VALLEY VOICES

Linda Farr Macgregor

A bas Anopheles!

Did you read Mark LaFlamme’s feature about field testing mosquito
repellents? I did, gratefully. I have been scouring the River Valley
for an Off Clip On. Refills only at Wal-Mart and Aubuchon’s. If they
hadn’t already, you can bet Home Depot sold out the team’s top pick,
ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent, before Sunday was over.

But early Saturday, we had no option but to slather ourselves with
Cutter’s Advanced formula before heading down to the Meeting House in
Rumford Center’s village for the annual Treasure & Food fete.
What an amazing array of stuff! And of people.

Here came Betsy Bell and husband, Steve, after frames for her newest
work: lovely renderings of flora and fauna she has discovered on her
walks around home in Frye.

Who knows what the hottest items were. Books? Knives and forks? Small
appliances? It was a treat to see Jeanette Lamson, surrounded by
daughters and granddaughters. One of that group bought the creche and
gold figures that another Lamson sister had made for their parents.
Melanie Bonnema came over from Bethel to find furnishings for her yoga
parlor. Volunteer Chery Gallant was after kitchen furnishings for the
homeless shelter in the region.

My job was to sell Shirley Gammon’s donuts — molasses, chocolate and
plain, all sugared — and coffee. My station at the open door was great
for people meeting and greeting. But mosquitoes used the same door.
After an hour or so, I got pretty good at shooing off a mosquito while
gently dropping napkin-wrapped donuts into a paper bag. Technique: hold
bag to your left or right as needed while blowing the bug off the
opposite arm. If the bug is already feeding, of course, forget it.

Back home, we rushed from car to kitchen door, through swarms of
mosquitoes. According to Wikipedia, mosquitoes are dawn and dusk
feeders. Oh yeah?

Wikipedia yielded a good deal of information about the
blood-feeding insects. For one thing, female anopheles don’t need our
blood for nourishment, but for the eggs they are building. Female
anopheles have odorant receptors. These detect our perspiration and our
breath. Can ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent put a screen around that
stuff?

Linda Farr Macgregor is a free-lance writer; contact her: [email protected]


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