Mosquito – The Illinois State Bird

Summer’s here and so are the mosquitoes!

While trimming the box hedges the other day, I couldn’t dance around and swat at ’em—it would’ve been too dangerous while wielding the electric hedge trimmers. When the job was finally finished and we got back inside, my arms and legs were polka-dotted with red, raised mosquito bites.

We use natural (and sometimes otherwise) mosquito repellent—from geranium essential oil and dryer sheets, to “Off”—but our mosquitoes seem to be immune. And they’re big. REALLY BIG! I’m fairly certain they could carry off small children and most companion animals.

Summertime in the back yard by Laurie Buchanan

Summertime in the back yard by Laurie Buchanan

And smart, to boot! They’ve obviously read the school safety literature because they always travel in groups—or in this case, swarms! The thing that seems to deter them best is our citronella oil flame pots. Most evening in the back yard we “circle the wagons” and sit inside them for protection.

Citronella Fire Pot by Laurie Buchanan

Citronella Fire Pot by Laurie Buchanan

What’s bugging you?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               — Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

24 thoughts on “Mosquito – The Illinois State Bird

  1. Hey N. J. Is know for their mosquito’s ! But they have not been too bad as of yet, it has been fairly dry. Of course when you go and work in the garden they seem to live or hide with the plants and such…

    As I sit out in the morning, and I have taken to sitting out the evening as well, I light citronella candle, last night I used some insense sticks…

    Great post I always enjoy your humor even while dealing with something that is bothersome!!!

    What is buggin me is our friend the ground hog eating the cucumber and lettuce plants… darn thing!!!

    • Jeff – Incense is a great idea! “Eating the cucumber and lettuce plants” — Them’s fightin’ words! Do you Muffin or Riley try to sniff out the ground hog?

      • Laurie,
        Yes in the wild Muffin and Riley would go right at them, but here in the yard they are a little more laid back… It would be great if they did!!

      • Jeff – We’re getting ready, as you, for BIG noises from the 4th of July fireworks which our girls can’t stand (scares them to pieces). How do Muffin and Riley do with the bangs and booms from firecrackers?

  2. Oh I remember these big annoying critters well from living in north central BC. Because we have little still fresh water and it is relatively dry in the summer mosquitoes are small and polite on Mayne Island. I always joke that they fly around saying “excuse me, do you think, well possibly… I might have a bite.” These are hardly even distant cousins to the ones you are speaking about – we use to say they arrived on snowshoes in the spring and left on skis in early winter. I have been known to cover from head toe and put on a full head net just to plant the garden so that they wouldn’t fly in my nose and eyes. This was extremely hot and uncomfortable but preferable to the itchy bites.

    The only thing that is bugging me today is the memory of these nasty food chain necessities. Life is good. I will take the bumble bee, the red tail hawk and the eagle I saw this morning while sitting on the side deck over the mosquito anytime!

    By the way, my mother plants or hangs a citronella plant by the screen door and finds that it helps to keep them out of the house though these days every bed is equipped with a mosquito net during the summer.

    • Terrill – Your description of tentative, as opposed to tenacious, mosquotos made me laugh. I just got a mosquito netting “hood” that I wore for dead-heading the roses and it works pretty well (although I think I scared the neighbors)…

      Ohhhhh, a citronella plant by each door is completely doable and a FANTASTIC idea! Thank you for letting me know.

  3. I think the mosquito could definitely be the Michigan State bird, too! Good job in attempting to keep them at bay. Smiling at your “circling the wagon” approach. You know, right now, today, I don’t think anything is bugging me. I am having one of those “life is good” type days. Gonna just keep smiling here, thank you, and not detour back into last week.

    • Kathy – Like you, I embrace those “life is good” type days. The other ones (although equally important) I release as soon as I’ve determined why it occurred. Once I know the reason, I thank it for its lesson, and then send it packing 🙂

  4. LOL, I too can relate to this post. Interestingly mostiques are the provincial bird of Manitoba–my childhood home. I have a feeling they are cousins to your birds.
    As Terrill has pointed out, here on Mayne Island the mostiques are rather timid. No, I’m not complaining.
    What’s bugging me? The rain. I know into each life a little rain must fall, but why does it always have to be on the long weekend? Any how, I will survive. I mean it is only liquid sunshine.: )

  5. Hi, Laurie – I have always used Avon’s Skin-so-Soft as a mosquito repellant (it also works to take tar off your car and gum out of your hair . . . don’t ask how I know that last one). What’s bugging me right now is that I have sliced the tip of my middle finger on my left hand. I wasn’t even using the knife — it was hanging on the magnetic strip and I accidently flipped my hand up against the sharp side. Middle fingers bleed alot. I cut it down under the nail so ouch. It is all wrapped up in gauze and bandaids right now and I am waiting for Jonathan to get home so he can take a look at it and let me know if I should go get stitches tomorrow.

    • Barbara K. – Ohhhhhhhhh, your cut sounds awful! I hope you didn’t have to have stitches.

      I’ve tried Avon’s Skin-so-Soft because so many of my clients have raved about it. I’m not sure why, but I break out (almost instantaneously) when I put it on my skin. I have no idea what ingredient my skin doesn’t like, but there’s something.

  6. My youngest child is allergic to mosquito bites and just swells up – her eyes swelled shut. I don’t have a great problem with them when the sun is up but as it sets – wow. I use a tea tree oil lotion to keep them at bay, and citronella candles – I just come indoors and look out the windows! One kept me awake almost all night buzzing round my head – then instead of focusing on the buzz I focused on the quiet…a bump on the elbow that I did not scratch was my only offering.

    What is bugging me right now is my frustration with two things: how hard it is for me to learn these new programs to get my working blog up and running and why I can not seem to let go of this extra weight and get everything to normal. I am trying not to focus on these things and look at the sunny side of possibilities, feeling in a ditch – today I just gave up and watched a DVD…to do something opposite.

  7. Island size mosquitos and no see ums, but a small price to pay for paradise. Trying out Repel natural lemon/eucalyptus pump spray that is supposed to be very effective, as good a deet. Will let you know how it works after it comes next week.

    • Lisa – I’ll be interested to know how the natural repellent works.

      Keeping things very generic here… We haven’t had a chance to touch base since Sunday’s class. I’ll be interested to know how things went from the receiving side. We had 7 students spend 5 minutes each on three specific “delivery” methods: (1) the distance symbol, (2) tornado dancing, (3) zipped in the pod. All-in-all she received a total of 21 five-minute mini-sessions.

  8. In the past I’ve heard that the mosquito was Alaska’s state bird. We seem to be having a bumper crop of them here, too, due to the very wet winter and spring. We got covered with bites on our walk in the swamp and forest Sunday and they still itch. Grrr… And deer flies, too…

    When we go to see Shakespeare-in-the-Park or Arboretum we surround our blanket with citronella candles, too. It’s fun watching the sky and seeing the bats and dragonflies darting around, feasting on the little nuisances!

    Humidity bugs me. Give me a sea breeze to blow away the bugs and the humidity and I’m content!

  9. Ha! Laurie! The mosquito as the Illinois state bird! Love it! As Jeff stated further up, New Jersey is another bastion for these pests, though virtually everyone else here has attested to their annoyance. We usually get a good helping of them during the outdoor concerts in open fields that are staged during July and August.

    What’s bugging me? Ah, the same thing that’s pbugging every New Jersey public employye, sepecially teachers and policemen. It has to do with our esteemed Governor Christie and his successful crusade to raise pension and health care stipends, and to virtually freeze all future raises. Economically it’s a trying time, but it’s a certainty that everyone has their own problems in this regard.

    • Sam – The “outdoor concerts in open fields” you wrote about sound wonderful! We have something called Ravinia in our neck of the woods — I bet they’re similar in nature.

      I can well understand your frustration with virtually freezing all future raises — Ouch!

  10. Laurie, the only thing that I can appreciate about a drought is that the mosquitoes run out of breeding grounds. I’ll fight like a tiger to keep pesticides out of my garden, but I don’t think twice about using Off or anything with deet. I am not here to be consumed as fast food for insects and they love me madly. People like to have me along as I draw all the mosquitoes and leave them bump free.

    • Sandi – The word picture you painted, “fast food for insects” was excellent! That’s how it feels to be outside. Instead of a drive-thru, they do a fly-by. I hope you’re having a great holiday weekend 🙂

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