Saturday, 20 March 2010

Vampires beware

The Loth clan are trying an experiment this year in preparation for the annual Canadian Hoopla. Whilst we love Canada dearly, and the Maritimes in particular (that noise you can hear is XUP and the Ottowa Tourist Board collectively grinding their teeth) there is one aspect of our holidays that tends to be less than ideal.

The wildlife. Specifically the winged, bite-y, "Oh look! Scottish food!" wildlife. SB, Husband and I tend to get repeatedly nibbled upon by hordes of invisible and sometimes not-so-invisible-but-I-sort-of-wish-I-HADN'T-seen-that-actually insects. The bites would be bad enough but our tender Scottish systems are unprepared for the onslaught and go into complete allergic overdrive leaving us with angry, red itchy lumps the size of soup plates all over us. Combined with the pasty white Scottish skin, it's not an attractive look.

Oddly, FB doesn't tend to get bitten. The only explanation we can come up with for this is that he doesn't taste nice. He is the dairy allergic member of the family, which leads us to suspect that mosquitos must really like the taste of butter, cheese and chocolate ice cream.

Anyway, my mother used to also be the sort of person who only had to bare a tiny part of her skin for hordes of flesh-eating midgies to descend and chase her indoors. But no longer. She can now brazenly walk abroad in summer (or the closest Scottish approximation thereto) without being eaten alive.

And she puts this down to...........garlic. She started taking those odourless garlic capsules a few years ago and since then she swears she does not get bitten by mosquitos. It sounds a bit unlikely, I know but if mozzies are fond of the taste of milk, who is to say they don't recoil at the tang of garlic? They are bloodsuckers after all, and since we would look a bit odd trying to fend them off with teeny-tiny crosses, garlic it is. I'll let you know how we get on.

10 comments:

  1. Never heard that one before. DO let me know if it works. They adore my tender skin!

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  2. I've actually heard that mosquitoes don't like garlic.

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  3. I've heard that. (Swats a black fly)

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  4. Well, hate to burst your bubble but I take garlic and still get chewed. Not in Canada, right enough, though this may be connected with the fact that I'm not there.

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  5. You could totally solve that problem by not visiting the bug-infested parts of Canada all the time. Here in the city we don't have any bugs -- well not mosquitos or black flies anyway. And it's not Ottawa I'm promoting all the time, it's visiting me. I don't like Ottawa all that much, frankly. You should maybe visit Montreal. They don't have mosquitos either and I could come there for a few days to see you

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  6. You're taking the mickey, right? Scotland is full of bloody bitey things.

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  7. We found a product last year the defied the mosquitoes. It is the Off Clip On. If you can find it, it may work for you.

    Now, since we are going to Scotland, we have been warned about the midges. by both the guidebooks and our son. Is it perhaps fair exchange?

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  8. Oh my my mymymymymy. Midges. I had my first introduction last year taking photos on beach dunes at sunset. All four of us were there, but only I got bit... over 400 (yes, 400!) bites. Had to take steroids and everything to control the inflammation. I just have to share the link.

    http://www.coldspaghetti.org/blog/2009/06/21/no-see-ums-a-public-service-announcement/

    When we went to Scotland later that summer, I read about midges on the beaches and was terrified... but all was fine. Thank goodness.

    I've taken garlic, used lavender (as well as all the DEET, etc.) and never found anything to truly work with bugs, at least with me. (I've lived/worked in malaria regions of Asia and Central/South America.) The only thing that seems moderately effective is covering up all body parts and coating clothing in DEET. Not ideal!

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  9. Much as I hate disagreeing with XUP, there are too biting bugs in Ottawa. And in Montreal, but if you drink enough wine you don't care.

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