12 Dec 2006 4:04 PM
|It depends on how close you are to areas of stagnant water such as lakes (of which there are quite a few in Perth). I remember a few days after arriving as a kid, counting the lumps on my legs and getting to well over fifty. After a while, the bites got fewer until I was hardly affected at all. Apparently, the body can get used to be bites and so not produce the allergic reaction that causes the lumps. You still get bitten just as much, but with little ir no irritation. They like to bite certain areas more than others. They seemed to like the base of my thumbs, my eyelids and the backs of my knees.
There is a magic period around dusk, when the flies have gone to bed and the mossies haven't got up yet. It doesn't last long.
Years ago, local councils tried all sorts of measures to reduce mossie infestation. They included oiling lakes or putting detergents into them to alter the surface tension of the water (mossie larvae cling to the 'skin' of the water and die if the surface tension is removed with detergent or coated with oil). Another trick was to install fountains in lakes to stir up the water and make it impossible for mossies to breed.
Generally, the hotter and drier the summer, the fewer mossies you'll get. Hot dry weather means less standing water (puddles and ponds in the bush) so fewer places for the mossies to breed. Here in Devon (England), we have just had 2 weeks of torrential rain and last night I swotted 3 mossies in our hallway (in December !!).
If you do get bitten, don't scratch the bite. If you leave it alone, it will generally be gone within 24 hours. If you scratch it, it will get worse and last for weeks. If you are a garlic fan, then that is supposed to reduce the chances of being bitten.