Sunday, April 27, 2014

Countering mosquitoes, 'Dinuway!'

I made a Mosquito Masher, the only one in the world [I claim!] which is very handy but this post is about another method I resorted to counter mosquito menace indoors. 
All pictures here are taken by me. Click on them to get a magnification.

We do not feel the prick of these Aedes mosquitoes [Asian Tiger Mosquito], but the poison it injects will make us scratch the area for a long time, which can drive us crazy esp. if we are doing something that demands high concentration and focus.  I'm getting pricked in the garden by what we call commonly as 'garden mosquito'.  They are active in daytime.


But how often can we do that and what is the success rate?  And where is the patience?

They know where to prick, even through my pyjama fabric. Below is a good macro shot I got of a Culex mosquito.  See its bulged belly full of MY blood.  I allowed it to have its fill for this photo.  
Swat again!

The latest swat, an Aedes which causes a rash. 

These are some of the larger mosquitoes in my garden - not as bothersome as the two smaller varieties above. They live more on plant protein.  See this collage of  7 images:


In my college days, the mosquitoes waited for my legs to come under the study table, to suck blood.   My exposed feet were vulnerable and the pyjamas covered only up to the ankles. The attacks used to be so disconcerting, why during study, even at other times also and even now, while at the computer desk.

Its favourite areas for attack besides feet are back of the arm, under the sleeve and at the neck which exposes on bending the head to read a book on the desk.  Of course, --clap-- one wafted across the monitor - missed - they look for exposed areas of the face/head too.  

During one of my cricket tours, I asked my senior team-mate [a sort of 'know-all'] Mr.Krishnaprasad, why mosquitoes preferred the feet or back of forearm.  "They like dark and shadow areas" he said.  Indeed, he was right.  Now I can vouch for that as well after observing for a long time since, besides the fact that these blood suckers also like other exposed areas which they feel right to prick.  Sitting at the desk did not end with college days, so the botheration persists.  Now we have computers at home where we spend quite a bit of time, putting the feet under the dark space under the table. How about laptops? 

I have tried mosquito repellent creams, vapours from a medicated mat or smoke from a medicated 'coil'. But I needed to find a cheap and effective way to keep the blood suckers at bay, at least not disturbing my feet and arms.  I used my sports socks to good effect but needed something more comfortable and easy to remove and put on, to cover at least up to the shins.  I also later discovered that my old torn pyjama legs would help.  It did.  I had put velcro at the knees to prevent them from sliding down and closed the bottom to make it like a bag. So my legs were in these 'two bags' while I sat at the desk. 

There was always scope for improvement.  I wanted my track suit upper to be sleeveless.  So I cut off the long sleeves [see me wearing on such shortened thing here].  I made two other suits like this.  Last week, when I cut off a pair of track bottom at the knees to make them shorts [see me wearing it here, cut off], I found the answer for my improvisation.  

I joined this and a pair from another track upper sleeves I had cut off.  

This is what I got now. 

The light blue will be on top and I can pull it up to the knee and even walk around too.  Now I can sit without disturbance at the feet.

What about the arms?  Another cut off pair of sleeves..... You can clip it there............ [if you are not wearing a ready full sleeve shirt!]

The following option was not feasible!  *Smile*

 I also keep these alternatives handy just in case:  Mosquito Repellent Coil or Sprays [seen in picture] or Cream [not in pic]. 

Let me show you some mosquito larvae in my garden - they find stagnant water somewhere.  I change water in the barrels when it matters.

For mosquito net is the best option for sleeping though. This is a vintage cot, more than 120 years old in my estimate. You see net frames were designed even at that time indicating that the 'skeeters' have been bothering humans all along.

My witty friend Papacchi used to tell he used to sit on his cot and allow the skeeters to come near him.  Once they were there, he would bring down the net and kill them since they could not escape out. 

Another witty colleague used to tell when he bought mosquito repellent creams he did not know that it was to be smeared on our skins.  He thought mosquitoes had to be caught and cream applied to them, so they would repel away! 

Blood donation is an important service that helps save lives.  I sometimes stayed in my relative's house in Bangalore where huge mosquitoes were abound [1980s] in that then new locality [Padmanabhanagar].  In the mornings, my bed would look like some murder had taken place but I was alive.  All the beds in Chandu's house was like that!  What a job it was to wash those blood-stained sheets!  I was fond of saying that 'I donated blood' when I stayed there. I have not seen anything like it any time. 

The word "mosquito" is Spanish for "little fly," and its use dates back to about 1583 in North America (Europeans referred to mosquitoes as "gnats"). Mosquitoes belong to the order Diptera, true flies. Mosquitoes are like flies in that they have two wings, but unlike flies, their wings have scales, their legs are long and the females have a long mouth part (proboscis) for piercing skin. ["]


  1. OK. I started laughing uncontrollably when I saw the photo of you covered with a net! Then I laughed ever harder when I read that your friend thought he was supposed to rub the repellent cream....on the mosquito! Thanks for the laughs this morning, Dinu!

  2. Yes me too! It's the middle of the night and I burst out laughing loudly when I saw the same picture! Am very happy to have found your blogs, they're interesting! And in case you're wondering - the reason I found them was because I did a google search for Binaca animals which led me to your post from 2009. Would like to follow your blog but couldn't find a Follow button on your page. Hope you'll consider adding it! (you can get it from the "Add A Gadget" section in the Layout page.

  3. Also loved your track-suit armour. Reminded me of my dad .. he used to come up with such ingenious and unexpected inventions too :-)

  4. aeiou, many thanks. I have added the followers gadget now.


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