You can certainly tell that summer has arrived with its full, swooping heat, humidity that makes the air feel wet, and the pests. Gnats teem. Flies fly, usually right in your face.
Did I mention the state bird? The lowly mosquito or at least the females of that species has gone into overdrive with the wonderful, almost normal amounts of rain we’ve had. Now hear this! A new (to Florida, anyway) mosquito (giant psorophora ciliata mosquito) is about to become one of your worst nightmares. The gallnipper mosquito, some 20 times the size of our normal saltwater or pond-hatched mosquitoes, is hatching its first crop after Hurricane Debby dumped winds and heavy rains in our area last year, says FSU associate professor of biology Deby Cassill. The pest is thought to have originated in the Missippi Delta, says NBC News.
NBC staffer Tracy Jarrett brought the happy news to the public last month, calling the ferocious insects ‘blood-sucking vampires,’ which, because of their size, can inflict a wound at the bite site that NBC said feels like a knife piercing your skin. And the best part? While carrying no known diseases, unlike most mosquitoes which feed (on you and me) mostly at dawn and dusk, the gallnipper is a 24-hour opportunistic vampire. Think deer fly carrying an empty pint jar, just ready for din-din.
The gallnipper is already in Florida, sighted in the Orlando area. Cassill spreads the cheer: Rural areas that do not have mosquito control in place are the most likely to be hit the hardest. In the meantime, bust out the bug spray and DEET, as they are your best line of defense, says Cassill, who also warns to be careful not to swat a just-fed gallinipper. “If she’s loaded with human blood, it will make quite the mess.” Guess it’s time to carry around a first-aid kit and clothing-cleaning supplies everywhere you go.
Well, the gas companies have decided that the traveling public are all a bunch of ignoramuses (which Dictionary.com calls simpletons, fools, dunces, know-nothings) or folks who just plain old don’t care how high they put gas prices during the high-travel season of summer. Gas has risen ten cents a gallon in the past 24 hours. In the past week to ten days, it’s risen previously by nearly twenty cents a gallon. I drive a gas-saver Jeep that I love. But I drive a lot. So I buy a lot of gas. I mumble and grumble (a lot) at the gas pump. Do they really think we can’t ‘get it’ that there’s no oil shortage, no oil crisis, just greedy people at the wheel of the gas companies?