When I was in Arles being eaten alive while my beautiful friend Christina remained untouched, I was a little thrilled. At least the mosquitoes find me more attractive than Christina (nyah, nyah, nyah).
Inevitably, I began to tire of their excessive attention and stimulated the French economy by buying every anti-moustique product I could find, from herbal to ones jam packed with horrifying chemicals. I’m still not sure which ones work, since out of desperation, I use them all at once. Hell, I’d wear a Shell No-Pest Strip too if they still had ’em. I know at least one of them does the trick, I’m just not sure which one(s). Like a depressed person who goes off their meds when the drugs work and they’re no longer depressed, I stop spraying, igniting, turning on and plugging in when the little suckers stop biting. The next thing you know, I’m up at 3AM swatting the air with one hand, feverishly scratching like a dog with the other while searching my mind for someone to blame.
I don’t know, maybe after all the gorgeous Provencal food they get, they’re craving something a little less…fresh and healthy? Perhaps they prefer American food? I’m like a burger, fries and a coke to them.
Apparently, mosquitoes are a problem down here in the South of France. There’s even some African dengue fever carrying mosquito which has moved up here seeking a better life. Some people blame it on a law that prohibits using really dangerous pesticides to eradicate them. They’re afraid of endangering the people and wildlife, apparently. Silly, silly French people. I’ll worry about being slowly poisoned by pesticides later, but now do something about this infernal itching! I can imagine being slowly driven crazy by the constant sound of a mosquito buzzing around my ear.
Fortunately, about.com has provided hundreds of pages of advice from readers around the globe on how to stop the itching. I’ve tried the most popular and have added my comments.
1) Any kind of alcohol. Yes, it works. At least when applied in copious amounts internally.
2) Etching an “x” into the bite with your fingernail. I find this works if you do it repeatedly for hours on end.
3) Salt and citrus. They work very well when used in conjunction with #1.
4) Clear nail polish. In theory this works. I tried doing it with Opi Bogota Blackberry since I don’t have clear nail polish and the itching seems less. Unfortunately, I look like I have some horrible contagious skin disease now.
5) Banana peel. I’ll try this as soon as I can buy a banana. But first I have to find my nail polish remover so I can get the Bogota Blackberry off my mosquito bites and go out in public again.
Filed under: Cote d'azur, expat in france, Provence, travel, travel humor, Var, Vidauban Tagged: | French Riviera, mosquito bite remedies, mosquito borne illness, Mosquitoes, mosquitoes in france, mosquitoes in the south of france, stop mosquito bite itch