Gosh Darn Gnats!!!! Mosquitoes and Ticks

Pesky Little Critters

My old friend and work leader in the Die Casting Department at GE Outdoor Lighting in Hendersonville, NC ,Bo Fisher, would come into our cafeteria at supper time grab his lunch box and sit down at our table. We only had twenty minutes to hurriedly swallow our meal before having to go back to our machines. Bo, who was a really great guy and always one to kid around, would pull out his sandwich take a bite out of it and laugh as he jokingly said,"Well, if we run out of something to eat, we can always fill up on gnats!" He was referring to the many little varmints flying around the cafeteria. It seems someone always brought a banana, an apple or a tomato which we always suspected were the culprits responsible for those damnable little insects thriving so well in our cafeteria.Gnats like mosquitoes are beginning to make their presence known around my house, especially in the early evening. Like my old buddy Bo, I think I just inhaled enough this evening while cutting my grass for my supper. They are annoying to say the least.

We read in the Bible about gnats and a reference is made in Matthew 23 verse 24 where Jesus is teaching and telling the Pharisees they need to consider the more weightier issues of the law and that their cup though clean on the outside but is filthy on the inside. I suppose the principle He taught in this passage is just as relevant today. I have also heard the term "a gnats ass" used by someone attempting to emphasize how close they had come to buying the farm, I don't know if this saying is a local one but when used, the point is understood.

Now I don't claim to know too much about gnats, but it is the males you see flying about in swarms in the evening according to the web. All I can attest is they are a downright nuisance. Although they are harmless, they can be very annoying flying about our heads sometimes getting into our eyes.Gnats thrive on decaying fruits and vegetables and near composting materials or garbage cans. Animals aren't exempt and if your a country boy, in all probability you've seen these obnoxious insects flying around the real ends of cows or horses. No doubt part of the misery of dogs scratching or licking their privates could be attributed to gnats and fleas.

How do we rid our selves of these aggravating little demons. First, eliminate their food supply by not leaving your fruit and vegetable in open containers but rather store them in your refrigerator bins. Keep your garbage can dry and covered. If you have house plants, don't over water. Gnats reproduce rapidly with one gnat laying over 2 to 3 hundred eggs in a 2 month period.

The use of chemicals is a good way to rid yourself of gnats and can be purchased at almost any garden supply center and even in most grocery stores. For severe infestations, the fogging type canisters work great;however, be sure to read the instructions for use to be sure the chemicals are not harmful.

A simple solution to eliminating gnats is by using a home made trap. Gnats are attracted to vinegar and you can put a small amount of vinegar in a jar, poke holes in the top of the jar. The gnats will go into the jar but will not be able to get out. If you have gnats around your kitchen sink, try pouring a little ammonia into the sink and let sit for a couple of hours before before using your sink.


Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes can be a real problem for animals and humans and with the advent of Summer, we should become aware of the potential hazards that may arise from bites of these blood thirsty insects. It is the female that feeds on blood. A bite from a mosquito with their near hypodermic mouth can possibly spread diseases such as yellow fever and malaria.

While most mosquitoes are more nuisance insects and not particularly dangerous, a bite can cause discomfort. Red spots or whelps develop at the site of the bite and there is irritation that causes us to itch. Here in Western North Carolina, the summer brings out the worst because our weather pattern is conducive to reproduction. Hot humid days with storms that bring lots of rain in our forests where there is decaying vegetation allow mosquitoes an ideal atmosphere to propagate.

How do we deal with this annual pest? Having two young grandsons who love being outside, we know from experience, "skeeters" love little boy blood all too well. Topical sprays and oils applied to bare legs and arms seem to stave off the majority of mosquitoes. Our county sprays insecticides along mosquito prone infested areas and in our community parks.Around your home, be mindful of planters or flower pots that may retain a volume of water which may allow mosquitos to lay their eggs.


Ticks

As a young boy living in the rural area of Western North Carolina my dad always had a few coon hounds and every year those hounds would invariably get ticks. They went unnoticed until they had sucked enough blood to swell as bigs as a raisin. We didn't know anything back in those days about he diseases that ticks might carry such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and most of the time I would just pull a tick off and smash it with my shoe on the ground. It made a mess on the ground and on my shoe. It wasn't until later in life, I learned about the dangers of ticks. One of my sisters in law was bitten and developed Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Ticks can also transmit other diseases with Lyme-Disease being one most of us are familiar.

Ticks will attack humans, animals and fowl. Ticks have legs and can move fairly quickly. Ticks use what is known as questing to spread and to live off the blood of a host. They can sense breath, body heat and will drop from tree or plants onto a host.

How do we deal with ticks? First remove and old wood from your yard and treat your yard and areas where tick might be we a good pesticide.

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Comments 2 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 2 years ago

I'm itchy and nervous!


Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 2 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina Author

Thanks breakfasts, me too.

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