Sneaky little rotten b…

Sometimes when you get going on a project all you can think about is

Gett’er done!

And unfortunately for Bob, gett’er done, got the project accomplished, but at a terrific sacrifice to his personal comfort.

I was minding the massive bonfire in the clearing (the remains of the rotten bathroom floor) when I heard him call to me…

Me, yelling:   WHAT?

Him up on the deck:  Can you just come see I don’t want to yell…

He looked pretty whooped, so I came on back to the house.  By the time I arrived he was in the back bathroom under the light and asking:  What is this?  It’s burning like [heck]!

There on his shoulders and back I saw this.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI stopped counting when I got to 60 on his left shoulder.  The larger wheals are multiple bites from these monsters, and I estimated about 200 bites.


Please click this photo to be taken to Huron-Clinton Metroparks to read more about this beast called the Gallinipper or more technically: Psorophora ciliata!

This image is not photo shopped.  The monster really is that big.  It is also much louder and deeper sounding than those little wimps that whine in the dark in your bedroom.

Now we had worked in this same area the previous Sunday and had no trouble from these fellas.  Not so this Sunday.  The troops were out in full force dive-bombing me and the dogs and leaving Bob alone.  Or so we thought…

Apparently, they were attracted to Bobs dark-colored shirt and upon landing were not noticed, that is until the burn started up.  Since Sunday the burn went away only to be replaced by intense itching.  Thankfully,  as of this morning, he has begun feeling better.


The news media claim is, that they are only a problem in the wetter portions of Florida.  Not so!  I have been reading reports about them all the way from Michigan to here.  It has been raining A LOT all summer in our neck of the woods.

So, perhaps we need to post a warning sign at the beginning of our trail?

This should do!

Big Ass mosquitoPlease click photo to be taken to the source:  Dr. Hildegarde Staninger’s,  One Cell One Light Radio


Apparently, they are everywhere!

NOTES:  There is some good news about these monsters in that they don’t carry disease and they eat the larvae of other mosquitoes!   It is small consolation when they are swarming you in the woods!

42 thoughts on “Sneaky little rotten b…

    • Lynda says:

      The good news is they are dormant in the dry seasons. The bad news is they can wake up even after 20 many years. 😯

      So yeah, Annie, you don’t want them!

  1. Littlesundog says:

    Great Scott! Poor Bob! I have not seen these nor had the Gallinipper experience and certainly do NOT want it. Perhaps it’s because we haven’t had the rain you have. We have a horrible onslaught of mosquitoes and a plague of grasshoppers. They’re eating everything in the garden and flowerbeds. A year of pestilence for us all, I guess.

    • Lynda says:

      He’s been a real trouper about this ordeal, Lori. I think I might have lost it if it were me. As it is, I have been intimately introduced the the CHIGGAR this year. I have learned not to touch them, because if you break open the little blister it will sting and itch 50 percent worse that a mosquito bite. They crawled up the legs of my jeans sampling as they went, and then stopped at the elastic of my underwear for the main course !!! 😯

      Yes, I must agree, that this is the year of pestilence.

  2. victoriaaphotographyictoria says:

    Apart from getting bitten so many times, looks like Bob might have been allergic to the bite?

    I used to look after a small child who was allergic to mosquito bites (any kind) and came up in 1/2″ sized welts if bitten.

    • Lynda says:

      Vicky, my sister is allergic to mosquito bites. When we were little she was bitten about 5 or 6 times on her face and around her eyes. When she woke up her face was puffy and her eyes were swollen shut! Mom and Dad rushed her to the hospital and the Dr’s and nurses suspected child abuse at first, then the Dr noticed the puncture marks and declared insect bite reaction! LOL!

      As for Bob, most of the big wheals are due to their being composed of multiple bites in the same area. One that has now calmed down enough to see actually has six punctures in a line about 3/4 inch long. It was nasty business to be sure!

    • Lynda says:

      Yes indeed, Lisa! You know there is no evidence of mosquitoes in the pond because it is stocked. However, the little streams that spring up when it rains, and it has been an extremely wet summer, have kept the woods a perfect breeding ground for the monsters!

    • Lynda says:

      I forgot about that, Ed! I used to use this on my little students whenever they got bit by ants or bees at school. It really helps to reduce the swelling. 🙂

  3. pattisj says:

    I like the sign! Bob’s back, not so much. I hope you had something to help him feel better. That had to be miserable.

    • Lynda says:

      Patti, he swears by Neosporin ointment. I helped him put it on and the welts were down by a half the next morning. It isn’t a magic bullet for the itch, but it sure does seem to make them heal faster!

  4. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    And here I was thinking I was safe ‘way up here, north of the border, until I saw the byline on that link you enclosed is from the Windsor Star (Windsor, while it is still several hours west and south of here, IS on this side of the border): just across the river from Detroit. Good thing they only come along every few decades though, eh?
    You’re right about mosquitoes’ attraction to dark colours – both hair and clothing – and also to those who eat bananas all year (although I’ve read that eating citrus will do a counter-balance: )
    A good “in the field” itch relief/prevention is a liberal smearing with Touch-Me-Not(Jewelweed; ) juice or even Impatiens, if that’s all you’ve access to. Oil of Lavender is also very soothing and aids healing. (Sending soothing thoughts for poor Bob.)

    • Lynda says:

      Deb, they are just the worst! I hope you never experience them. 😦
      Hm, dark shirt, dark hair, eats bananas, well heck he was doomed from the word go!

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        Yup! And probably why he got it so much worse than you did…
        I’ve also heard that (in addition to citrus fruits) lots of garlic and onions in the diet help repel them as well (I do know that fresh garlic and brewer’s yeast in their food keeps fleas off of the dogs: )

        • Lynda says:

          Garlic is bad for dogs! It builds up a toxin in their systems over time. I know a lot of people still do it, but I wouldn’t risk it with my dogs. Me on the other hand, I eat garlic and onions almost every day! 😀

          Though, when visiting Gilroy, CA (touted the garlic capital of the US) I refused the sample taste of GARLIC ICE CREAM. Gaaack!

  5. barbara266mc says:

    I just found your blog today (yesterday now….it’s 1:40 a.m.)! What a wonderful (though tiring I’m sure) roller coaster ride you are on. I love the house and garden! How awesome it is that the lady of the house loved flowers, and the lawn is so green and beautiful! My husband and I have remodeled 4 old homes so I know what a ride you are in for. I laughed when I read the part about the floor. Flashbacks, oh my gosh. Our kitchen floor had carpet over padding over linoleum over plywood over glued down tiles ….and then, beautiful (after stripping and 4 coats of poly) pine floors. I have never been so sore as I was from pulling nails out of that pine floor getting ready for the floor guy. Then when you really want to keep the old 6 panel doors you have to look at how many times they were cut off to accommodate the layers. But in the end, what an accomplishment!

    Poor Bob. I can only imagine how miserable he was. Mosquitoes really have a bad effect on me also. Thankful he is feeling better! Can’t wait for the next post 🙂

    • Lynda says:

      Hey Barb, Welcome!

      It is tiring working on the place. We are not intentionally remodeling the old homestead. We are trying to restore it. Although in the case of the bathroom which had to be gutted, and possibly the kitchen too (which is next) we really had no other option.

      You mentioned: “Our kitchen floor had carpet over padding over linoleum over plywood over glued down tiles ….and then, beautiful (after stripping and 4 coats of poly) pine floors.”

      I can only hope that something so nice will be waiting underneath the kitchen and breakfast room floors on the Mountain Farmlet! I love plank floors and would love that! We’ll see!;)

      Next post? Coming right up!

  6. sarsm says:

    What a shame – poor Bob!! The mosquitoes are extremely bad this year here in Germany. We watched a documentary the other day about it. Supposedly it’s due to May having been the wettest May on record. We live right next to the river, so you can imagine. The bites themselves can be not too bad – but the reaction to them can mean it easily swells up to the size of a golf ball.
    If we get a lot of bites (my daughter once had over 100) the pharmacist gives us anti-histamine drops to help the itching. Perhaps that could help Bob!
    All the best in the fight against those evil critters!

    • Lynda says:

      Hey Sarah! It’s been a long time. Glad you are back! Bob has been taking over the counter Benedryl. It helps, but makes him very sleepy. I hate the stuff unless I am planning to go to bed anyway, that said, it does the trick and I will if I have to. I do not like spraying chemicals, but in this case if we are going to avoid being completely drained of blood…

      The stuff I am trying here is a contact spray. Its main ingredient is lemongrass oil and it is supposed to be pet a kid safe. I will post if it works. Or not! 😉

    • Lynda says:

      Anti-itch cream – YAY!
      Back scratcher – NOOOOO…

      LOL, I think scratching always makes it worse. Although, if you scratch around the bite and not over it, well, there is a bit of satisfaction in that. Try it next time, LB. You may be surprised! 😉

      Well of course, in Bob’s case this was simply impractical. 😛

    • Lynda says:

      Braggart! 😉

      Actually, I can’t recall mosquitoes when I was down in CR either… OR maybe I was just having too much fun! At that time the average temperature in the Rain Forest was about 79 degrees year round, which is a lot milder than the 80 to 100 deg. temperatures we get here! It is ~STEAMY~

  7. evilsquirrel13 says:

    Ugh!!! We can breed some big skeeters here by the river, but they’re just supersized versions of a regular mosquito. I sure didn’t miss them last year when it was bone dry…

    • Lynda says:

      It has been very wet here. So much so, that the ground has never really dried out all summer. We have a lot of mosquitoes! I have seen two gallinippers here at the (valley) Farmlet so far. The are both deceased! I was out this morning using a new flying insect killer in which the main ingredient is Lemongrass oil. It is supposed to be safe for children and pets… We’ll see. The only inconvenience is that it is a direct contact spray! I had to use a lot to chase down all those little dive bombers!

  8. shoreacres says:

    I’m so surprised. I’d read about the Gallinippers, but as you mentioned, everything I read had them in Florida, or at least the far Southeast. I’m glad Bob’s feeling better. Good gosh.

    The only good thing I can say about drought is that I haven’t seen a mosquito in maybe two years. I know they’re around farther inland, but we tend to have the salt marsh variety, and apparently the conditions haven’t been primo for them. I guess I’d be willing to accept some bites to get some rain.

    Those chiggers are terrible. I’m not sure what protects against them. Maybe you could post another sign that says “No Chiggers Allowed!”

    • Lynda says:

      It has been so wet here, Linda. Too wet. The rains keep coming and they are gully washers! There have been so many weather advisories about flooding here, more than the entire 5 years previously put together. Thankfully we are not in a flood zone, but the soil is super saturated and when the rain does come down it doesn’t soak in anymore… it all flows down hill to the neighbors place. WET, WET, WET. It all seems cosmically unfair somehow.

      As I write, the sky is darkened, very dark, and we are having a thunder and light show outside, and the rain is once again coming down in buckets. Crazy!

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