Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mosquito Deterrent

The family is just back from a great week in the Northwoods, in a cabin on a lake where swimming, water skiing and all the rest were wonderful. Great fun for the kids and grand kids, and a relaxing time for those not into being pulled around the lake on a pair of slender slats.

Except for one problem. Mosquitoes. Hundreds of them. Thousands of them. As many as the national debt and more. A deep breath resulted in a mouth full of the buggers—not an exaggeration. I slapped my arm and dispatched a half-dozen with one blow.

What to do? Off to the store for mosquito dope. Stuff with DEET in it. Stuff to keep the mosquitoes at bay.

While inspecting the mosquito repellent display—quite an elaborate one I might add—I spotted something new—at least for gullible me. I spotted an ultrasonic mosquito repellent, battery operated and of a size where I could clip it to my belt. No Deet to spray on tender skin. A modern piece of technology. I bought one. Could have bought two spray cans of Deet for the price, but that’s something my wife doesn’t need to know.

I brought it to the cabin, cut the device loose from its plastic bindings, pushed a little button and saw a tiny bulb glow red. It was obviously emitting high frequency sounds that disturbed mosquitoes and sent them away to antagonize someone else. At least that’s what it was supposed to do.

I stood in a shady place where I had previously been unmercifully attacked that morning. I waited to hear the buzzing of mosquitoes, held at bay some six feet from me by my new piece of modern technology—as the advertising claimed would happen.

There was no buzzing at six feet. Squadrons of menacing little beasties tore at me as if my new piece of electronics were a homing device.

Back to Deet. No more mention of my new piece of mosquito deterring equipment. Mosquitoes won again.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: When you find something that works. Stay with it. On the other hand, kind of fun to try something new once in a while.

July 31-August 6, Writing Workshop, The Clearing, Door County.

August 10. 5 p.m., program at 6 p.m. Red Crown Lodge, 3852 Highway 51 North, Arbor Vitae, WI Preview of Ken Burns’ latest film, Prohibition. Discussion of Prohibition in Wisconsin. Free. Registration required by August 5. Register: or call 608-263-4508.

August 13. 5:30 p.m. Manitowoc County Historical Society. Horse Drawn Days

August 18, 7:00 p.m. Three Lakes Historical Society, Three Lakes Wisconsin. History of cheese making in Wisconsin.

August 21, 4:00 p.m. Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI. Presentation and Book Signing.

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