Mosquitoes

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shine on
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Mosquitoes

Postby shine on » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:31 am

Lived in Crete a long time and noticed a lot more mosquito bites this year. It's the first time that I've been bitten in my house too, I always have mosquito deterrents set up around the home but they are not affective this year. I did read somewhere that there is an increase of 'no-see-ums' this year which are very small hard to see, hence their name, mosquitoes that can get through flyscreens and their bite is just as severe.

BST
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Re: Mosquitoes

Postby BST » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:44 am

Ditto! Must have been the wet winter?

TweetTweet
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Re: Mosquitoes

Postby TweetTweet » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:53 am

I've experienced the exact opposite. I think it's important to check for any inadvertent mosquito farms after rainfall (empty pots etc). I was very scrupulous about that after the May 30 deluge, but I put the distinct lack of mozzies (for me) down to the snow we had in January. I wonder what this winter will bring us! (Probaby ask Kim Jon Ill) :)

Mixos
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Re: Mosquitoes

Postby Mixos » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:39 pm

Mozzies not so bad over here but the wasps are diabolical this year. Big aggressive things too!

Kilkis
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Re: Mosquitoes

Postby Kilkis » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:53 pm

And here, Mixos.

Warwick

moved 2 crete
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Re: Mosquitoes

Postby moved 2 crete » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:08 pm

Mozzies and wasps here with us in Kolimbari, we have been bitten by both this year, the wasps like our carport roof and the honey drops on the car roof they then come down as we get into the car we have now taken drastic measures with a spray and got rid of them and their nests, but the tiny mozzies are still the major problem despite the fly screens. :(
Last edited by moved 2 crete on Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Dave H

Carolina
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Re: Mosquitoes

Postby Carolina » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:44 am

shine on wrote: I did read somewhere that there is an increase of 'no-see-ums' this year which are very small hard to see, hence their name, mosquitoes that can get through flyscreens and their bite is just as severe.


They are not mosquitoes but something like the gnat or midge. In Greek σκνíπες (sknipes - pronounced sknee - pes). They are always around in September when the weather is still hot (yet damp at night - seems to bring them out or they breed at this time - just an observation) & they are worse than mozzies in many ways as neither tablets, body sprays or fly screen seem to keep them away. September is always the worse month for bites for me, when the sknipes come out, hardly get any bites the rest of the summer.

TweetTweet
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Re: Mosquitoes

Postby TweetTweet » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:28 am

I know them by that name too but when I tried a google translate it came up with worms!

I find using lavander oil on my pulse points and pillows if very effective to keep them away (and also gives a tranquil night).

I've also had a big wasp problem - I know they are beneficial insects but when your safety is at stake, often drastic action is required - but best not in daylight hours. I usually get about 5 stings a year - a Greek friend of mine reckons it's very life-giving! (I suppose it is unless a person suffers from Anaphylaxis) :)

Kilkis
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Re: Mosquitoes

Postby Kilkis » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:39 am

TweetTweet wrote:I know them by that name too but when I tried a google translate it came up with worms!...


Funny. When I put it into Google Translate it comes up with "skink" which is a type of lizard, or a type of soup if you are from Scotland. My paper Greek-English dictionary does give it as "midge", and also mentions that it is slang for drunk, but my smart phone dictionary App doesn't recognise it at all.

There are so many of these tiny insects that it is difficult to distinguish between them. Living amongst citrus trees I get a lot of fruit flies, which don't bite but are irritating if they swarm around you, typically near the compost. I sometimes get what we used to call thunderbugs or cornflies in the UK. They also don't seem to bite but make you itch like crazy when they crawl on your skin. I regularly get another small black insect that gets into any dry food that isn't completely sealed. Flour seems to be their favourite but at least they are then visible. Small black flies, like house flies in the UK, are a problem in some locations and can be quite dangerous. They pick up diseases from animals and animal waste. I know a few people who have had their bites become infected and one person who developed gangrene from a fly bite. Usually with a fly bite you feel it bite you as it does it but with mosquitoes you only notice it a bit later. Bites from the small jumping spider can also cause quite a serious infection. Creatures don't need to be venomous to do you harm.

Warwick

altohb
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Re: Mosquitoes

Postby altohb » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:08 pm

Kilkis wrote:I regularly get another small black insect that gets into any dry food that isn't completely sealed. Flour seems to be their favourite but at least they are then visible.
Warwick


Most of the flour here seems to have them in the bag when you buy it. Putting the unopened bag of flour in the freezer for 24 hours kills them (and any eggs). I think they are a variety of weevil. I keep flour in a ziploc bag in an airtight tin after opening.

Mixos
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Re: Mosquitoes

Postby Mixos » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:25 pm

Good advice from altohb about the flour weevils and I agree that they seem to be in the bags when bought, as airtight bags and boxes alone don't seem to stop the problem. As for fly bites, Warwick, somebody told me that these small Cretan flies are not actually biting but regurgitating formic acid, which accounts for the sudden biting sensation and is something they do to soften their food. I don't know if that is correct (I know ants release formic acid) but I imagine that a small acid burn could become infected if scratched -- especially if said fly has just enjoyed a meal of animal faeces. :(

johnincrete
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Re: Mosquitoes

Postby johnincrete » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:02 am

I have what some Greek people call "sweet blood" because I usually get many mossy bites that are very big and last a long time with only temporary relief from itching using various skin-coolers. But no bites this year - at least no big ones but several small ones this month.

An interesting article in the Daily Mail suggests Vicks Vaporub to prevent bites and to sooth them http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4898116/Bizarre-GENIUS-uses-Vicks-VapoRub.html. Lately I have had a stuffy nose in bed and have been bothered by flying insect whine so I will certainly try Vicks. I love the smell of Vicks which brings back childhood memories of a piece of flannel coated in Vicks stuffed inside my pyjama top. Great but that was in the days before we had showers so I suspect the smell lingered the next day along with many other human odours.!

Or maybe I have not been so bitten this year because a lavender plant is actually growing (I mange to kill most plants) on the balcony where I often sit and read in the early morning or at night.

Anyone know where I could get Vicks?

Kilkis
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Re: Mosquitoes

Postby Kilkis » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:33 am

johnincrete wrote:...Anyone know where I could get Vicks?


I don't know where you can get it here but I can suggest a way to find out. Normally my favourite pharmacist, Katerina on the road to Varipetro just opposite the open prison, can get anything I ask for but recently there was one spray she could not get through her suppliers. She went on a web site that allows you to search for medicines across all the pharmacies in Greece. I think it works a bit like yellow pages in that you can specify an area. She found it at a pharmacy in Chania and, sure enough, they had it in stock. If you have a friendly pharmacist you use regularly you could try asking them to search for you. If that fails you can get it shipped to Greece from some eBay sellers but the postage is slightly more than the cost of an 110 ml jar.

Warwick

Clio
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Re: Mosquitoes

Postby Clio » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:24 am

I guess you've not been in a lot of other pharmacies, Warwick, because they all stock Vicks! Every Cretan knows about "Veeks", and uses it just as a Brit would do. (I haven't read the DM article because I won't on principal, but it is also used successfully by many people as a treatment for toenail fungus...)

Yours, smelling of (locally-bought) Vicks as we speak....
Clio

moved 2 crete
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Re: Mosquitoes

Postby moved 2 crete » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:52 am

Sounds good to me I will try it, I have tried most other things with little positive results, we have a little Vick left from when we came to live here 12 years ago, hope it has not lost its potency, thanks for the info... :)
Dave H


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