MN: Land Of 10,000 Mosquitos
If you had a chance to get outside over the weekend, perhaps you ran into those pesky buggers? To be honest, I'm really surprised that I am not covered head to toe in itchy welts and bites. Surprisingly, I haven't found a one on me anywhere as of yet, YET, I have not ever, as far as memory serves me, experienced such a sea of mosquitos swarming and circulating on and around me! It was downright strange how many there were out!
I was in rural Austin, sadly, to attend a funeral for a cousin of mine who passed away on the 4th of July. He was a member of the United States Air Force, so they had the Austin Color Guard at the cemetery to do the 21 Gun Salute and present the family of the fallen soldier with a United States Flag. It is not the first funeral I've attended that involved this United States Military honor during the burial, but I do have to say it was so moving to hear them present the flag and to tell the man's daughter, a member of my family, of whom I was standing next to upon presentation of the flag, how important and special it is and that they value their fellow soldiers.
The funeral service and the burial was very nicely done and it was an honor to be there to say goodbye to my family member, but I could not help but wonder, what was up with all of the mosquitos? This man was a fisherman, he did do some camping with my family years ago, so could this just be the mosquitos way of saying goodbye to their old friend also?
Yes, the thought crossed my mind a few times, as we all stood there in the cemetery swatting them away, wiping them off the people standing next to us, watching them literally draw blood and land in multiples on everyone. My aunt even pulled the collar on her shirt almost all the way up over her face to shield herself from those vampires... and my father must have swatted at least five or six of them off of my back, as he was standing directly behind me.
So, I figured, oh well, if the least I have to suffer with is a little bit of itching, scratching and irritation after this is over, well, thats not so bad, right? Here is the funny thing. I know that I did not imagine the skeeter attack, but I have yet to have even ONE single bite on me anywhere! Now, what is that about? I could not have been so good at swatting them off that they just didn't have time to feast upon my blood. The more time that passes and not even one bite appears it makes me wonder if there wasn't something to them being there, that thickly, as if to greet my cousin on his way out of this planet. Is it weird to think that perhaps, that was all they were doing? I can't say that my brain was thinking about grabbing bug spray before I went to the funeral.
Mosquitos, believe it or not, are pretty intelligent creatures. They know things, things that you'd never think they would know. They even somehow have increased activity when it is a Full Moon outside! A study that was done found that Full Moons generate 500 % more mosquito activity than a non Full Moon. That really scares me a little bit. Now, not only do we have to watch out for wolves, but mosquitos too!?!
Mosquitoes find blood to devour, or humans to bite by seeing them, detecting infa-red radiation, and chemical signals, specifically carbon dioxide and lactic acid, although there are other chemicals they can sense from as far as 35 meters away! (Thats almost 115 feet of distance, there are yachts that size that cost millions of dollars.)
Mosquitos can sense movement, so if you are moving around, you might be an easier target for a bite. Smelly feet and certain types of cheese are attractive to mosquitos.
Apparently, mosquitos share common interests with not only werewolves, vampires, but also mice. Another fun fact, if you can call it fun, but dark clothing is more of a draw than light colored clothing. So wear white, don't bring any cheese with you, make sure your feet do not stink, and stand as still as you can. Maybe if you are lucky, like me you can avoid any bites, but I still can't help but think that there was something weird about it being at my cousins funeral, and that somehow, I may be off the hook, knock on wood.
Source: American Mosquito Control Association®