Regular readers at BobinOz will know that out of all of Australia’s bad things, the baddest bad thing of all is not the shark, not the crocodile, not one of our many deadly snakes, nor is it one of our two killer spiders and it’s not even the most venomous animal in the entire world, the box jellyfish.
It’s the itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny pain in the butt Aussie mozzie.
Finding a way of reducing mozzie bites or even more ambitiously, preventing bites completely, has been the quest of many before me and will probably be the quest for many more after me.
But personally, I am beginning to wonder if I have found the solution. It’s not 100% foolproof, but its good enough and seems to work for me.
I’m sure I mentioned this somewhere on this blog, but can’t seem to find it. I know I talked about Aeroguard before as a solution, but not everybody, including me, is happy to apply chemicals all over their skin.
Doing some research I found a few people recommended taking vitamin B or more precisely vitamin B6 to reduce the number of bites you get. Is this why Australians love Vegemite? – it’s packed with vitamin B.
So I started taking a vitamin B supplement daily about six months ago and after it had kicked in, which took a couple of months, the number of bites I received dropped massively from several per week to just about zero! But as we were in “winter” as they call it, (felt like summer to me) I decided to reserve judgement.
But summer is now officially here and I’m still not getting bitten. Well, I’ve had one or two bites, but as I said it’s not 100%.
In addition to the B6, the other month I bought an Aussie mozzie zapping machine. The mosquitoes are attracted to the light and then ZZZZZed by it electric chair style, without the bother of a trial, see footnote below. It’s called a “Yard Guard Premium”…..
I have it set on a timer to come on for four hours at dawn and four hours at dusk. These are the mosquitoes most active periods. The theory is that by “taking out” (that means killing) the active mozzies during these times, you will significantly disrupt the 10 to 14 day breeding cycle of these pests in your back garden.
The result is supposed to be fewer mosquitoes in your area.
During our Halloween party on Saturday, we were all and outside from four o’clock in the afternoon until just about one o’clock in the morning. As far as I’m aware, nobody saw a single mosquito!
Personally I wasn’t expecting to get bitten, B6, but others should have been. Nobody asked to borrow some Aeroguard, which normally they would. One guest even mentioned that there were no mozzies about. I didn’t even have my Yard Guard Premium on because I was using the plug sockets for Halloween lights and the music box.
Having been lubricated with beer I was not at my sharpest, so it wasn’t until the next day that I wondered “Has my Yard Guard worked? Has it really interrupted the breeding cycle around my home?”
My best guess is that it has. I will certainly let it continue to run throughout the summer, after all, it uses just 40 W of energy, less than a standard light bulb. The guard itself is not expensive either; I think I paid just $90 at Bunnings.
For my money, much better than slapping on the Aeroguard.
Told you so part one.
In a recent post, I suggested you might avoid getting bitten by a snake simply by standing still and letting it “slither straight over your foot” if you have to. I went on to say that “Humans do not smell like food” and “Snakes can’t see or hear very well”.
This morning, I saw this headline from The Daily Liberal.
Off-duty officer has close call with brown snake.
And the first line of the article was “Don’t panic if you come across a snake – stand still and it will slither away.”
It seems the snake, a large brown, reared up and had a pop at the officer, biting his shoe. It doesn’t specifically say that the officer then stood still, but it kind of infers it. If he didn’t stand still, the advice definitely suggests that would have been the best thing to do. You can read the full story here and get even more sound advice about dealing with snakes.
Told you so part two.
Also in the shark post I mentioned that amazingly, if you hit a shark it might just change its mind about eating you. Just a few days ago a kayaker clubbed a four meter shark over its head as it tried to bite through his small vessel.
The shark stopped trying to eat the boat and head-butted the guy instead, flicking him into the water. But did the shark then eat him? No, it swam off.
Told you. They don’t like it up ’em!
I will continue to monitor shark attacks, snakebites and any other Australian bad thing attacks throughout the summer.
Footnote: Trials not required. ALL mozzies are guilty.
Update October 2014:
There is an important update to the Yard Guard or zapper mentioned in the above posts, please visit…