Great white sharks, huge crocodiles in all the waterways, the world’s deadliest snakes, big spiders, blue ringed octopus at the most famous (and popular) beaches, irikandji – the list goes on.
But they’re not the scariest.
The scariest thing about travelling in Australia is mosquitoes.
I’m allergic to mosquitoes. I’m also allergic to bluebottles, bees, and all those stinging things, but the rest don’t attack you the way mosquitoes do.
When Doc and I were traveling in the Territory during wet season we took a mosquito net to put over our bed. I say bed as if we had one – we hired a pop-top cruiser and were sleeping in that, which meant we somehow had to hang the mosquito net from the roof of the van, pull it around us while avoiding things like the kitchen, and tuck it under the foam mattresses without having it come into contact with us. All while we were sitting on the mattresses.
No mean feat. Even cable ties can’t fix that one!
Even though there are fly screens on the windows the mozzies still manage to get inside, and mosquitoes buzzing around your head all night doesn’t make for a good night’s sleep.
So with Doc crouched at one end and me crouched at the other (there’s not enough room to stand), both of us stretching our arms out across the van, we managed to hook it up to the corners , then very carefully tucked it in around us, only to pull out one corner! Eventually we got it all set up and lay down listening to the buzz of mosquitoes outside the net, happy that we were safe. Until ….
“I need a wee”
I’m not even going to go into the details of what happens when you go outside in the tropics, in wet season, and bare very sensitive skin to the elements – and to the mosquitoes. It’s not a pretty outcome, especially when an allergy means every bite turns into a big, very itchy, hive. And there are some places where you just can’t spray mozzie repellent! I hate to think what everyone on our tour of Katherine Gorge the next day thought when I kept scratching places that shouldn’t really be touched when you’re in public!!
And it’s not just the tropics, or wet season.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that Doc made us a beautiful daybed that sits on our verandah facing the sunset. On a warm summer evening sitting out there with a glass of wine, watching the sunset streak the sky glorious pinks and reds is just magic. And summer storms all seem to come from that way as well. We can sit there in comfort and watch the storm clouds roll in, lightning flashing, as the rain gets closer. At least we can until the mosquitoes start to attack.
So when the people at Mortein offered me some free products (including mosquito repellent) to try I jumped at the chance. I’ve tried lots of products to keep mosquitoes at bay, and some of them work quite well (and some don’t). Those mosquito lantern things you can get, with the candle in them and the repellent pad that sits at the top and smokes, are great, but they do tend to get a bit smoky and smelly at times. People have told me to use one of those things that hangs on the wall and squirts every 30 seconds or so, but the idea of something going “phhstt” every 30 seconds put me off. Honestly, if I hadn’t been given one to try I wouldn’t have done it.
And to be honest again, the first few minutes it did annoy me, but in the interests of trying it properly I thought I’d better persevere. I’m glad I did because after a few more minutes I stopped hearing it, and I could watch the sunset without being bothered by mosquitoes! And I did it again the next night, and the next, and the next. And I can still do it on these beautiful warm autumn evenings when the sunsets seem to get more and more colourful.
So now, as well as the products they gave me, I have a pack of Mortein pest control products to give away! If you want to win these four products, valued at $75 just pop over to my facebook page, like the page and share the post there. Make sure you do like the page otherwise you might not know if you’re the lucky winner! And share the post from there so that I know who’s shared it.
Good luck – and have a mosquito and other pest free time!