Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Feet Mosquitoes

I sit for hours on the couch with my laptop. I used to try to keep my feet up to prevent swelling, but I found that position put too much strain on my lower back. So now I sit upright with a pillow supporting my back, and my feet flat on the floor.

In front of me is the coffee table - a catch-all for coffee mugs, water glasses, paper and pens, books, remote controls, and a few other odds and ends that we feel we need at arm's length. On the floor beside a leg of the coffee table sits a can of Baygon. Insect spray.

Because apparently my feet smell...like limburger cheese. I am not aware of a smell, in fact I think Miguel's feet smell more than mine (but not of cheese, just of feet). And I KNOW Loco's feet smell - doggy feet. But of all of us sitting on or near the couch, the pesky mosquitoes pick my feet, and according to experts on the internet, it's because they are attracted to feet that smell 'cheesy'.

Pungent, is how wikipedia describes the smell of limburger cheese. But which came first? The cheese that smells like rotting feet or the feet that smell like shockingly odorous cheese?

Come on, really? My feet are CLEAN!! But...

The mosquitoes flutter around my feet and ankles, biting until they are so full they can barely fly. Their bites make my feet very itchy, and so a bottle of Solarcaine is also sitting on the coffee table, to help soothe the itch.

When I become aware of a mosquito zooming around, I grab the can of spray and wait in ambush. As soon as Loco sees me reach for the can he is up and gone - he hates the spray. Miguel isn't too thrilled with it either, except when it's him applying the spray - then it's ok. I understand how they feel, but not only are the bites annoyingly itchy, I could catch Dengue Fever.

The mosquitoes are smart, they hide under the couch until I grow tired of waiting for them and go back to my work. And then they strike. Again I grab the can and stare at where a mosquito just was, and sometimes I get lucky and I get to zap the darn bug. Sometimes I just point and shoot at where I think the insect might be - sort of like a random shooting - if I didn't get the one that bit me, maybe I got one that was just waiting its chance. In time, little mosquito bodies litter the floor around me and I can sit in peace for a while.

Sometimes I spot a mosquito fluttering around Loco as he lays on the floor at my feet. I don't want to spray Loco, so I try to swat it, or step on it. Loco doesn't appreciate me swatting him, he gives me a dirty look as if to say "what the heck did I do to deserve that?!", and moves to another part of the house.

Even though we really don't have a mosquito problem, I get bitten at least several times a day. Mostly around my feet - usually when I'm out hanging the laundry, lying in the hammock, or sitting on the couch. And I can't believe it's the cheesy smell attracting the mosquitoes - I hardly even like cheese, and the cheese I do like, and eat here in Mexico (Manchego), is so mild.

I will have to ask Miguel to check my feet to see if they smell like limburger. Does anyone know how to say "Limburger cheese" in Spanish? Otherwise I will just get a blank look or a nod of agreement (Mexicans love to tell you what they think you want to hear). I can see it now - his grinning face telling me that yes, my feet DO smell like "Spanish word for Limburger" cheese. So proud, thinking he said the right thing.


Islagringo said...

You are so right. He would be so proud to do the right thing and tell you that your feet stink!

Do you eat lots of garlic? Natural mosquito repellent. Otherwise, do you ever apply mosquito repellent to your feet? (one that smells stronger than limburger cheese, LOL!) Try Avon's Skin so Soft. I think you can get it from your local Avon lady here.

jeanie said...

I received an e-mail a few weeks ago about mosquitos. Put Listerine in a spray bottle and spray the deck, your feet, the dog etc. I think it works and it's non toxic.

I am also a fan of Skin So Soft. I've been bringing it to Isla for years. I put an ounce or two in a ziploc bag with a little water and a facecloth or J cloth and keep it in the shower. After showering wipe your whole body including feet with it and return to the bag for next time.

Once again non toxic and it totally works.

Life's a Beach! said...

Funny post and great suggestions! I'd forgotten about Skin So Soft. I need to get some. Now I just need to find an Avon Lady! Believe it or not, mosquitos are a problem in dry Arizona in the monsoon season. And I'd never read that about mosquitos being attracted to the smell of cheese! HA! They must chase the Queso Oaxaca man!

KfromMichigan said...

You are so darn funny! I agree with the garlic and the Skin so Soft. Give them a try! And good luck!

Jonna said...

The skin so soft has never worked for me, I just recently read about the listerine but haven't tried it. Mainly, I use Autun Activo or Off - they work as long as you don't sweat them off.

I hate those feet mosquitoes! They live under my favorite computer table and under the dining table and under the coffee table. Periodically I spray under all of them with Raid but then I can't use them till the smell dissipates. Unfortunately, the mosquito that carries Dengue prefers to hide under tables and chairs and bites in the daytime, look for tiger stripes on that pile of bodies by your chair.

Leslie said...

well, mosquitos tend to like certain people more than others...here they like my husband best and that's just fine with me!

Limburger Cheese? Really?!? I had not heard or read that anywhere...feet can be appear to be scrupulously clean, its a fungus kind of thing - its about getting rid of that and any socks/shoes that have been worn that may harbor the spores for reinfestation

According to BABELFISH:

queso de limburgués

but that doesn't mean he has seen or experienced this non-popular cheese from the corner of Holland/Belgium/Germany - so it may be a meaningless translation

Sue said...

To all: Thanks for your suggestions, most of which I've done or am in the process of doing.

I eat garlic, lots of it, every day.

I apply repellent to my feet when we're going out to eat. It works, but I'm not keen on 24hrs of poison on my skin, just when we're going out and I know those itchy devils will be under my table nibbling at me.

I ordered Skin-so-soft from the local Avon lady in early May - still waiting for my order to appear.

Jeanie - I will have to try the Listerine idea - thanks for that suggestion.

Beck - queso Oaxaca is not Limburger cheese, so the queso man is probably safe...lol!

Jonna - I'll have to look for the stripes!

Leslie - all crocs have been scrubbed and left out in the sun to dry. Hopefully that will make a difference. As for Miguel knowing the cheese - he once tasted a piece of cheese at Costco - blue cheese, I think - and Miguel, who likes just about everything, spit it out. So he thinks I am talking about that cheese - blue cheese - I guess that's close enough to Limburger - he gets the idea now.

Bennie said...

Miguel can't win in this one Sue.. You have a great mosquito spray down there callee Bye Bye. We bring some home every trip down there. I don't know what's in it.. But I'm sure it's no longer legal to sell in the states. Let me tell you it keeps the bugs away.

Sue said...

Bennie - Do you mean Baygon?

Bennie said...

It's really called "Bye Bye". It's in a clear container with yellow writing. It really keep the bugs off.

They have new things up here in the states you clip on yourself so you don't have to spray yourself. I'll see if I can find one and bring you one when I come at Christmas.