I'm not sure how it is by you, but in my neck of the woods, it's been a bonanza of bad behavior from the ancient bane of mammalian existence: the mosquito. Their presence goes back at least 100.5 million years ago - 66 million years ago. T-Rex still walked the Earth during this time. The irony is that when the apocalypse happens, all the world will be left with will be cockroaches, mosquitoes, and zombies. Lots of zombies.

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Seriously, this sucks

One of the joys of living in Upstate New York is porch sitting and enjoying the flora and fauna that comes to visit, except for mosquitoes. This spring, with the weather vacillating between cool, wet, and hot, the blood suckers have been somewhat at bay. After the significant precipitation events recently, there seems to have been an uptick in blood sucking freaks looking for a free meal. Just last night, sitting on my porch was unbearable. I was swarmed and escaped indoors only to have one of the jerks follow me in and interrupt my dinner.

So what can we do?

There's no magic bullet. The only thing that gets rid of these fools is the frigid cold. Until then you can defend yourself a number of ways. Plants sort of help. My wife peppered our sitting area with all kinds of supposed anti skeeter plants. We have lemon balm, lemongrass, rosemary, and catnip growing. Aside from my cat being perpetually wasted from the glut of catnip, they haven't helped much. Citronella candles/burners have minimal effects. When all else fails, it's back to the dreaded DEET, the active ingredient in many repellent products. There are also natural alternatives that use plant based oils. This year has also seen the use of ultrasonic repellers as well as ones that use essential oils, but the jury is still out on their effectiveness.

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