A common southern summer nuisance

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 10, 2017

It’s 4 a.m. when I’m awoken by an all too familiar sound. The piercing sound drags me from my slumber and causes arms to lash out into the dark, hoping to strike my target.

The ominous sound of mosquito wings beating in my bedroom has interrupted yet another dream.

As I aimlessly try to murder the blood-sucking insect, I hope luck is on my side and an aimless swat has provided the quiet I so desperately seek. For a short time it is quiet and slowly slumber resumes; until the buzzing starts again.

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Mosquitos are a fact in the south, especially during the summer. Their swarming numbers can cause anyone to think twice about venturing outside, instead seeking the solace of the indoors.

It becomes worse when one or two of these creatures sneaks into your home and finds an incapacitated victim deep in sleep.

Being from the south, I’ve had my fair share of dealings with these pesky insects.

By now, their bites have probably subjected my immune system to just about every virus they could potential carry in this region.

But, it seems regularly we are warned of a new threat. In the last 10 to 20 years those threats have been West Nile, chikungunya and now, Zika.

State officials reassure Mississippi residents that Zika is currently not a threat for those of us who stay within Mississippi. It’s the travelers to affected regions who should be on alert.

By now, we all know the best precautions to take; wear insect repellant, long sleeved clothing and remove sources of standing water.

These are all good tips. But don’t forget the gutters. If there’s a clogged gutter at your home, it too can be a potential breeding ground.

Precautions, combined with the efforts of public works employees in our area will hopefully keep the mosquitos at bay.