Last Updated on May 23, 2023 by Ellen
When mosquitoes bit my hips through my pants this week, I was frustrated, angry, and itchy. And so I bought a device commonly known as a ‘mosquito zapper’ in tropical countries.
The device is used to kill the relentless (rhymes with) suckers.
Mosquitoes love me. I mean they really, really, love me. I joke that I am my husband’s mosquito repellent: when I’m around, he doesn’t get bit.
In the last month, I have had days with 10 bites. And I am not trekking up any jungle trails like Tedly and mom Diane.
Now that it’s rainy season, or habagat, there are more mosquitoes. It reminds me of rainy season in Tulum, Mexico, but it’s worse here in Malay, Aklan, Philippines. There is standing water everywhere – including in our bathroom because water service sometimes goes out. Therefore, we keep a large bucket of water for toilet flushes and hand washing. Three people in a bathroom with not water wouldn’t be fun.
I need to start adding bleach to that bucket and change the water more often. Otherwise, we will keep getting more (rhymes with) suckers.
Below is a picture of the dreaded larvae in our bathroom bucket. Yea, it’s nature, but it’s GROSS and potentially dangerous to me and other people.
(This link is a good synopsis of mosquito life cycle.)
Mosquito diseases, bite prevention
Back in Tulum five years ago, I had chikungunya, a nasty mosquito virus. Luckily, I cannot get it again. I am now immune. But I can get dengue, which has similar symptoms to chikungunya, and dengue can kill you.
As Tedly points out, 10 bites a day can be 300 a month. That’s 300 chances for another nasty mosquito-borne disease. My dear husband is forever slaying mosquitoes and other bugs (because all bugs seem to love me.)
I’ve tried everything to prevent mosquito bites over the years. Avon ‘Skin So Soft’, Off! (or other deet products), no sugar in my diet at all for several months, drinking apple cider vinegar straight up, and more. Some work a little (skin applicants), some not at all (diet).
Fans work best for me. Wind grounds mosquitoes. But I cannot always be in front of a fan.
Light, loose clothing is ok, although I get really uncomfortable with hot flashes. The thought of heavy, thick clothing is unbearable.
So when the blood (rhymes with) suckers bit through my light pants, me and my itchy hips set out to find a new prevention method.
I bought a ‘mosquito zapper’ for three dollars. It’s like a tennis racket, electrified.
These devices are fairly common in the tropics. We’ve thought about buying one for years, but never did. We kept leaving locations before rainy seasons. But now we’re in the middle of nearly-daily downpours thanks to the ‘Rona.
The idea is to wave the racket around to make contact with and electrocute the mosquitoes.
The device has a embedded plug to charge in an outlet. I don’t know how long a charge lasts yet, but I’ve used it over the last 24 hours several times and it’s still working.
Does it work?
I wasn’t sure, at first. I waved it around and the air zapped a few times, but there was no evidence of a body on the racket or on the floor that I could see (it’s a white floor).
I had waved it around under the table, where mosquitoes love to suck my legs.
For the rest of our dinner, I didn’t get any more mosquito bites. I was encouraged.
These (rhymes with) suckers also love our bathroom. It’s always wet or damp in there, and really humid, so adult mosquitoes tend to congregate there.
I took the racket with me for a trip to the throne. As I sat there pants down, at my most vulnerable, I waved the racket around me. “Zap! Zap! Zap! Zap!”
No bites! But again, no evidence of bodies on the floor or the mosquito zapper.
Tedly later used the bathroom and came out to borrow my racket. He saw one a mosquito, but didn’t catch it. So he took the zapper in and he waved it around. He got one zap. He had seen one mosquito, but here again, no body or evidence of a killing on the racket.
In fact, we haven’t found any bodies yet. But I have ‘zapped’ a dozen times and I’ve gone 24 hours with only two new bites. So the mosquito zapper seems to work. And I’ll take all the help I can get against these fuckers.
Thanks for reading, “Mosquito zapper: Device to kill relentless suckers.”
What to read next, related to health abroad:
- Great dentist for expats in Mazatlan, Mexico
- What a Philippine doctor pulled out of my husband’s throat
- CAT scan costs for an expat in Malaysia
- How to find a surgeon overseas
- 5 easy steps to buy prescription drugs in a foreign country
What to read next about adventurous slow travel: