Alas the rains have come, so we can make it official. It’s mango season. I should be happy. But as the lushness of my Ceylon trees melt into yellow hues of ripeness my tummy turns with dread.
On my personal list of public offenses, right below sending Mc Dreamy to Shondaheaven, is ripe mangoes. Doesn’t matter if it’s Julie, Ceylon, Lounge, Bef or Pearl. Every morning, as I drive under an overhanging branch, I have to speed up just a fraction of a second or dive into the other lane, just to save my windscreen (Hope the po po isn’t reading this). Not only has a mango broken my windscreen before but I’ve even been hit dead center of my head while…JOGGING…AT NIGHT. And at home, things have become tense when the tree doesn’t bear an even number of fruit to share amongst my mom and I.
In addition, I have to contend with the increasing number of mosquitoes that are synonymous with the rainy season. Besides containers and crab holes, trees littered with rotten mangoes are an ideal breeding ground for them. You have probably noticed an increase in flies. Utilising all the mangoes would help alleviate this problem but once these guys get a head-start, it’s wise to employ some application methods to go along with your preventative measures. Let me help you put some things into perspective.
Sadly, all human targets were not created equally. I would sit in the same room with my mom, wearing black leggings and watch dozens of mosquitoes swarm her feet while I calmly perch on a couch arm. Although there is a claim that blood sugar content, body heat and odor may be contributing factors, we realized that the only distinguishing factor among us was our blood types. That being said, Type O Blood is considered most attractive followed by Type B and then Type A. In cases like these, genetics just saved your life. However, since men tend to give off more heat and carbon dioxide, be sure to keep one or two of them handy.
Two can play that game
Although hanging out with testosterone-laden cavities will provide some alleviation, it doesn’t hurt to employ some other traps. For instance, instead of hiding all your dark coloured clothings and items, place them in strategic areas to draw the mosquitoes away from you. Using an electric fan will create hurricane-force winds to carry their pesky bodies into some westward current; since a swing of the hand just redirects them to your ear where they would set it off like it’s Prospect Park. But just to be clear, playing games with these buggers is always a last resort.
You know the saying “If you got man troubles, pour coconut oil on it”. It’s no lie, coconut oil does solve most of the world’s problems. In this case, it’s two-fold. Coating the skin with any oil can prevent mosquitoes from sticking that perfect landing (watch out for the persistent ones that will aim for your toe or nose.) But coconut oil in particular, will heal scars from previous bites bringing the skin back to its original form of lusciousness. Wait. I’m not done. If you infuse it with lemongrass or citronella, they won’t even come your way. That’s the power of…
These are potent distillates of herbal extracts and therefore prepared in an alcoholic base. By diluting in a carrier oil, it’s safe to use on the skin and hair. I would add about 2 drops to 10ml of coconut or olive oil and apply as a DIY repellant. In addition to using it on my skin, I’ve been making repellant stations. I simply add a couple drops to mini egg tart tins of oil and heat them up to about 70 degrees celsius, so that the oil begins to vaporise and the entire area becomes pest free for at least 30 mins or until the tin becomes cold. Some of the most effective scents are lavender, lemongrass, citronella, eucalyptus and rosemary. Experiment to decide what combinations you’ll enjoy most.
Lime and Clove Stations
Lots of websites suggested inserting clove sticks into lime slices. But after trying this several times at different locations, I have to admit that the mosquitoes seemed quite unbothered. The limes took much longer to spoil so there was a synergetic effect but not one strong enough to make this an valid weapon.
Organic, Environment-safe Products
Lastly are the store-bought repellants. Most imported, artificial repellants contain CFCs and DEET which are carcinogenic and can damage the ozone layer. But locally, some entrepreneurs are producing natural, safe and ethically made repellant. For instance, Spice Isle Plantation offers a oil-based and creamy water-based product that is tested and approved for all ages. My mom has been using this every night since I purchased it without complaint. She sprays it along any exposed areas, and mosquitos vanish; every single time. Renee Scentsations, who is known for her richly scented soy candles, sells citronella and bay leaf candles which provide a natural, long-lasting way to combat mosquitoes.
But won’t it be fair of me to tell you about them and not offer you a chance to try them. So why not have a GIVEAWAY?
Spice Isle Plantation and Renee Scentsations have agreed to make select products available to you. This week’s giveaway is an oil-based repellent from Spice Isle Plantation to one lucky subscriber. Just the thought of being mosquito free is exciting! All you have to do is click the link below and follow the instructions listed. Stay connected to Isle of Bites for future giveaways.
This offer ends July 26th. Winners will be announced and contacted directly.
This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our 3 winners:
Laureen Redhead Abi Samuel Maxine Welsh