Bitten by the Bug
No I haven't taken up a new hobby. Instead I'm becoming slightly exasperated. There was a time when I associated fly bites with holidays in warmer climes, now it seems that the insects in our garden have decided to turn on me.
Worse still, it's now September and with a couple of days of unseasonally high temperatures, the local fly life is back, determined to outdo even Dracula with its blood sucking fetish.
Okay, I know that here in the North of England, we've enjoyed a warmer summer than usual but that still doesn't mean Yorkshire has grown a population of mosquitoes and whilst midges have always been a nuisance, I can't recall ever reacting to their bites particularly.
I swear my new enemy is the common house fly but when I looked them up, discovered they can't bite because of overlapping mouth parts. Well, all I can say is their suck is pretty painful too.
Also whatever it is that keeps getting trapped on the inside of my sandal strap and then thinks its clever to squeeze its way out, nipping as it goes, had better watch out because I am in no mood for any more red lumps on my feet.
Talking to friends of the same generation, we all seem to have suffered this summer, much more so than younger family members. Is it perhaps an age thing, decreasing immunity and all that, or do we just have more time to spend outdoors, thus increasing the risk of falling prey to something nasty? Why suddenly has walking across the lawn become such a hazard when there was a time long ago I'd actually stretch out in the privacy of my own garden sunbathing and completely untouched by the unseen adversary that now sits lurking beneath every blade of grass?
Has it reached the stage that Eau d'Insect Repellent needs pride of place on the dressing table? Silver linings and all that, it's at least a great deal cheaper than Chanel but, and I suppose that's the idea, it does smell quite disgusting.
I've been researching natural fly deterrents and was surprised to see that alongside citronella and cloves, they don't like vodka. I think you are meant to spray it but perhaps drinking it might have the same effect and, at the very least, anaesthetise the desire to scratch when you are bitten.
Should retirement summers carry a health warning on the risks of attack and reaction? Are anti-histamines to become the Ecstasy of the older generation or do we venture out only dressed as beekeepers? Is there actually a problem here that hasn't been generally recognised or am I being unnecessarily hysterical, imagining a sinister issue when none exists? Perhaps I'm just unlucky.