health

An explosion of giant mosquitoes. Great.

Ahhhhhhh, ‘straya.

If you live in Australia and have skin, you may have noticed an abundance of mosquitoes this spring.

Not just mosquitoes. GIANT mosquitoes. Mosquitoes the size and ferocity of fighter jets.

It’s a spring Aussie mozzie explosion. Yaaaaayyyyyy.

The other night at netball, one bit me on the tongue. ON THE TONGUE. Yes, maybe I shouldn’t play sport with my tongue sticking out, but it’s the only way I can concentrate, dammit. There I was, ‘here-if-you-need’-ing around the goal circle, when I felt a sharp twinge as a giant bloodsucker started munching on my tastebud. Unfortunately, my first instinct was to pull my tongue in and gasp, inhaling the little bugger into my mouth. Quickly followed by my second instinct: spit the mozzie out onto the court, so the players then had to avoid the mozzie plague AND my saliva.

It’s okay, though. Science has explained why.

Apparently, it’s September’s fault. If September hadn’t been all stupid and rainy, there wouldn’t have been so many wet areas for the mosquitoes to lay eggs in. Health authorities predicted a particularly bad mozzie explosion for Darwin (sorry guys) to start TODAY (sorry guys) and last for ten days (sorry guys x 10). Fortunately, an urgent spraying program has been launched to try and maintain the numbers.

By ‘spraying program’, I am assuming they don’t just mean giant cans of Mortein. But I’m no expert. They might.

GOODBYE MOSQUITOES. Image via Giphy.

For us in the rest of Australia, it's going to be above average annoyance for the rest of spring at least. Expect to hear that whiny, droning 'nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn' noise more regularly and emphatically from now on. And if you accidentally squash one on your skin when you slap at it, expect to see a blood stain so big, you should surround it with police tape.

Here's a few things you can do to avoid being covered in calamine lotion. Some are from health experts, some are from me. See if you can spot the difference. Answers at the bottom.

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1. Wear light colours. Mosquitoes seem to gather on darker colour fabrics, so wear white or pastel fabrics as a deterrent.

2. Dress as an astronaut. Not only is it a light coloured fabric with good protection, it's a conversation-sparker and you'll look cool.
3. Use repellent. On your skin and in the air. Make sure citronella candles have actual citronella oil, and not just citronella 'scent'.

4. Have you seen that movie Bubble Boy? That. Do that.

5. Clear up any puddles of water around your house, as mosquitoes use still, stagnant water as a breeding ground.

6. Run really fast, all the time. Even though mozzies are attracted to elevated heart rates, if you run fast enough, they can't catch you. You won't be able to sleep or pee, but who cares? You'll be bite-free.

EUGH. Image via Giphy.

7. BEST TIP: use a fan. Mozzies are not strong fliers and don't like breeze, so setting up a fan in your room or even outdoors at a dinner table will deter them easily. You shouldn't even need chemicals, just a nice breeze.

8. Get a bat. Bats eat mozzies. Just get one and keep it in your bedroom at night so the mozzies won't bite you. If the bat bites you, rabies is going to be a problem, but at least you won't be itchy.

ANSWERS: Health authorities: 1, 3, 5, 7. Could you tell? And tips from me: 2, 4, 6, and 8 (even though all of them would technically work. But don't try 8. And if you do, don't sue me when you start foaming at the mouth.)

Good luck to you, comrades. Keep covered, definitely get a fan, and maybe even stay indoors in a cupboard for the rest of spring. But check it for mozzies first.

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