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Columnists > Piglet in Portugal

Piglet in Portugal

The Mosquito Olympics

  Posted Saturday June 23, 2012 (02:28:48)   (2416 Reads)

Piglet in Portugal

The forthcoming Olympics in the UK made me wonder if there should be an event dedicated to the pursuit of mosquitoes. The physical dexterity required to hunt them down when they are after your blood rivals many of the traditional sports!

How many times has the high pitch Zzzzzzz of a mosquito woken you from a deep sleep? And how many times have you lain motionless hardly daring to breathe as you listen for further evidence the high pitched Zzzzz was just a bad dream because you can’t be bothered to move? Of course, you know you will have to relent and hunt it down because you don’t want to be bitten alive! I hate these moments as it usually results in gymnastic feats as I jump around the room like a cat on hot coals as I track down the pesky little critter. Regardless of where you live Portugal, Spain or Timbuktu, mosquitoes can make life hell!

For example, last night I woke with a start.


“No, please no…” I checked the time, groan. “It’s only 1 am” Curses! I lay motionless as I listened for the mosquito to strike again. Silence. “OK great, I must be dreaming”, I thought optimistically as I rolled over, closed my eyes and eventually drifted back to sleep.


Blast. Yep, there it is right by my ear! I leap from the bed and in one swift, agile movement I switch on all the lights. With a name like Piglet, you can imagine, I’m not built for speed or agility until I share a room with a mosquito or two. (Mental note mid flight – patent a mosquito alarm clock – no one in their right mind can ignore the sound of a mosquito). The prospect of sporting numerous itchy bites that last for days is certainly enough to motivate me. It’s amazing what bodily challenges can be overcome when harassed by the dreaded Zzzzzzzzz.

Let the Mosquito Olympics commence.

Hubby wakes with a start, but knows the drill and is dispatched to fetch the Mosquito Zapper. The Zapper is a battery operated tennis style bat which, at the touch of a button, will frazzle the mosquito when it comes into contact. I’m Chief Mosquito Zapper so adopting the stance position, ready to lunge with bat poised - I’m ready to leap in to action!

We scan the room but the mosquito is nowhere to be found. The curtains and duvet are shaken, we even ruffle our hair and PJ’s just in case the mosquito is already enjoying some of our blood


Sigh… It’s going to be a long night!

All items of furniture, ceiling and walls are carefully examined; the mosquito is nowhere to be found. Suddenly it breaks cover and I lunge at it with the bat in mid flight, but miss. We both try to keep visual contact until it settles. However it disappears like a ninja and tempers begin to fray as tiredness and the desire to return to sleep overcomes us. We all know if we fail to exterminate our unwanted visitor, we WILL end up covered in bites or it will continue to plague us for the rest of the night.


Where is it, I can hear it, but not see it!

Aha, there it is! I approach slowly, crouched like a cat and ready to spring into action - zapper raised and button already depressed. Success - zap, crackle, pop!

Mosquito carefully disposed of we return wearily to our beds as sleep beckons.

It was not until I returned to the UK recently where, sat in the garden on a rare balmy evening through dusk until late at night, that I realised what a nuisance the mosquitoes are and how they affect our life. For example in Portugal we rarely sit outside at dusk because we know we are likely to be bitten. Yes we can light lots of citronella candles, but do they really work? And do we really want to plaster our skin with mosquito repellent? Since moving here we’ve tried various products both deterrents and to relieve the irritation caused by the bites - I hate the chemical smell of most.

Whilst writing this on my computer I’ve been bitten and I’m now the proud owner of a mosquito bite on my eyelid!

I’m now on a mission to find natural repellents and after bite remedies. What natural remedies do you use?

To discover more about everyday life in Portugal visit my blog Piglet in Portugal or follow me on Twitter at

Piglet in Portugal
To discover more about life in Portugal visit Carole's blog Piglet in Portugal or follow her on Twitter where she tweets as @Portugalpiglet.

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