Officially irresistible

It’s official. I am irresistible. At least to any form of biting insect, stinging plant, irritating leaf or creeper. In fact, as far as most of nature is concerned, I am the main course of choice, as well as the starter, and a tasty dessert too.

One of the joys of better weather is being able to shed clothing. To wander freely in shorts, not having to wear socks, discarding heavy coats and warm coverings. The downside to this is having to be aware of all the things that want to bite you, sting you, and otherwise cause discomfort and irritation. So I plaster the exposed areas with repellent, adding the much-lauded Avon ‘Skin so Soft’ for good measure. I try to wear long-sleeved shorts or tops to escape the ravages on my arms, and rarely leave the house unprepared.

But they are never fooled or deterred by these careful preparations. These tiny insects and delicate plant filaments will seek out any chink in my armour, and punish me accordingly. To them, I am fair game. Something to be feasted upon, stung as a warning, or even just for fun. Because they can.
If I didn’t know better, I would think that all these minute forces of nature gather together for a briefing. They check their watches, almost 2 pm. He will be out soon. They wait to see me lumbering along my usual route, their delicate senses seeking out any uncovered or unprotected spot. Then they attack, all forces combined.

Perhaps they have become inured to my sprays and potions. Maybe they have evolved to be able to disregard them completely. Whatever the reason, my walks are becoming a feat of endurance of a different kind. No longer slogging through mud, encumbered by heavy boots. Instead, I have to try to avoid the obvious places where insects dwell; shady spots, under trees, close to the riverbank. This makes it almost impossible for me, as all of my walks contain such hazards. As the grasses and plants grow during the season, I can feel their eager tendrils reaching up beyond the limit of my shorts, in search of exposed flesh wherever it can be found.

For me, the consequences of my dog-walking ritual are legs covered in bites and itchy rashes. I have bites next to other bites, painful weals on my fingers, and I have to re-cover myself in creams and potions to avoid an evening of scratching.

But I would take it over rain, any day.

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29 thoughts on “Officially irresistible

  1. Unless you pop over to The Wetlands, or into the desert in the late evening, it’s hard to find bugs here. We used to have quite a few in our back yard, but once the African sumac tree matured, and I no longer watered it, all but a few tiny lacewings disappeared. I guess the soil became too dry. There’s also a possibility that the geckos that have made their home here for a couple of years now have contributed to the dearth of bugs. As for plants, I’ve made you well aware of the jumping chollas, spiny cacti, and Joshua trees that abound in the Mojave. But unless you’re careless, they are very much avoidable.

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    1. Perhaps I should invest in a few dozen Geckos, David? I doubt they could live long in these temperatures though. I’m not sure that a Sumac tree would grow in Beetley, but I could try.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. It stinks to high heaven but vinegar really helps me when I’m bitten! I’m officially irresistible too! Me and my partner went for a walk last week and my legs turned to fire. When I got home (running towards the front door in a frenzy) I examined myself and must have had about 12 gnat bites in the space of four/five minutes. They’re still bugging the hell out of me now and my partner Scott had none at all! xxx

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  3. Pete, what a perfect post for the season…Here too we have bugs that are not effected to the deet sprays I squirt all over my arms, neck etc. The iddy bitty black fly is the worse for me and they are so tiny you can rarely see them, but after they bite me I swell up on that area and it goes from pink to red and then often looks like a bad bruise…I suppose I have a allergy for these types of bites…indoors I dab on AfterBite cream called the Itch Eraser.. LOL… usually works well if I try not to think about the itchy spots…Take care and keep on with the battle of 2016 summertime blues….

    Laura

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      1. There is dock, but I pulled most of that out too. One finger still painful today, especially in water! Maybe a spider bite? I have seen lots of short-legged black spiders in the rockery.

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  4. When you started out about shedding your clothes, I was hoping you weren’t going X-rated, Pete! πŸ˜†
    Curt and I were just talking mosquitoes the other day and he said he was no stranger to DEET. I guess British bugs have gone beyond that stuff, eh?

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