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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Mosquito Banquet....

I'm a Mosquito Banquet

The mosquitoes are buzzing around my house like vultures with forks, spoons and dinner bibs. I don't know if it is the recent rain that has created this insect population explosion or if there is another explanation. All I know is that I seem to be the blue plate special on the mosquito menu.

I am one of the 20% of people that attracts more of these protein-suckers than other people. This means when I am outside, I am a casserole on the mosquito smorgasbord.

Some of us are mosquito magnets while others wonder why we are smacking, scratching, and swatting when they don't feel a thing. Some researchers think it is due to blood type, type O being the preferred vintage.

Swat, swat!

Other theories are that the attraction is carbon dioxide from heavy breathing during work or lactic acid found in sweat, especially day-old sweat. Excuse me? Have these people never heard of that American pastime called taking a shower?

As far as the heavy breathing, most of mine is caused by running away from the creatures, not towards them. I've heard that eating garlic helps ward them off, but another theory says that the only thing garlic will repel is your spouse or your date for the evening.

Slap, swat!

The truth seems to be that nothing yet discovered helps much except a heavy duty insect repellent containing DEET. The chemical is supposed to be perfectly safe, but some resources say it is dangerous -- probably the 80% who are not a tasty staple in the mosquito recipe book.

A new prevention idea is a do-it-yourself remedy. Mix 8 ounces of witch hazel with 50 drops of essential oils and spray yourself generously. If this can keep me off the Food Network for mosquitoes, I'm willing to try it.

I've tried almost everything to keep them away. Citronella candles only work to keep the mosquitoes away from the candle and bug zappers fry a few of the bugs, but mosquitoes always send in replacements for their fallen comrades. Mosquitoes can smell a free dinner from 100 feet away.

Swat, slap!

The good news is that only the female mosquitoes bite. Thank God, or I would have twice as many red lumps to scratch and infect. Female mosquitoes need my blood to be able to reproduce. Sorry, but I am not the insect maternity ward. If I wanted to donate, I would give at the local blood bank, not in the back yard.

When the mosquito stabs you and sucks your blood, it also injects saliva to keep the blood from clotting. Your body is allergic and reacts to this venom by developing the red, itchy lumps that you are scratching like a cat clawing furniture.

Scratch, scratch!

If that isn't bad enough, mosquitoes also carry diseases. One of the diseases made famous by mosquitoes is malaria. Fortunately, it is seldom seen in our country. Another infamous sickness is the West Nile Virus. But mosquitoes don't seem to know that the Nile is in Africa, not the U.S.

My area does not normally have so many of these pests. We have had a lot of rain and mosquitoes breed in standing water. Probably the back waters and floods have created a fertile hatchery as the mosquitoes are really rolling out the babies this year.

Mosquitoes are supposed to stay hidden in grass when it is daylight and do their meal planning at dusk. Apparently the mosquitoes don't know the rules because this year they are standing in the soup line in the middle of the day.

My new weapons are an anti-inflammatory, a can of bug repellent, and a back scratcher.

Swat, scratch!

Copyright 2015 Sheila Moss

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