shot out of my sleeping bag, but it STUCK. It BIT me! It hurt! I was hysterical. Someone managed to get the thing off my hand.

    My uncle came in, stomped the ant, and tried to calm me down. "He BIT me, Uncle Tommy!!" I sobbed.

    "Well, did you bite him BACK?" He and my cousins laughed and laughed. I was deeply insulted. Obviously, none of them cared that a GIANT ANT had bit me and hung on! They thought it was funnY! I don't think I slept for the rest of the camping trip ...

    (laughing) Anyway. I've since learned that the ant was actually a carpenter ant, common anywhere there's rotting wood and wood duff. They DO look like giant ants. And every time I've seen one since I shudder.

    Anyway. Thought I'd share. ;) Hope you're feeling decent and that your bites have calmed down ... toothpaste works on mosquito bites, did you know?


  4. See! People have no sympathy!!
    And, no, I've never heard of toothpaste...must go put some on now so it dries before I go to bed.
    :) L
    P.S. Some day I'll share my wasp bite story...

  5. OK, I have heard of toothpaste...just not in this context, lol!!

  6. Vinegar also can reduce the inflammation and itch of mosquito bites. Stinks. Maybe I'll try the toothpaste next time my kids get bit.

    To avoid mosquito bites, you might try taking B vitamins (it's either B6 or B12, and I can't bring myself to go hunt for the book that holds this info). Apparently an excess will excrete something through your skin and mosquitos don't like the smell. My kids who won't take B vitamins get bit all summer; those of us who take a daily B-complex don't get bit.

    Glad to hear you had a couple nice mini-vacations :)

  7. Good that you got away, bad that you are a bug magnet. Looks like a nasty little bite. I'd carry a blanket with me at night, if nothing else, people will think you're homeless and leave you alone. lol
    I was stung by a hornet a couple of months ago and it took forever for the place to go away. It looks like it is going to leave a scar now! Scars are cool if you have a good story to go with them ... getting stung is not a good story.

  8. Eek that one's a beauty eh? My mum's a bug magnet, I get a few but not as bad. Mosquitoes hate Avon moisturiser, it's weird. Whenever I go out at night I slap that on.

    Can I also say I love that you used the word 'lolling'. :D

    Hope the bites fade soon, sounds like an awesome vacation though!

  9. Toothpaste, vinegar to soothe bites, Avon moisturizer + blanket to avoid them – I shall try them all!

    :) L

    P.S. Glad you liked the "lolling," Squirrel; I rather like it myself!

  10. Oh my gosh, my camping trip was amazing, but I was completely eaten by bugs! And, I react really badly, too :( Not to mention I got stung by a bee IN the car while we were driving. They love me, I must have sweet blood, too :D