As I sit here to write I realize I have just been some pest’s late night snack. Some mosquito has secreted his way into the house and hung around long enough until I was convenient and then stole a quick draw from my upper arm. I reach to scratch almost involuntarily, then notice the pink blotchy welt on my skin. Dang it, I’ve been bit again.

I know it is not polite manners to brag about your natural gifts, abilities and assets. But somehow I don’t feel the least bit superior about this one: I am irresistible. To bugs. I have some innate, inborn magnetism that draws biting and blood sucking insects toward me. I know it is not my stunning looks or winning personality; I am certainly not offering my best self to those dang bugs. I am forever swatting at them, and scowling at my most recent, itchiest bite.

At the playground one afternoon my son found a family of daddy long leg spiders and then pleaded with my husband to go kill them all, since I refused, protecting them, claiming they eat the pesky bugs. I wanted to save those spiders: I knew they wouldn’t hurt me. But as for the ones that do come after me, my whole “kind to world, do no harm” act is off. Death to the fire ants, zap to the mosquitos and scorpion execution. I am all about capital punishment for the bugs that have assaulted me.

I wonder if I should feel bad. I’m wondering because I don’t really feel bad or wonder how I could. These vermin are eating me alive. I struggle to figure out their redeeming values or wonder if they even have souls. Blasted blood-suckers. Certainly these pests can’t be celestial creatures, right? I like to think they are hell-bound.

Since condemnation is not working, nor my disdain or outright jealousy of those who just don’t get bit, I am wondering about blood transfusions. Apparently, some people put off chemical compounds that are more delectable than other folks, and they draw the fire from others. Perhaps if I get a system recharge, new blood I could keep those bugs away. Because for me, even bug spray is not a guarantee. Bugs catch a whiff of what they want and head right over. I am hardly ever safe.

Ice that cake with my desire to avoid DEET and here I am in May already counting bug bites. It is going to be a long summer, and I have a trip planned to the jungle. I’m afraid that means counting in the triple digits, wearing a beekeeping suit, or breaking down and bathing in DEET for the trip. Currently they all sound bad. But which ever is the lesser evil, I’ll be going with that one.

Among my more petty prayers, tonight and mostly likely well into the future, I’ll be praying to leave these pests behind. Someone tell me please, that they won’t be going to heaven, because it seems they already have their heaven here, feasting on my flesh.

Are you among the lucky few that draw the mosquitoes your way? Did you paint your legs with calamine lotion growing up?


  1. Blue

    May 8, 2012

    my DH used to love to eat dinner on our deck when we lived in Vermont. He’d be sitting there right next to me, enjoying his meal, whilst I spent the entire time swatting and fleeing critters that just didn’t seem to even notice he was alive. I’d come in with 20+ bites, he with none. Same with two of our kids…one was eaten alive, the other unscathed. So I know there’s something about some people. He finally understood that it just wasn’t a pleasant experience to enjoy the beautiful evening from our lush green state. it’s not such a problem now that we’re in utah 🙂

  2. Sage

    May 8, 2012

    I think bugs, and other vermin are like sin-they need to be rooted out just like the Canaanites were supposed to be by Israel in the OT. I think we have an aversion to them because they can carry disease. I feel the same about weeds in the garden: they need to be yanked out like sin. My neighbor said if a plant was green he didn’t see the difference. Some people feel bad for killing bugs. I don’t. (I don’t kill them outside though, just where they threaten my family). Without removing the “sin” completely we can be as safe or create as beautiful a space.

    And I’ve been both a mosquito magnet and left untouched when others were attacked. I wish I knew why.

  3. Sage

    May 8, 2012

    That should have been “can’t be as safe”. Phone typing!!

  4. Stephanie

    May 8, 2012

    My grandma used to tell me I have “sweet” blood.

  5. Doug

    May 8, 2012

    Random thought – Since all creatures recognize the Lord,would mosquitoes and other noxious insects have bitten and pestered the Savior during his mortal ministry? Was that part of his mortal condescension and experiencing opposition in all things?

  6. Laurie

    May 8, 2012

    If you take garlic pills (all natural) or eat a lot of garlic the bugs will be more likely to leave you alone. They don’t like the taste of garlic. You also will have the added benefit of the garlic helping to lower cholesterol, if that is something you are concerned about. It has worked for me for years.

    Also, does any one have an opinion about the myth that Avon’s Skin So Soft works as a good mosquito repellent? I grew up hearing that, but I have never tried it.

  7. Becky

    May 8, 2012

    I used to be well loved by all blood sucking bugs. I also take garlic (make sure it is oderless or you will stink). It helps. I still get bit every once in awhile, but I’m not a magnet.

    I love to garden so all bugs have their place. My house is another story. If you brave the inside of my house I am more likely to smash you than to go through the effort of taking you outside.

    I have a friend, in Washington, who made a deal with the slugs (which get huge there). She told them that she would not kill any in her yard if they would leave her garden alone. Both parties kept their end of the deal. Her garden was always slug free.

  8. Tay

    May 8, 2012

    My mom used to be eaten alive by mosquitoes. They loved to attack the bottom of her feet, especially. But she started using essential oils for her nerve disorder (to help ease off the painful effects of it) and she hasn’t been bitten by one since…

    I’ve also heard the garlic thing. Also vinegar. So you can smell like garlic or a salad or both! You could smell like an Italian restaurant! 🙂

  9. Emily M.

    May 8, 2012

    I get eaten alive. When we visited my parents in Taiwan over Christmas, the mosquitoes loved me. In Taiwan they have these cool mosquito zappers. They look like racquets, and if a mosquito touches the electric grid inside, they get zapped. It sounds mean, but if you’re covered in bites it is incredibly satisfying to get rid of mosquitoes this way.

  10. Braids

    May 8, 2012

    CS Lewis actually addressed your question about mosquitoes being allowed in heaven:

    “Nor am I greatly moved by jocular inquiries such as, ‘Where will you put all the mosquitoes?’ — a question to be answered on its own level by pointing out that, if the worst came to worst, a heaven for mosquitoes and a hell for men could very conveniently be combined.”

    I don’t let my kids kill bugs that are “minding their own business”. If they come in the house or try to bite us, they are fair game.

  11. Sara

    May 8, 2012

    Tay, what kind of essential oils? My daughters are so allergic that they get covered in bumps and each bump practically turns into a welt. I’m desperate to try anything!

    (We tried the Avon and it didn’t work for us)

  12. mormonhermitmom

    May 8, 2012

    We have gnats where we live. They really get to my son. They get in his hair and his ears. They like me too but seemingly not as well. I don’t know if he’s just more sensitive than I am, or the gnats really like him or what. It takes a few days of 90 plus temperatures here to kill the gnats. And then the mosquitos get you.

  13. Kathleen

    May 8, 2012

    Avon Skin-so-Soft does work as a mosquito repellent for most people (they can’t provide it fast enough in the mosquito season).

    Just recently heard of a discovery by scientists that mosquitoes don’t need our blood for food, in fact, they spit it out after biting. Instead, they live on pollen and nectar. So why do they bite? pure cussedness, probably.

    Mosquitoes, IMNSHO, serve no purpose and have no redeeming value. They’ve got to be part of our testing here on this earth.

  14. JP

    May 8, 2012

    You can get the paddle shaped zappers here in the U.S. of A. We got ours in WY. I am not sure how good they would be for mosquitoes but they are great for flies. One other thing, after you get bit, try dabbing on straight ammonia. It really works to stop the itching!

  15. Jess

    May 8, 2012

    As a kid in California, we used a bottle of citronella oil dumped into a package of baby wipes and were pretty gosh darn successful. Now that I live in Vermont, I have friends who swear by B-vitamins, but I haven’t had any success with this. So I’m a hardcore DEET fan. To its credit, it’s been around for more than 50 years, has a good safety record with “normal use” — covering all exposed body parts every 6-8 hours — and is considered safe in children above the age of 2-4 months.

    Kathleen, male mosquitoes eat an entirely vegetarian diet. But the females need to added protein of a blood meal to produce eggs.

  16. Shantell

    May 8, 2012

    I am definitely one of the chosen ones when it comes to mosquitos. My husband, like Blue’s, has no idea why it’s not fun to be outside; however, he amuses himself and stands next to me, knowing he will be safe. We don’t have a lot where I live now, but as soon as we wander into Mosquitoland, they can sense fear and loathing, and a feast, and come find me.

  17. Tay

    May 9, 2012

    Sara – We use doTerra brand and they have a specific TerraShield mix. But you can also use lemongrass and lavender. It will need to be reapplied. Also the oils can be diffused in the house with a diffuser and that would keep the bugs out/away from where the smell is. My mom applies about 8 or 9 different oils morning and then night and even throughout the day. But if your girls get a bite, the same oils that keep the pests away will also help get rid of the bite. if you need to email me, it’s tay1141 at gmail dot com

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