Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bite of summer

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Robin, a blogger in Israel, challenged us to a Sunday meme about our version of summer.
Well, here is what summer means for me:
Yep, I'm very sensitive to insect bites.
The pretty bottle contains vinegar. If you put it on a bite or sting right away, it helps a lot to stop the itching. I never go out without some cotton and a little vial of vinegar, just in case. Tiny bugs find me anywhere, even on the bus.
What I forgot to photograph is toothpaste. It heals most bites in a few days (as opposed to weeks).
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We have no natural bodies of water in Jerusalem like lakes or rivers. So for me summer is not swimming and fun.
It is lots of heat (no air-conditioning), winter greenery that turns brown and dry, and bugs that do not exist in cooler seasons. It is even too hot (no rain here for amost half of every year) to go hiking very far.
One good thing for Jerusalem: our higher altitude and inland location gives us less than half of sweaty Tel Aviv's humidity.
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Happy summer to Robin and all participants in Summer Stock Sunday!

24 comments:

Leora said...

Oh, I am sorry about no swimming! That doesn't sound like fun. We lost our local pool due to inside politics and lack of support for the community center, so we have to drive to swim.

Have you tried taking vitamin B1? That's what our chiropractor recommends for discouraging insect bites. I Googled it just now, and some say it works wonders for them, others say it doesn't work at all. Maybe you'll be in the first group.

Dina said...

Leora shalom. I think I tried Vitamin B1 back in the late 1990s and it did not help. At Heifer Ranch in Arkansas (see www.heifer.org) I first learned about the torments of chiggers (yimach shemam).
Now in Israel I started taking a few weeks of Apis every spring, little balls under the tongue. Recommended by a friend's homeopathic doctor. So when summer comes, I am less sensitive to bites and get fewer bites.
Apis is basically crushed honeybee bodies highly diluted with water and alcohol (I think).

Bim said...

Hm, doesn't sound as if summer in Jerusalem is your favourite. I wish I could send a bit of our rain and grey sky over to you.

Abe Lincoln said...

I just got bit again. Mosquito on the back of my left leg behing the knee. Got bit on the opposite leg the same place the other night. They itch but that is eased by "Itch X" that I found at Walmart and put on it.

54th Wedding Anniversary Today

Robin said...

No swimming and no air conditioning? That must be absolutely brutal, even with the dryer heat of the Jerusalem hills.

Re the bites, I'm also horribly sensitive to them (if there's one lousy mosquito in the hemisphere it will find me - I get mosquito bites in January!) but I've given up on the homeopathic route. I've found the most effective remedy, bar none, to be cortizone cream. Not great for you and I use it very sparingly, but it does the trick like nothing else I've found.

Dianne said...

I'll never complain again! I have AC, I'm near the shore and well - the mosquitos do eat me alive but that's OK

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i get bitten a lot - i absolutely can't sleep at night without getting bitten, so i use one of those vials of insect repellent that plugs into a wall socket

Yaelian said...

Interesting, toothpaste for bites..
Thanks for the tip, Dina, this far I have used it only on pimples and my teeth..

Mediterranean kiwi said...

the screens are also helpful, but we dont have them. when my husband was building the house, he kind of forgot to install them, we are regretting it now, but at least we dont have a bug problem in the day - it is only at night, so we use the plug-in, annoying but c'est la vie

Kay said...

No kidding? Vinegar and toothpaste??? I had no idea. I can't wait to tell Art.

Ellie said...

You are well equipped. Have you tried the new clip-ons against bugs? I didn't know about tooth past. May try it - I have a travel size tube that fits my purse! Great information! I agree humidity is hard to take!

CathM said...

Toothpaste for bites... I never knew (lol)! I guess every country/nation/region has its positives and negatives... no swimming and air conditioning, that sucks in the negatives department... but there are so many positives to Israeli summers :)

pasadenaadjacent said...

Your description of summer sounds like mine. I do all my walking in the last two hours of daylight. Los Angeles isn't too buggy but I always carry mosquito repellant. Yes, and my cat could tell you a thing or two about fleas.

Glennis said...

I would really miss the swimming. Enjoy your summer any way.
I shall remember the toothpaste tip for insect bites.

mommanator said...

good tip on the vinegar, never thought of it. My dad was never bitten, I on the other hand had his , mine and someone elses. Bugs love me too. I have tried drinking vinegar and eating garlic! nothing seems to work!
dont like the critter in previous post would be screaming with him nearby!

Ann said...

I've found that the only thing that really works is a high percentage of DEET and prolonged use of that will probably kill you. Mozzies love me but I don't worry too much (just scratch) unless I'm in a malaria/dengue fever etc area. Thankfully we don't have malaria in Aus (yet).

Hilda said...

I've known about fluoride toothpaste for drying acne since I was in high school, but I didn't know that it helps heal bug bites too. Thanks for the tip, Dina!

Vinegar is also particularly good for fuzzy caterpillars that leave behind tiny hairs on your skin.

Vagabonde said...

Bugs love me too – I spray my legs and arms every time I go out, use toothpaste and vinegar. Another thing I use is baking soda – you take a little bit with a drop of water to make a paste and place it on the spot – it stops the hitch pretty well. My husband gets no bides at all - it’s not fair.

spacedlaw said...

Toothpaste? I did not know that.

mire said...

well we love it here in the summer the beautiful greenery after months of the white frozen landscape and some summers are wicked for mosquitoes but this summer there are rarely any at all.

We get warned some years of the deadly little messengers carrying unwanted viruses like the west nile virus but no plagues have issued forth yet in any year

and there are tornadoes that rage on the outskirts of the city

nothing is perfect ha ha.

the evenings are beautiful when it cools.I love it.
shalom
ps don't forget to wear long sleeves.

magicpolaroid said...

in summer without swimming and air conditioning plus mosquitos... u are an heroe!
ciao, Luis

Dina ... UK said...

Hi Dina, I will try the toothpaste next time i get bitten....
Bites seem to take for ever to heal, I have used perfume and aftershave before.....stings but does stop the itching a bit....
I do have some after bite stuff, when you apply it, it smells like cat pee...:-/ lol

Katney said...

Since the mosquitos are particularly bad in the mountains this year--the measure of this is that they attacked even my husband--your vinegar and toothpaste remedies are very nice to know.

We are in a mosquito district at home, though, where breeding areas are sprayed. So at home I recover from the itching between camping trips.

Reader Wil said...

I hope you can swim in the Mediterranean Sea! For summer without swimming seems very boring. You gave some very good advice for us to take vinegar and toothpaste.Thanks!