Summer is also the dreaded time of zap and slap

As we strive to enjoy our summer to the fullest, we will casually sky watch and listen for severe weather warnings, but why should we have to be swatting, itching, and twitching to avoid a host of miserable bugs and no-see-ums? In most cases we hope that the little buggers have frozen or drowned before the warm season has even started, or that the municipality has sprayed their little larvae hideaways with chemicals.

As we strive to enjoy our summer to the fullest, we will casually sky watch and listen for severe weather warnings, but why should we have to be swatting, itching, and twitching to avoid a host of miserable bugs and no-see-ums? In most cases we hope that the little buggers have frozen or drowned before the warm season has even started, or that the municipality has sprayed their little larvae hideaways with chemicals.

After being zapped and stalked by several ravenous mosquitoes on the weekend I vowed to write this column to gain some revenge, and quickly found my information from the ‘Alberta Bug Report’ on the Internet. The report claims that for 2008 our mosquito invasion will be from low to medium, while the unwanted presence of black flies will range from low to high during these hot months. Did you know that houseflies are the most common insects in the world, and that these pesky filth-inhabiting creatures will very methodically transmit more than 60 kinds of disease in their travels? Bottom line-control is essential to the health of humans and their domestic animals.

As well as the trusty fly swatter and sticky tape hanging around the house, there are other ways that we can eliminate these filthy flies from our homes and neighbourhoods. Covering and quickly removing garbage as much as possible both inside and outside is vital, as well as screen doors, and the good general cleanliness that will help to take away the junk in which bugs love to lounge and breed.

As far as the pesky mosquito is concerned, they too can also spread many devastating diseases, and as we all have realized by experience that their favourite diet is blood. One consolation is that most species are nocturnal or crepuscular, and they only venture out to zap their prey at dawn or dusk, the hint that we should maybe try to wear more clothes.

Of course in most stores there are many types of mosquito spray and bug repellent available to rub and spray on our volunerable bodies, as well as electric zappers, smoke screens, and all the rest. Although they claim that Deet is supposed to be the best long-lasting deterrent, there are also many simple and cheaper alternatives such as rubbing alcohol, catnip oil, lemon eucalyptus, or a well timed swat or dunk in the lake if all else fails. We also need to encourage those creatures such as beetles, grasshoppers, dragonflies, and all the rest, who actually eat the bad bugs.

Whether we cover ourselves with netting or all sorts of get-away gunk, there will always be birds, bugs, bees, and other creatures in our midst, and it is quite obvious that nature has put them on earth for some good reason? Whatever the case we need to persevere, enjoy, and share our great outdoors to the limit, no matter what gets in our way.

Chuckles for a hot day

A Saskatchewan Department of Water Resources Inspector stopped at a rural farm and chatted with an old farmer. He informed the farmer, “I need to inspect your farm for your water allocation”. The wise old farmer replied, “Okay, but don’t go in that field over there.”

The rather pompous Water Inspector then stated, “Look Mister, I have the authority of the provincial government with me. See this card? This card means that I am allowed to go whereever I wish, on any agricultural land, with no questions asked or answered. Have I made myself quite clear, do you understand?”

The old farmer nodded politely and went on about his farm chores. Later, he heard loud screams and saw the Water Inspector running for the fence, and very close behind was the farmer’s huge horned prize bull. The bull was gaining on the terrified Water Inspector with every step, so the old farmer immediately threw down his tools, ran to the fence, and shouted out…’Your card! Your card! Show him your card!’

Late breaking classified ads:

*Free Puppies, 1/2 cocker spaniel and 1/2 sneaky neighbour’s dog.

*For Sale: Nordic track. $300, hardly used. Phone Chubby.

*Wedding dress for sale. Worn once by mistake. Call Stephanie.

There comes a day in our lives when we have to finally admit that the snap, crackle and pop that we hear in the morning is no longer coming from our bowl of Rice Krispies. Take along an umbrella just in case, but have a great week, all of you!

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