Ah, yes, it's that time of year again. It does seem to be a recurring theme around here. This is our third year in the Valley, and each year so far we have experienced the wrath of the little blood-sucking biters.
The mosquitoes are back.
They got bad after Hurricane Dolly and the rains before then. A few weeks ago, we were scared in the early evening by the sounds of planes flying very low overhead to spray to kill the little buggers.
Since then, we've had more rain. Lots. There was flooding in places, there is more rain in the forecast (every day in the extended forecast there's a chance), and Gustav, which looks like it's going to be dumping on Haiti very soon, has me worried. There are large pools of standing water everywhere you look. We're trying to be sure to make sure there is none in our yard, but we live next to a slow-moving canal with a runoff ditch next to it, and there's nothing to be done there.
As I started to type this, sitting at my computer in my house with all the doors and windows closed, I swatted a HUGE mosquito who was having a feast on the blood near my left elbow. I looked up to see blood had splattered onto my computer screen, nearly 2 feet away.
In Target yesterday, pulling out my wallet to pay, I had one land on my shoulder and try to take a bite.
I killed at least 3 in our van, and there may be more.
Guthrie has a dozen bites on him, and the only time we've spent outside the last 2 days was walking in and out of the library, and then in and out of Target. I opened the door yesterday when UPS arrived, and there were dozens visible right outside the door.
Eric said he got bitten inside his classroom while he was teaching yesterday, and was attacked walking to his car at dusk. A report in the newspaper said we shouldn't expect much relief until Thanksgiving, but spraying is being attempted. The problem is the forecast for more rain and maybe wind is making spraying difficult or impossible.
It could be worse, I know. They could be carrying much worse diseases than the ones we fear, but West Nile is certainly a consideration, as well as other illnesses that sometimes make an appearance in this part of the world. We had no flooding in or near our house, we live in a sturdy house with no leaks - the only way they get in (and they do) is when we open the doors to go in or out. There are people who are not so fortunate - they've had standing water in their houses, and many live in houses where there is little proection from what could come in from outside.
Still, I'm at a loss for what to do, again. Later, we will go to Chick-Fil-A (I should mention that I'm totally in love with Chick-Fil-A now), and let them run around in the playground. I can't, at least not yet, bring myself to slather us all in bug repellent so that we can go outside. I'm trying to keep the living room/playroom clean enough that the boys can run around in it some, because I just don't know what other options we have for them to get any exercise and burn off energy without being a mosquito feast.
And with guilt I admit we'll probably watch more Bob the Builder and Thomas for the next few days than I would normally like, but a little movie time seems like the lesser of evils when West Nile Virus is the possible other option.
*sigh* Really, there are things I love about living here. Come January, when I'm hearing about other places having snow and ice storms, while we're wearing tank tops and going for long walks and bike rides, I'll feel differently than I do right now. But at the time, the outside world is a very scary blood-sucking place, and I think we'll stay inside today. ANY suggestions at all would be appreciated. Or at least a little reassurance that if we eat at Chick-Fil-A every day this week and watch a different movie every day, the boys really will survive.