By Eddie Wright
There are so many ways to enjoy the outdoors. But every party has a pooper and nature has plenty of guests who weren’t invited and who are most definitely unwelcome. Those little buggers sting and bite and can suck the fun out of a beautiful day. It’s bad enough they leave us with itching, swelling, and pain. But they can also leave us with much more serious and long-term problems.
I’m a fan of the television show Naked and Afraid. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, two survivalists are left in the most inhospitable places all over the world with no food, no water, no gear, and no clothes. The weather is brutal; the hunger and thirst nearly unbearable. But it’s the insects that have brought so many elite survivalists to their breaking point. So, feel no shame when you have to call a retreat from Mother Nature’s horde of mini-menaces.
Have you ever noticed some people get bitten more often than others? It’s not because they’re unlucky, it’s because mosquitos prefer certain blood types over others. They prefer people with Type O blood. My “better half” and I can both be outside and while she’s getting eaten alive, I may get bit once. Trust me, it’s not because she’s sweeter than I am, but because her blood is Type O.
Trying to get relief from these mini-terrors is a multi-billion dollar industry; from personal sprays like OFF, REPEL, CUTTER and many more to repellent devices like Thermacell or Bugzappers. There are even light bulbs to keep them away, but let’s face it: there’s way more of them than there are of us. We can’t avoid all of them – and when they do bite, they can pass on things that are far worse than they are, such as West Nile Virus, Zika Virus, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Lyme Disease. Many of these illnesses share some common symptoms: fatigue, joint and muscle aches, headache, nausea, and flu-like symptoms. If you develop any of these after being bitten by insects, be sure to consult a physician.
Do you ever wonder if mosquitos get drunk if they bit you while you’ve been drinking? Here’s to hoping I gave a few of them a hangover.