The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Mosquito Coil

On a warm summer’s evening in Brittany, where else would you want to eat your dinner but outside on the patio, seated at a cheap plastic table on cheap plastic chairs?

The drawback of flying biting creatures would be solved, I was convinced, by the dinner-plate sized mosquito coil I bought at the local supermarket. After discovering that suspending it from either the nearby tree or the overhang above the rear door meant the smoke utterly failed to float anywhere near us, I had the brainwave of attaching it to the underside of the sunshade poking through the middle of the table. Mosquito-repellent-smoke-tasting food seemed a small price to pay to remain bite-free.

Unfortunately I hadn’t reckoned on the local French teenage-punk midges that liked to live dangerously by recklessly flying through the fumes, then doubling back for more in some kind of intoxicating game of double-dare. I’d swear this coil was attracting rather than repelling the damned beasts.

Maybe I shouldn’t have been drawn to the box by the fact that it had been written in two languages. The English part may have waxed lyrical about enjoying a mosquito free area for up to 36 continuous hours over an area the size of a football pitch, but did the French part actually say the same thing? I'm beginning to suspect it may in fact point out that it had been specially formulated with the pheromones of female mosquitoes on heat of to ensure that British tourists who can’t be bothered to learn the language to a sufficient degree will be eaten alive.


Nikki said...

I have found a great way of getting rid of bugs with out the candle hassel

a bit of lemon juice - or some sort of citrus (lemon juice seems to work best) is the key - get one of those liquid fertilizer feeders that you attach to your garden hose - and spray it on the lawn.

works great.

Andraste said...

I say bats are the answer.

Welcome back, Kim. Just checking in now, when I have the time to read and enjoy. Sorry I didn't sooner. Good stuff!

Kim Ayres said...

Nikki - Well if it works in Virginia, it's got to be worth trying in Scotland

Andraste - I'd go for the bats if it were purely down to me, but for Maggie those creatures are viewed as "mice with wings" (see Mouse Slayer for more details) so would be a major no-go option

Dr Maroon said...

Lyon's Golden Syrup.
Apply it to face, neck and exposed leg areas.

Kim Ayres said...

You've got it, Doc. We're heading out to a woodland area later today that's next to plenty of still ponds and is usually swarming with midges. I'll make sure the whole family is suitably covered in Golden Syrup!

Thanks for your considerations and insights! I don't know where I'd be without you.

SafeTinspector said...

We burn hardwoods in our "chimnea", a little pot-shaped furnace with a fluted chimney on top.
Works great. There's also some kerosene powered thernal traps that are supposed to be quite effective, but they are expensive to buy and operate.

Gyrobo said...

Why get rid of the insects? Their tiny organs can be harvested and enlarged, resulting in an horrific franken-bug, with 20 meter long pincers, and an attitude to match.

Kim Ayres said...

SafeTinspector - I think a sacrifice to the god of winds or strong breezes might be another solution.

Gyrobo - well as long as it didn't upset dinner out on the patio I guess that would be ok...

Kate said...

Yes, Nikki's lemon idea works for us too. I wipe the oil over the patio furniture and they seem to leave us alone.

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