Tuesday, November 22, 2016

11/21 Bugs!

I have not posted for a few days and there are actually two reasons: 1) I have been swamped with end-of-semester work for my online class, and 2) I have been staying inside almost entirely for the past week due to bugs, or rather having some sort of insect eating me alive.  I have pretty much been afraid to go outside, except for absolute necessities.

I got a few mosquito bites in the Florida Keys about three weeks ago.  I know they were mosquitos because I saw them biting me.  I ended up with maybe 10 bites that got large and red, but were calming down by the time I got to St. Lucie Lock and Dam.  No problems there at all.  Then, I checked into Sebastian Inlet State Park.  I should have known this was a bad place because something started biting me on the legs as I was inside the ranger station checking in!  Could not see whatever it was, so I assume they were the infamous "no-see-ums" which are tiny gnat or flies or something.  They are very small and indeed hard to see--about the size of the hyphens in no-see-ums.  They look a little like a tiny fruit fly, except fruit flies do not bite and cause large, red welts on somebody like me who is sensitive to them.  I still have some scars from a similar situation I had a couple of years ago in Mississippi.

Not having learned from my check-in experience, the next afternoon, I walked over to dump my trash and circled the campground.  By that evening, I started noticing even more red welts, probably up to a couple of dozen of them by then.  The problem is that I spent most of my life not even reacting to insect bites, but the last few years I have developed a serious allergy, meaning the spots get to be about the size of a dime.  Not only do they itch like crazy, but they also sting.  I have made two trips out to drugstores and picked up a handful of creams and several packets of Benadryl tablets, but nothing has made much of a difference.  I seriously have considered leaving Florida even though I have reservations through mid-March.

I am now at WP Franklin Lock and Dam Campground near Ft Myers, and added to my misery with a 30 minute walk around the campground a couple of days ago.  They are now attacking my feet around the straps of my sandals and on my arms and neck.   Had several almost-sleepless nights. The frustrating thing is that all these other people are walking around in shorts and t-shirts and not getting bit!  What is my problem???

Today, however, I went to an urgent care clinic and got a prednisone dosepak, which even by late this evening had started working!  Yea!  I also picked up some unscented soap and tomorrow am going to look for some unscented hand cream and bath powder, as they say sometimes they are attracted to scents. Plus, we have had two nights in a row where the temps have dropped to 45 degrees, which is supposed to slow them down. Rain and nights where lows were in the 70s were very good for bugs.

I really like the animals and birds in Florida, but I am missing the desert southwest where you can leave windows and doors open all day and not worry about things flying in.  I also really like the cold nights out there for sleeping, but supposedly Florida is going to get cooler in December.

I have spared you the photographs of my bitten-up legs!


  1. Come join us in Mazatlan, very few bugs there. I know what you mean about the bites getting huge. I got bit just under my eye once and it looked like someone had hit me.
    Years ago our kids slept outside in San Blas, MX and were eaten alive by no see ems. They looked like hamburger for days.

  2. I've been alternating winters in Florida and the Southwest, but I have to admit that while it is beautiful here and I enjoy all the birds, it really is buggy. My legs look like someone has painted on huge red measles. I'll be back in Arizona in June. Might visit you in LV next winter if you aren't back in Mazatlan!

  3. Isn't insect repellent effective for you? Picaridin is as effective or more so than DEET, but less irritating.

  4. Been using stuff with Deet, and it does not seem to stop them. I bought unscented soap and am looking for some unscented bath powder. Hopefully, with a couple of chilly nights and cooler days approaching, things will be easier.