Those Damn Females

Female mosquitoes that is.

What a pathetic life a mosquito lives.  Eggs lie dormant all winter waiting for the snow to melt.  When sufficient water is available they hatch into larvae and swim and eat organic stuff until they morph into a pupa when they stop eating for a few days.  Then the little guys stand on the water for a short time to dry their wings until they can fly away.

Mosquito Lifecyle from

The males just fly around eating nectar and looking for a female.  They don’t bite us.  It’s the damn females that need a bloodmeal – that would be people or other animals – to make viable eggs.  They land on us and suck a meal out of us.  The ladies then go lay their eggs and the process starts all over again.  Males die within a week or two but the damn females can live for a month and lay multiple batches of eggs.

Fresh Meat: Kate Merrill, Jai Ralls, Kelly Woodke

Fresh Blood: Kate Merrill, Jai Ralls, Kelly Woodke

As you might have guessed, I spent the weekend contemplating mosquitoes.  Gettin’ eaten alive is not new for me, as I have lived in Oregon and done stuff up in the mountains during skeeter season for many many years.  I even spent two summers up in Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula.  Let me tell you those were the buggiest summers I’ve ever spent.   This weekend was just trailwork on the Where’s Waldo course.  For those who aren’t used to working during skeeter season, I offer these tips.

  1. Use DEET, and apply it repeatedly to any exposed skin.
  2. Wear long pants.  Chaps over shorts might not be effective.
  3. Dehydrate yourself so you don’t have to expose the delicate parts.
  4. Get a goofy mosquito netting to cover your head.
  5. Move fast and don’t stop for lunch.
  6. Walk with a running chainsaw as they don’t seem to like the smell (or is it the noise?)
  7. Only wear shorts if you have really hairy legs.
  8. Try to become one with the mosquitoes and learn to appreciate their pathetic lives.

Got any other tricks on how to live with those damn females?

Shorts and Chaps

Kelly and Greyson with Shorts and Chaps

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  1. Craig, I really appreciate you sacrificing your blood for the race 😉 Gives real meaning to blood sweat and tears. I’m really looking forward to heading up there next month.

    When the mosquitoes are really, really bad, I just give up and put my ipod during the day and earplugs when I’m trying to sleep. They still bite, but at least I don’t hear them 😉

  2. Headnets are essential. Just came off of a week in the Yosemite area, and the headnet was crucial. Two shirts is also a plus. Two layers of clothing is bit too much for their puny probiscuses (probisci?).

    Looks like you have a kick-ass group of runners for WW this year! I’m deep in wedding hell in August, otherwise I would be there for sure to reap your trail handiness.

    Best of luck…


  3. I knew that damned photo would come back to haunt me! I said it out on the trails and I will say it here again: I will never, EVER wear shorts or short-sleeved t-shirts for trail work again!!! My hands, neck, and legs are lumpy with mosquito bites. The trail work sure was fun, though!

  4. @ScottD – The Waldo field is pretty darn good. Gonna be fun seeing two men and two women earn spots to next year’s WS in addition to some cash. Too bad you aren’t coming.

    @hairclub – I was hoping that lc would come on here and admit that he also showed up in shorts and that KRW loaned him some pants and I loaned him a shirt. We were out of spare clothing when you showed up.

    @MonkeyBoy – KRW is afraid to comment on the blog.

  5. @hairclub – I was hoping that lc would come on here and admit that he also showed up in shorts and that KRW loaned him some pants and I loaned him a shirt. We were out of spare clothing when you showed up.

    It’s true — I showed up ready for a day at the beach. Thanks to LB for giving me the sweet 1990s era CIM shirt off his back. Thank you KRW for giving me some pants and not ditching your swamper the way LB likes to do!

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