Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Declaring War on Mosquitoes

The place where we are living has more mosquitoes than any other place I've ever lived!  We see more in the house in a day here than we used to see in a year where we used to live.  I am not exaggerating.  We find ourselves constantly doing battle against these annoying and dangerous little critters.  

They are definitely dangerous, killing more people here than any other disease.  Within hours from coming down with malaria, a person can be dead.  So believe me, we take our war on mosquitoes seriously!  There are four ways we try to protect ourselves.

First, we take a prophylaxis.....medicine to help prevent getting malaria.  Both of us take doxycyline, which is an antibiotic.  It can cause stomach upset, nausea, and burning of the esophagus, so we always take it with a meal.  John takes his at breakfast and I take mine at supper.  I used to take mine at breakfast but since it's a lighter meal for me I was finding myself nauseated mid-morning.  I don't know for sure if it was the doxycycline, but switching to evenings and my biggest meal seems to have solved the problem.  

Secondly, we got us a weapon.  It is a mosquito zapper that looks like a tennis racket. You swing it around and when it comes into contact with a mosquito.....a flash of light, a buzz, and it's dead.  Using this mosquito-killer tennis racket brings me great delight!  It may be a bit sadistic, but really, malaria is a life or death matter, so better its death than mine!!  Last night John was swinging it around and came in contact with the overhead fan.  It knocked the zapper right out of his hand and flung it across the room.  Fortunately it didn't hit anybody or anything.  It was hilarious and even though it cracked the handle, I don't think it's broken.

Thirdly, we sleep under a net.  When we first got married, John bought a water bed from some missionaries who were leaving.  We've used that bed for over 25 years, but there was no way to hang a mosquito net from it.  We couldn't figure out a way to hang a net from the ceiling without it getting in the way of the fan (and you already know what fans will do to objects that hit them!).  So we didn't use a net.  But we'd wake up with itchy bites and smears of blood on the sheets.  So we decided it was time for a new bed.  We explained to the carpenter what we wanted and this is what he built for us.  He even came to our house to assemble it for us since it wouldn't fit through any doors in its assembled form.  Now we are sleeping under a net which is great since night time and early morning are when the mosquitoes are on the attack. Not only does the bed provide protection from the mosquitoes, but it is also smaller than our previous bed, so we have more space in our room to move around. (We have a really small bedroom.) 

And fourthly, when we are outside (or even sometimes inside!) we use mosquito repellent.  We keep a bottle near the door and one in the car so that we are always armed.

Thank God, we haven't had malaria for years.  After I almost died from it in 1992 and John had a very bad case of it in 1998, we are very careful.

1 comment:

Maurise Gelman said...

Mosquitoes are really dangerous. One bite can take your life away. We also use prevention methods to prevent mosquito bites, and to hopefully keep them always at bay. I know that there are a lot of techniques to this, but the best way is to keep your house -- indoor and outdoor -- clean.