Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Mogi Crackdown

I am just one of those people that attract mosquitoes. For whatever reason, I will get 20 bites while the person next to me gets maybe 1. I have been known to douse myself in DEET when visiting the East Coast in the summer or the woods; it becomes my regular perfume (everyone always says it smells bad, but I suppose I don't mind it because I am so comforted by its presence). It also just happens that I am allergic to mosquito bites as well. When most people say "Oh look, I got a bite", I am in the corner nursing the giant mega welts that formed as a result of several bites being close together. Now living in San Diego and then Phoenix, mosquitoes aren't too much of an issue. Depending on where I am, I get the occasional bite, but I keep a tube of hydrocortizone or calamine lotion in the bathroom and usually I'm fine in a few days. However, it just never occurred to me that mosquitoes would be a big issue during my travels. So wrong.

While researching about South Korea, I came across a topic that grabbed my immediate attention: the Korean mosquito. Now, after reading several blogs and forums on this topic of people who are suffering night after night because the mosquitoes in Korea are like little blood-sucking ninjas, I have made it a top priority to bring as much anti-mosquito shit as I can fit in my suitcase. Why? Cos I don't play. In addition to that, Busan has recently had a rise in Japanese Encephalitis infected mosquitoes. Hell nah. 

Call me paranoid or whatever, I do not care. I will take garlic supplements and wear DEET by DEET every day if it will keep bites to a minimum. 

So I've been doing my research, and I have prepared my little mosquito fighting(!!) kit to hold me over until I can get to the store. 

Clockwise from bottom left

  • 2 cans of OFF! and 1 bottle of Repel: I know people have weirdness about DEET, and everyone wants to go natural, but sometimes there are just jobs that only chemicals can do (i.e. baking soda v. Ajax, sorry honey, gimme dat Ajax!), and I will employ whatever works. You will soon realize that I'm only a half-hearted naturalist. Also, will spray my window screens with this Off. I bought the DEET-free Repel for good measure so I don't poison myself all at once. 
  • Duct tape: Until I can get my hands on some silicone caulk or mosquito net repair tape, I will crush the shit out some garlic and duct tape every single crack. And it's just handy. 
  • Garlic supplements: Read this is a big mosquito deterrent and would rather not rub raw garlic all over myself. Let's get this shit going on a chemical level. You know what, why don't I just put garlic in everything I eat. I'll be that teacher that smells like garlic and kimchi. You love me. Note-to-self: Experiment with making garlic-centered bath products that fuck up mosquitoes. Make a million dollars.
  • Citronella candle madness: Wanted to get the big candle pots of citronella but, packing room! Again, another smell that does not bother me. I actually think it's kind of nice and smokey. Makes me think of being in the woods, if I could be in the woods. 
  • Bug Band Water Resistant Repellent Band: Basically a reusable band that can be worn or just placed near you that repels all these mo'fuckin bugs. We'll see how it works. 
Not pictured:

  • After-Bite ointment + hydrocortizone. The hydroC has been my friend and companion for many years now. When the inevitable bite does happen, then I will be equipped to deal. I have only recently heard of After-Bite, as my 'outdoors' time is either dry as hell or on the Southern California coastline. But if it works, I will try it!
  • Benadryl + Claritin. I already have a bottle of Benadryl from my Wisconsin adventure, but the Claritin will come in handy. Sometimes I want Benadryl to make my ass drowsy, maybe I won't think about itching for a while (must remember to stock alcohol in the house too, for those nasty bites so I can get drunk and not give a shit). If I need to go to work, Claritin would be better. 
  • Mosquito coils: Heard these come in handy as well, burn them everywhere!! 
 Something I would like to find eventually:

  • Peppermint, eucalyptus and citronella oil + oil burner or reed diffuser. Read that they hate this shit with a passion, so naturally it's on my to-buy list. In addition to this, reed diffuser bottles and reed replacements. They are small, pretty, portable, and no flame needed. Depending on how many bottles I can get, I could even bring one to class (to put on my desk of course). Can be placed near windows and other openings and they last for months. 

Stuff I will buy upon arrival:
  1. Mosquito nets: I have been perusing GMarket and came across what looks to be the most beautiful invention ever made. A mosquito net for the bed that looks like a giant tent (tucks under the mattress) looks like it's going to be my savior. Also saw some mosquito nets for the doorways that close magnetically. I'm on it!
    Mosquito net side note: It occurred to me that the more barriers I have, the better. And those mosquito nets that hang from the ceiling are not as effective for sleepytime. HOWEVER, they can and will serve a purpose. I have read many a tale about mosquitoes coming in through drains and a/c vents. Oh but wait! Why not cut up one of those big flouncy mosquito nets and put the pieces over all of these openings? Water can still get through (in the case of the shower drain) but the netting should be tight enough to prevent mosquito entry, oui? Well, it's worth a shot in any case! I'll have scissors and duct tape, I'll document the results. 
  2. Wall plug thing: I have heard that these are rather effective, so add it to the list!
  3. Electric Bug Swatter: I had never heard of these before I started my Death to Mosquitoes campaign and they sound pretty awesome. I feel that it even if I do get bitten (which will eventually happen), I will get so much joy out of killing these little dicks with electricity that it will almost make up for it. 
  4. Silicone caulk: For any cracks in the window screens. Whilst in Wisconsin, we had window screens, yet there was a small crack all the way around the edges. I woke up the next morning to find them desperately trying to squeeze through. Naturally I pulled out the fly swatter and went ham on them (and god did it feel good), but yeah. Cracks need filling. 
  5. Mosquito screen repair tape: Apparently this is a thing, which is cool, because I can put it over my a/c vents as well. 
  6. Fans: Two by my bed (I fear no fan death), maybe another to spread the scents around. Get bent mosquitoes. 
I know this all seems rather ridiculous, but do I care? It's not even worth answering. I want to be able to have my windows open, or walk around in my underwear in my own damn house. There are other variables here, where my apartment is, is it old, is it new, etc. So we'll see! I'm looking forward to taking that picture of my place once it has been mosquito booby-trapped, it might look like a fantasy hospital. 


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