CROSSROADS Language Studio’s Newsletter June , 2021 Summer Menace


Spring time triggers an annual rebirth of life of all manner. Flowers, insects, birds, and more, all take advantage of a sudden abundance of food resources and more favourable temperatures, to bring a new generation of life into the world.

We take immense pleasure from observing blossoming flowers and trees, and enjoy the first sightings of butterflies and returning migratory birds.

As with every aspect of our lifestyle, there are, however, less welcome “friendly faces” to contend with. Caterpillars devouring freshly bloomed roses, infuriatingly noisy cicadas on every tree, venomous snakes ever-ready to pounce on us on a forest path, and, everyone’s favourite – mosquitoes.

Janis Driven by an insatiable thirst for blood, human or otherwise, these tiny messengers of terror are capable of ruining the most perfect day out in the sun. Only 10-15mm in size, they are hard to spot and even harder to shoo away. The tell-tale sign of their presence is an ear-piercing high-pitched buzzing sound that we recognize instantly. They are not very agile in flight and non-too- fast, so it gives us a chance to splat them in our hands. But what they lack in aerial skills, they make up for in persistence of attack.

They often target exposed and obscure parts of the body, like ears and ankles, and often deliver a painless sting with their retractable proboscis. We won’t know of the stealthy assault until it’s far too late and we end up with an irresistible itch; an itch that begs to be scratched.

Hotter days make us sweat more and our bodies heat up faster, and both of these factors are a magnet to mosquitoes. However, they will avoid venturing out on a hunt when the sun is beating down hard, as they will risk dehydration. This is why they are most active in the wee hours of the day and also as the sun goes down. A poor man’s vampire, if you will.

To ensure that you don’t end up a meal for these flying menaces in the summertime, take simple precautions to minimize attracting them. Mosquitoes fly towards warm objects that contrast with the sky, so think light-coloured, tight-woven garments. The more CO 2 we breathe out, the bigger our heat signature, so try to stay cool and avoid getting too hot. You may want to apply mosquito repellents containing DEET, but there are also equally effective, natural oil repellents, such as lemon eucalyptus oil or lavender oil. Artificial fragrances and perfumes are an invitation to a bloody feast, so consider passing them up if you intend to ward the mosquitoes off.

Above all, don’t let these seasonal insects get to you (pun intended). They are a part of summertime experience, for better or worse.

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