He is The Chosen One

I live with a mosquito deterrent. He’s called Jimmy. They prefer his flesh.

English: Logo of Target, US-based retail chain
English: Logo of Target, US-based retail chain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If he’s not scratching he’s sleeping, and sometimes he does both at the same time. In the little free time he has, he smears on an oily Deet product intended for life in a tropical swamp, then complains that it doesn’t work when he finds a new welt. He’s not satisfied with the little bump most of us get from a mosquito but sports great white welts the size of a quarter centered nicely in an inflamed red patch two inches across. With a daub of red paint in the middle of each welt, he’d make an amusing advert for Target.

As a backup repellant he has discovered Avon Skin-So-Soft which has been proven to be effective against mosquitoes. He sprays himself liberally and ends up smelling like a girl. I find it rather attractive on him. Unfortunately so do the mosquitoes.

A Mosquito feeding on blood
A Mosquito feeding on blood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These little blood suckers are strangely drawn to my husband. A happy family of eight people, three generations of them, sat outside their RV at the site next door to us drinking, relaxing, laughing, chatting with nary a flap of the hand. Jimmy was up to a count of 15 angry weals.

Mosquitoes have a regular diet of nectar and the juices of plants but the females need a blood banquet before they can develop eggs. Jimmy should feel proud that he is The Chosen One – vital to the reproductive process of the species. And the reason they like him so much is that he is hot. Mosquitos prefer hot skin.

We were in North Dakota, not a place we had previously associated with mosquitoes but should have twigged when the local diner advertised Mosquito free dining. After the vicious monsters had bitten himself on the bum through his trousers, I went on the hunt for products, any products, to help.

The local Wal-Mart had a vast array of choice: electric zappers, sprays, lotions, coils, candles, oils, special tablets to heat with a candle, power lanterns, towelettes, clip-on personal fans with refills (so one could walk around in permanent fog of mosquito deterrent) – all available in several different brands. They were displayed prominently in the hardware section, the garden center, an island display at the front of the store and in the grocery section.

There were dozens of choices and hundreds and hundreds of items for indoors and out. This was a town declaring war on mozzies. I plumped for a citronella oil burner meant to be used outdoors. It was so teeny I figured it wouldn’t do any harm if I burned it indoors. I was right. It didn’t even harm the mosquitoes.

Where were they coming from? Mosquitoes like standing water. We were camped in a dry field.

The Missouri in North Dakota, which was the fu...
The Missouri in North Dakota, which was the furthest upstream that French explorers managed on the river (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A sluggish, brown stretch of the Missouri River flowed two miles from the campsite. It wasn’t exactly standing still but was certainly damp. Was it their source? With their ability to smell a victim from 50 meters, perhaps Jimmy’s breath was so extraordinarily intoxicating, his skin so delicious and blood so hot and fortifying that the mighty mozzies overcame their limitations to fly up from the river against gale force winds – winds so strong they rocked the trailer – to feed on The Chosen One’s blood and perpetuate their kind – Mosquiticus jimmerei.

45 thoughts on “He is The Chosen One

  1. Mosquito…I add tea tree oil to my daily lotion but not 100% foolproof 😦 I thought back to the Dakotas…mayflies in Yankton, you think the trailer was covered in mud, yikes! Nice blog! Cozygirl


  2. A friend who spent two years in Africa swears by a daily dose of marmite to deter the little biters. Perhaps you need to get some sent in a care package from the UK?! A decent sized teaspoon full every morning will, apparently, see them off. Personally, I’d rather have the bites than the marmite. Bleurgh!


  3. There must be one designated person in each couple that is the mosquito bait. I am that person. Every biting insect loves me!

    Just a note of caution. I have a friend that use to use sprays with Deet. Deet will eat holes in the soft leather that most MH have. They had to get their sofa recovered because of the holes the Deet ate. Just thought I would share.


    1. Oh my. So many mosquito magnets. I can’t stop scratching since I’ve posted this and I’m even a Chosen One. Thanks for the caution about leather and Deet. Himself would go mental (as well as crazed from scratching) if his leather seats got holes in them.


  4. OMG! I can also really commiserate!! Why, oh why, do bugs think I’m a moving buffet? … and you’re right, clothing isn’t a deterrent!! And if it isn’t bad enough, I also get the huge ugly welts!! What’s with that?!
    Thanks for sharing the story … I don’t feel personally prosecuted anymore … I’m just one of the many Chosen 😦


              1. That is really interesting … I’ve not heard of this one before and must try it … next spring. At 0C this morning in Toronto, not even my cat wants to be outside. With his fur coat, I don’t know what he has to complain about 🙂


  5. Poor Jimmy.. I commiserate, as I am PF’s mosquito repellant. In Tahiti they were huge buggers, and I ended up with burns from putting my feet on the mosquito coils under the table… I used an Australian stray called “Off”, which was the only efficient thing on the market but would probably have made me grow an extra head if I’d used it for longer than the 16 months we were there…. PS. I get bitten on my bum through my pj’s at night here, too.


  6. I’m Jimmy’s mosquito-attracting long lost twin. They feast on me while Mr Enthusiasm sits carefree right next to me. This is why I love the desert so much. We’ve had the condo here in Vegas for 4 years and I have yet to be bitten. 🙂


    1. Oh dear. It would seem you have a lot of mosquito-attracting twins. So far it’s an excess of alcohol or a lack or B vitamins they go for. But it could be neither or both, or fust bad luck.


  7. When we used to vacation in northern MN we would joke the mosquitos were so large they had their own numbers on the sides like airplanes. I think the more B vitamins in our system, or was that a lack of B vitamins….now I can’t remember…..anyway B vitamins has something to do with attraction or detraction of those blood suckers 😉


    1. Well spotted Ingrid! I’ve just looked it up. It’s a lack of B vitamins that could be the culprit. I’m sure himself would rather take a supplement than give up red wine (alcohol in general) as suggested by Bulldog.


      1. Mostly men .. we’ve done the polls around too many fires… the females just like to get under our skins… lol… or it’s the female Mossies that enjoy alcohol more than the males… and men normally have more in their blood than females… now about your SiL.??? lol…


        1. Oh. Oops. I wonder if you are on to something there. I’ll suggest to himself that he gives up the red wine the next time we are in mosquito country. I’ll tell him it was your idea!!


  8. I also have a mosquito deterrent and his name is Steve. Ha ha . I was smiling when I read your post because where ever there are mosquitoes, Steve gets harrased by them. Not sure why but i think the male blood is sweeter :). But I dont have have a scientific name yet like you have labelled your hubby.


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