...with a husband and 5 sons, I am truly outnumbered....stories and thoughts on life from a mom in a houseful of little men!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mosquitoes: day 24

Let me tell you something about mosquitoes in East Tennessee.  Essentially there are none.
(insert wild, raucous clapping and hooting)

After fighting through clouds of those little suckers for as long as I can remember, it's a welcome relief.  Now, if you ask any local around here, they will adamantly reply, "YES we DO have mosquitoes!"  Then they will expound with a few statements which essentially tell us we don't know what we're talking about.  They probably will punctuate that with a "bless your heart".  This  will remove any doubt we had about being called clueless earlier.

But the thing is, of the multitude of things we really are clueless about regarding the South, the lack of mosquitoes is not one of them.  Alaskans know mosquitoes.  We're talking clouds of mosquitoes, at times so thick you can't breathe without them going up your nose.  We have looked out the window to see some sort of black growth on our dogs' muzzles.  Upon inspection, the "growths" were masses of blood-filled mosquitoes.  We've seen moose go crazy, trying to get away from the mosquitoes, to no avail.  There were summers when the mosquitoes were so bad, the boys were just covered with bites.  The all-time record has to have been after a weekend with Grandmom & Grandpa at their Montana Creek cabin.  We counted 100 (yes, that's two zeros) on one boy before quitting counting.  Head nets, bug dope, and wild mosquito-slap dances are just a part of regular life  in The Last Frontier. 

So about East Tennessee?  You can bless my heart as many times as you wish, but this place essentially has no mosquitoes.  Which brings up the question, why?  In a warm, moist climate such as this, we really expected a lot of them.  We assumed, after being here for a couple weeks, that the county must have sprayed for them.  Of course they would need to spray for them...to avoid Malaria, right? 

(insert a "bless your heart") 

Upon asking a neighbor about this, she smiled slightly, then regained her composure and sweetly informed me that no, the county does not spray for mosquitoes.  Apparently they just don't seem to thrive down here, though any East Tennessean will disagree.  Whatever the case, we'll just enjoy being mosquito-free.

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