Bumper crop of mosquitoes driving Susan crazy

Susan Manzke
Susan wearing her Head Mosquito Net to ward off the bloodsuckers.

We were lucky to have very few mosquitoes when Camp Manzke was taking place here earlier this summer. Only ankle biters seemed to plague a few of us that weekend at the end of July.

Well, the next batch of mosquitoes decided that they would make up for the comfortable time camping. Since the second week of August, they have more than made up for the lack of spring bloodsuckers.

These days, early morning and late afternoon, I am inundated with hoards of tiny mosquitoes. These buzzing beasts attack any uncovered skin.

I would stay inside, but I’m still training my puppy and have to take Stella out. After a six-inch rainfall in August, the little buzzards came after me and my dog. I started my days swinging my arms around to ward them off. Of course, this only helped a little. They even attacked poor Stella. I’d watch as she raised a paw to wipe away the bugs when too many landed on her muzzle.

Stella scares up hoards of mosquitoes as she romps about near the hostas.

Time outside was limited to potty breaks. We had to take a scaled-down game of fetch inside.

To keep some of those mosquitoes away, I sprayed my jacket with OFF—better on the jacket than on my skin. I hate to smell like bug spray all day long.

Having the hooded jacket sprayed helped some, but not enough. The mosquitoes attacked my face, buzzing by the hundreds around me.

What else could I do? It took a little thinking before I came up with another solution. I bought a fine woven mesh mosquito net to wear over my head.

The first time I put the net on over my head, I found it did keep the mosquitoes off my face. The only trouble was that it rested on my skin. On a hot August day, the net seemed to make breathing an effort.

There was a solution to this. Before putting the net over my head, I donned a cap. This way the bill of the cap stuck out forward, giving me a buffer between the material and my nose.

Still, the mosquitoes followed me. They swarmed around, attracted to me as usual. Their sound was annoying! The only good thing was that they couldn’t bite my face—they could still get my hands, so I wore gloves. I soon found out that covering head to toe in August isn’t the best answer either.

Stella wanted to stay outdoors and play, even when mosquitoes plagued her. I considered fitting her with mosquito netting, too. Of course, she would have ripped it to shreds.

Midday, when it turned warm and dryer, Stella found time to romp around the yard.

Today, with a good breeze blowing, we were bug-free, well almost. One found me and tried to get inside my ear! Yikes.

A news reporter spoke about the lack of mosquitoes this summer. I guess that guy doesn’t live around me. When I visited Appleton, there were fewer bugs. I found them again. They were waiting for me at home.

I’ve taken my chances going outside without any bug protection, thinking I might be safe for a short dog potty break. After a few minutes of the dog charging through the lawn, the mosquitoes were awakened and my time outside was again ruined with their buzzing. Neighbors might have seen me waving my arms like a crazy person as I return to the safety of the house.

Today, Stella and I enjoyed multiple trips outside. The breeze kept 90% of the mosquitoes away. It was almost bearable.

The bug zapper is working overtime sizzling the bodies of unwanted mosquitoes in Susan's yard.

The birds and bats must be having a feast, at least around here. They don’t have to fly far and wide to get a meal. The meal comes to them—so there are benefits of having too many mosquitoes in the area. No matter, I admit to smiling when I hear a mosquito meeting its end in the electric glow of the mosquito zapper my son Russell gave me. Thanks, Russ.

FYI: I’m not exactly sure what date my picture book will be free digitally on Amazon. All I can say is to keep checking for All the Queen’s Crowns. I will post a notice on my blog and Facebook and notify those who sent me their email addresses.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;;;