Cooking and eating through a new culture

Archive for the tag “DIY”

Trying NOT to be consumed

I had to post this. Just a small change of pace from eating to being eaten. Anyone, and I do mean ANYONE who has lived here has suffered at the ferociousness of the mosquito. I spent my first few months here dappled with bites. Live here long enough and you do develop a bit of a tolerance, but who hasn’t been woken up with the WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE of those little fuckers in your ear, or dancing on your face. Turn on the light and poof, like that. They’re gone (said in my best Kevin Spacey voice). I have waged midnight wars, flailing around, slapping myself silly. Begged for screens. Put up mosquito netting. Used bug spray like perfume. All to no avail.

Not a fan of chemicals, I have steered clear of DEET. DEET (N,N-Diethyl-3-methylbenzamide),can cause potential neurotoxicity to humans, especially when DEET-based repellents are used in combination with other neurotoxic insecticides. The EPA concluded  that, as long as consumers follow label directions and take proper precautions, insect repellents containing DEET do not present a health concern. Unfortunately, you never really know what you are getting here, so I have just been airing on the side of caution. I have seen many places mix and sell their own natural concoctions and I have found them to be quite effective. My problem is the application, or should I say the routine application. It’s not uncommon to find me sunburned and bug bitten.

So far, I haven’t suffered from any ill effects, but this is the tropics and dengue, malaria, and yellow fever are certainly flying around here. Not necessarily in the Central Valley, but the coastal areas and all the crazy places tourists like to think they are exploring. Outbreaks of dengue fever have been reported annually from Costa Rica since 1993 and there was over 5000 case in 2011. Malaria, not so much. 2006 was the last outbreak and it was right where our cabinas are in the Caribbean. But lets face it, there will always be something chewing on you on a regular basis.

There are a myriad of products out there ranging from simple to extreme, but as a hardcore DIY kinda girl, I was giddy to find this article. As you read this, I will be putting these together and placing them strategically around. I am hoping in combination with making sure there is no standing water, blocked gutters, or anywhere else those little blood suckers like to breed, I will get some peaceful nights. Also, wordpress has added a global map on my statistics page and I have readers in Africa! How cool is that! So I hope this helps all of you too.


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