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January 13, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Bad buzz.

Can’t say this summer isn’t going to be bloody. Some itching for it to start, but good reason to freeze that.

Call out swats. Especially if you’re ready to Samba.

No, don’t blame it on Rio. Totally, anyway. Although the World Cup Soccer Games may have kick started this unpleasant situation.

Man with mosquito net as a veil/UK Wellcome Trust/

Not taking any chances. (UK Wellcome Trust/

Brazil hosted more than just athletes at the games, Zika left calling cards there.

Zika, a mosquito borne virus, may have hitchhiked in with an infected attendee according to experts. When an infected mosquito bites a normal adult, he/she suffers mild discomfort, but the individual can travel on carrying the infection. If a particular species of mosquitoes bites an infected person, that non-infected mosquito then picks up the disease, becomes a Zika carrier, and the virus spreads.

Mosquito bites. No big deal, right? Unless you are a pregnant woman.

The Zika virus/Zika fever is strongly linked to congenital birth defects: usually microcephaly (very small head, reduced brain development), diminished mental capacity, seizures/convulsions, neurological issues, motor control, dwarfism, and delayed speech. Often the full effect isn’t seen for several years.

Suddenly Brazil is experiencing an unusually large number of infants infected by Zika

“Brazil reports 1,761 microcephaly cases as mosquito virus spreads” Reuters

Ultrasounds do not show Zika’s damage during pregnancy until the 3rd trimester. Abortions are illegal in Brazil.

Some obstetricians are so concerned that they are suggesting women might want to avoid pregnancies.

Perhaps mosquito net burqa outfits will be the “must have” Olympic gear in Rio.

Man in anti-malaria net in Italy. 1910-40. UK Wellcome Trust/

May be logical, but doubt this fashion will become popular in areas with hot, humid summers. (UK Wellcome Trust/

Not a bad idea for this summer in the US Gulf Coast either.

 As if Saint Louis encephalitis, West Nile fever, chikungunya, dengue fever weren’t enough, Zika fever just appeared in a Houston patient who had been to Brazil.

So the local authorities are putting out warnings.

Hope all the area’s newcomers quickly realize why houses have window screens here. Obstructed views or disease-bearing skeeters?

Enough to stop any thoughtful person cold.

1863. Vampire illustration by Louis Le Breton/USPD.copy of PD art, artist life/

Blood sucking little monsters. Under the bed. In the closet. What was that shadow under the door? (1863.Vampire/USPD/

Cold, of course, is what is needed: a couple of good hard freezes to knock back the skeeter population.

They are currently still here. Buzzing.

SOS, Mr. Snowmiser!

So faced with a miserable summer choice of skeeter dodging or being held hostage indoors, I’m willing to delay warm weather – if some cold blast would only freeze the wings off those little blood suckers.

Oh, that sounded a bit harsh. Bad karma.

But they asked for it! We told them to buzz off and they didn’t!

man with butterfly net.1877-78 Henri Meyer illustration. Barbant enraving/, artist life/

Should have read the contract’s fine print. Who knew insect control was in the job description for child’s tutor?(USPD/

Nothing left but dodge, swat, and splat.

Itching for it.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Read more?

crowd of people with woman talking. (1933. Gold Diggers trailer by Warner Bros./

“I don’t care. I can’t stay cooped up any longer. I’ll take my chances with the blood suckers.”(1933.Warner Bros./USPD/




  1. pnwauthor / Jan 13 2016 2:22 am

    You gotta wonder what’s next from the insect world?


  2. cindy knoke / Jan 13 2016 2:34 am



  3. sportsattitudes / Jan 13 2016 2:51 am

    Rio’s ocean water already has been judged to be unsuitable for…anything…but they’re going to push forward with Olympics events which will have competitors on it or in it, risking their health. This new development sounds like yet another case of “Blame It On Rio.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 13 2016 2:58 am

      Last week the group managing the stadium used for the World Cup and planned for the opening ceremonies handed the stadium back to the government…and the government found out none of the water or electric bills have been paid for the stadium…and guess who is stuck paying them now? Geesh. What a mess. I vote for building a permanent Olympic site in Greece where it started and always holding it there. The whole idea of changing locations to assist development of countries is nuts – it never works, the locals lose big time every time – especially the poor. It’s not looking good and the water quality is a huge concern. Thanks for helping a comment wash up here!

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Carrie Rubin / Jan 13 2016 3:38 am

    Infectious diseases are not to be taken lightly, and mosquitos can spread some nasty ones, can’t they?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 13 2016 3:22 pm

      Are mosquitoes nature’s tiny drones? Certainly annoying. Being allergic/very sensitive to their bite, I really try to avoid their flight patterns. Unfortunately many people don’t recognize the fact that people are healthy is that there was a lot of research/efforts from the medical communities which resulted in solid recommendations and precautions. Now many don’t realize what can happen if vigilance wavers. You know more than most. Thanks for swatting down a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  5. easyweimaraner / Jan 13 2016 11:13 am

    that’s scary…. hope that evil little devils buzz off soon. … and I hope they will not find the way over the big pond…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 13 2016 3:25 pm

      There’s a CDC map (outdated, just thought I’d warn you) showing where Zika is present, but with all the traveling these days, the virus is a real concern. I hear wind currents from wagging tails deter skeeters – stay happy, Easy! Thanks for bouncing in to chat


  6. marthaschaefer / Jan 13 2016 1:28 pm

    No skeeters here as of the moment. Frozen over and no end in sight. I just heard Praying Mantis are good for ridding the area of pests!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 13 2016 3:31 pm

      Oh, my kingdom for a frost – only 40’s here. We try to protect any sort of lizard and tolerate a few spiders as skeeter hunters. A Praying Mantis or Walking Stick would be welcomed although not really common here. Oh, RC Cat snarled that Her kingdom is not up for grabs…foolish staff. Thanks for keeping up with the buzz

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ally Bean / Jan 13 2016 2:05 pm

    Are there really people who don’t like/use screens because they feel the screens obstruct the view? I cannot fathom that. Screens are wonderful, modern, ensure better health. Especially from these sneaky new mosquitoes. I just don’t like them at all. Buzz off, I say.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 13 2016 3:35 pm

      The no screens thing is very weird. Many of the new expensive homes in choice neighborhoods don’t have screens. “Not in keeping with the clean contemporary look”. Do they really run their AC and keep the windows closed all the time? Must get stuffy in there. Happy Spring swatting trendy homeowners! (New to the area, young people are such easy targets, right?) Thanks for shoo-ing a comment into the comment net

      Liked by 1 person

  8. 1bl0gr3ad3r / Jan 13 2016 3:06 pm

    A creepy crawly plot! Zika, added to West Nile, H1N1, Lyme; then the “little bugs” like Ecoli and Salmonella, oldsters such as Legionnaires… oh, and increasing cases of formerly vanquished measles, polio, tuberculosis, etc. Guess i need to befriend a flock of purple martins, gaggle of guinea hens, and a battalion of bats this Spring, for starters. And make certain our screens are in great shape! Wish the Olympics really could return to Greece permanently; might truly help them recover and restore themselves as a country, plus restore integrity and honor to the Games.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 13 2016 3:42 pm

      People who could afford it used to leave the overcrowded cities for the fresh air of country places to avoid diseases – especially in the summer. Now the wide open swampy places have dangers lurking and waiting to ambush those who don’t know better? At least the country places had all sorts of critters who ate skeeters.
      The Olympics were never intended to be a jobs or economic development program. The return to the historic location and tradition of friendly competition among the best of the best would be refreshing. (Have you deactivated your blog or has it been hacked? Glad you made it over here to swat a comment into this net.)


      • 1bl0gr3ad3r / Jan 13 2016 4:37 pm

        I haven’t blogged at all, yet. Nothing has grabbed me to write about to now– so perhaps WP has deactivated… thanks for asking- i will go check. Heck, China has all the PII so maybe they got my blog, too? 😕


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 13 2016 7:25 pm

          Thanks for the reply. You could just put up a few sentences on an “About” page – so people won’t think you are spam. Word Press is an amazing place to wander around. Enjoy all the great blogs and jump in as you feel like it. Pictures are always a good start. Or joining one of the challenges that prime the writing pump for many. Anyway, glad you found something that tickled your brian here. Thanks for stopping by to chat


  9. Littlesundog / Jan 13 2016 3:28 pm

    One thing I did not miss the last 4 years of drought were those danged mosquitoes. Then last year we got all of that rain and they made a bit of a comeback. I dread this year… I just know now that we have water in our lakes, ponds, and rivers, those little bastards will be tenfold!! Poor Daisy and her tribe will be covered with them… and those poor little fawns will be born accepting the fate of the mosquito. I would never make a good animal.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 13 2016 3:48 pm

      What is really annoying is that the species here simply goes dormant during drought and once there’s a bit of rain – bingo – the whole batch emerges. This Spring is looking itchy. Sometimes we worry about taking the dog outside among the swarms. Do yo ever put up burlap sacks hung horizontal between trees for Daisy? We used to do that for the cows in bad years so they could run through and knock the swarms off even temporarily. Some ranchers even doused the bags with insect repellent. Can’t remember if the deer took advantage of those, though. Sounds like this particular virus does not bother livestock. That would be a good thing. Thanks for flying by with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  10. heretherebespiders / Jan 13 2016 8:35 pm

    Ugh! That sounds like quite the nasty one. I’m made up of the stuff ‘skeeters love, it seems, so I’d for sure be a carrier if I was in the area. Great, now I’ll be worried to visit.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 13 2016 11:37 pm

      Oh, one of the lucky ones to have “Skeeter Syndrome”, too? It’s a real diagnosis. Not looking forward to long hot summer full of biters here. Thanks for scratching up a comment


      • heretherebespiders / Jan 13 2016 11:39 pm

        Really? I’ve always known they love me best out of any group I’m in. And the size of the welts they leave!!! Ow…

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 14 2016 12:09 am

          Sounds like you qualify. Lucky us. Mom used to worry people would think I had some terrible skin disease with all the welts from bites.


  11. RKLikesReeses / Jan 13 2016 10:56 pm

    AAAAACCKKK!!!!! That’s horrifying.
    Those little fiends. ::shivers::


  12. The Good Greatsby / Jan 14 2016 3:44 am

    And not one of the US presidential candidates are talking about mosquitoes even though they have no respect for our borders.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 14 2016 3:15 pm

      Maybe they need a no fly zone across the S. border? The barrier idea worked so well with the fire ants. Thanks for swatting a comment this way


  13. The Coastal Crone / Jan 16 2016 9:15 pm

    We are always grateful for the rain here but then dread the mosquitos. I can’t remember what the Karankawa Indians used – mud? fat?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 18 2016 4:04 pm

      Animal fat seems to ring a bell…then the mud to cool the bites. Not looking forward to the summer swarms – of tourists or bugs! Thanks for swatting over a comment


  14. jmmcdowell / Jan 19 2016 4:42 pm

    I’m hoping our current cold snap will do in some of the nasties for next summer, although I could do without the huge amounts of snow we might get this weekend!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 19 2016 5:07 pm

      We’re warm today, but it crashes shortly as 2 fronts come across headed your way. Any mosquitoes are probably catching the first flight out now. Stock up on chips and oreos (important stuck at home food…cabin fever isn’t dulled by healthy snacks HA HA) Thanks for buzzing over to chat


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