Mosquitoes love me. My Mum always tells me it’s because my blood is err… ‘sweet’. A friend told me about a vague scientific study which concluded that people with strong auras tend to attract insects. Whatever the reason, I’ve tried many sorts of insect repellents and none do a satisfactory job of protecting me. Consequence: I’m prone to mosquito attacks, sometimes badly. My friends and family love sitting near me because I attract those pesky bloodsuckers away from them. The mosquitoes attack me and my family and friends love to marvel at the massive bumps on my skin. 🙁
Through the years, I’ve made a pretty sizeable contribution to feeding mosquitoes around the world. My simple swatting efforts to mitigate them pale in comparison. Anyway, for anyone who’s interested, or who can relate to my predicament, I’ve listed my top-5 mosquito attack stories. And to create a wee bit of suspense, I’ve switched the sequence to make it a countdown of my mozzie misery.
Mosquito attack stories
5. Lang Tengah island, Malaysia
I was sitting at a Lang Tengah hotel bar one evening. I was constantly waving my arms around – the little citronella candles on the table didn’t quite do it for me – and the bartender suggested I order a gin & tonic. The quinine in the tonic would ward them off. The other guests at the bar roared with laughter and we all ordered G&T’s. I was still bitten considerably but we had a whale of a time. 🙂
4. Zanzibar, Tanzania
I arrived in Zanzibar after a ten-day safari trip. The beach resort was simply gorgeous: a blindingly white beach, stunning gardens, breezy cabanas, swaying palms… you get the picture.
A dinner was organised at the poolside on the first evening. We were surrounded by colourful Arabian lamps, trees decorated with fairy-lights and floating candles in the pool – it was so romantic. Unfortunately, there was no romance in the air, just mosquitoes. Or maybe the mosquitoes drove away the romance. The mosquito coils under the table worked well… under the table. My arms and neck were the prime targets. I downed my dinner in 20 minutes, then escaped to the safety of my room.
3. Bako National Park, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo
A four-hour trek through the jungle turned into a bloodbath. And why, oh why, oh why did I wear shorts??!!! I was literally swatting mosquitoes as I removed the leeches from my legs with a knife. My stamping around, flailing arms and constant cries of “bugger off!” scared off every other animal but the mosquitoes. The Bako National Park is famous for its rich fauna – I wouldn’t know… I didn’t spot a single beast.
2. Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Another trek and another mozzie nightmare. The Franz Josef glacier has its origins in the lofty peaks of the Southern Alps and descends gracefully to near sea-level, through a beautiful rainforest. It was a short trek through the rainforest, with its lush ferns and towering trees, to the viewing platform a few hundred yards away from the glacier. We decided to continue our trek across the valley floor (a dry riverbed) to the glacier… and that was, with hindsight, a bad idea. We were soon harassed by swarms of ravenous mosquitoes and I attracted the bulk of them. By the time we returned to the park entrance an hour later, my arms, neck and face were red and puffy.
1. Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
Nowadays, when I see a hammock, I think of my Costa Rican nightmare. It was during a visit to the Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast. I was having a miserable ‘animal attack’ day: during a six-hour boat-ride and jungle trek, a large caiman almost jumped into the boat (we got a tad too close) and during the trek, I was attacked by a viper (our guide was quick to fend it off).
We returned to the lodge, totally drained. I found a shady spot near the river bank, climbed into a hammock and fell asleep within moments. Fifteen minutes later, I woke up with a stinging sensation in my back. I climbed out of the hammock and realised that mosquitoes had feasted on my neck, back, arms, legs, my cheeks and my ears! They’d bitten through my cotton t-shirt and flew up the legs of my jeans. The bumps were so big and red that my back and arms looked like the surface of Jupiter! To top it off, the itchiness persisted the whole night and there was nothing anyone could do.
Are you constantly attacked by mosquitoes? Do you have an anti-mosquito tip?
Please share your story/tip in the comments section below.