Manitoba Summer and Mosquitoes

June 24, 2007 at 11:50 am 19 comments


Summer here in Manitoba is almost synonymous to mosquitoes.  I grew up in the Philippines where mosquitoes are a-plenty, but the skeeters here are big, as in huge.  Summer last year was very dry and hot and I hardly noticed them skeeters.  But this summer, it’s been humid so far and raining a lot.  I guess standing water is being left in everyone’s yards – perfect breeding ground for these West Nile virus carriers.

Last week, my nine-year old son, Ryland, would come home from school scratching from his mosquito bites.  I think it was on Tuesday when he asked me to put cream on the bumps on his legs.  The following morning, he was still itchy and the bumps were a little bigger and he came home that afternoon with more mosquito bites.  Then I remember that it’s Vicks Vaporub Ointment that works best on mosquito bites.  Ryan, my 13-year old, was laughing at me.  But it’s true my dear readers.  Vicks Vaporub is not just a cough suppressant.  When I was still in the Philippines, I would apply Vicks Vaporub on my bites and they’d work.  It worked on Ryland’s bites, too.  His bumps had decreased in size even before he went to bed that night.  But those pesky mosquitoes kept biting him and he’d always come home with bumps on his legs.

Vicks Vaporub Ointment 

I remember when he was two years old.  I used to bring him to daycare.  The caregivers would bring the kids outside to play and Ryland loved going in the bushes and he’d always be covered with mosquito bites.  One time he was bitten on the right eye and it got swollen.  His eye was shut close for a few days.  Of course I didn’t want to apply the Vicks ointment on his eye.  I brought him to the pediatrician and that’s when I learned that he was allergic to mosquito bites.  Benadryl did the job.

The houses here in Winnipeg are built with screen windows and doors.  So we don’t really need to put up mosquito nets at night like we used to do in the Philippines. 

These past two days though, we’ve been seeing a few mosquitoes in the house.  I don’t know how they managed to get in.  Upon inspection, I saw a couple of tiny holes in our screen windows.  But they could also have sneaked in through the open doors when we come in and out of the house.

It’s a good thing that the City has started night fogging.  City crews get on their trucks and spray the insecticide malathion around the city at night when people are asleep.  And although the amount of malathion being sprayed is not large enough to affect organisms much bigger than mosquitoes, there are always protesters to fogging.  A couple of years ago, folks in the Wolseley area put up a barrier to block the fogging trucks.  Now, Winnipeggers who don’t want their homes fogged can call the City and ask for a no-malathion buffer zone.

I personally want to have my neighbourhood sprayed, because those mosquito bites are annoying.  I also want my family to be protected from the West Nile Virus.  Although, I learned that it’s only the Culex mosquito that could carry this virus.  I also learned from this website that “Most people who are bitten by an infected mosquito do not become ill and for those who do, the symptoms are usually mild. In some cases, the virus causes serious illness and sometimes death.

OFF Skintastic Insect Repellant 

I was talking to my friend Dorothy last week and she said she knew somebody who died from West Nile Virus last year.  Alright, the guy was in his 80’s and he was also diabetic.  But I think it wouldn’t hurt to take precautions, right? So I better make sure that I spray the kids (that goes for me as well) with OFF Skintastic Insect Repellant before I send them off out there in the battlefield of these blood-sucking creatures.


Entry filed under: Summer, Winnipeg.

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19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tin  |  June 25, 2007 at 4:53 am

    Mummy uses vicks for mosquito bites too. She recommended that to us. 🙂

    i’ve seen a mosquito about 1inch wide somewhere in Cavite when we had our camping there.

  • 2. tutubi  |  June 25, 2007 at 6:13 am

    naku ang laki ba parang jurassic? kita ko dati sa palawan ang laki ng lamok (but not the dengue ones since gabi na)

    i recommended to an american friend to use baygon electrci mosquito repeller 🙂

  • 3. Major Tom  |  June 25, 2007 at 7:49 am

    I didn’t expect tha there’d be pernicious incidence of mosquitoes in Canada. I bet there is some part of Manitoba that is swampy and watery thus the mosquitoes.

  • 4. bw  |  June 25, 2007 at 8:41 am

    Prevention is extremely important and those ointments really help. Here in Ontario they stopped putting drinking water on jugs at golf courses for fear that mosquitoes might incubate. This act was fueled by the dread and fear of the NiIe virus 😦

  • 5. Patrice  |  June 25, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    Hi Irene. It is the same here in Florida since it has started raining again. The County fogs too at night because you can hear the plane flying overhead. You can never be too careful ow specially with new developing strains of old viruses.

    Hope you were not affected by the huge tornado in Manitoba!

  • 6. vic  |  June 25, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    One very important thing to remember to prevent some breeding ground of mosquitoes around the house is to make sure that there are no still waters like ponds, inside drums or even small containers or puddles around the house. also make sure that drainage are all working properly.

    West Nile virus is a yearly occurrences in Canada, especially late summer. Protective clothing is one good defense when out in the open, especially at night in the park. and know the symptons of the Virus as to other Mosquitoes infections, because time is of the essence if infected…

  • 7. haze  |  June 25, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    Mosquitos in Marseille are that big but they are not dangerous Kakambal na ata ng summer ang lamok at langaw ! Vicks, magaling talaga yan pero di ko alam puede pala sa mosquito bite yan ? ! So I just buy other cream for mosquito bites, so far effective naman! Even I am not sick I like using vicks, oh I just love the smell of it !

  • 8. pining  |  June 25, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    May lamok din pala dyan 🙂
    Dito meron din, but they’re harmless, they don’t bite… but they’re huge!
    I didn’t know you can use vicks for mosquito bite…I wonder why my mother didn’t know that

  • 9. eric aka senor enrique  |  June 25, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    West Nile virus was a major threat to both seniors and children in NYC . I didn’t know you have huge mosquitoes in Manitoba. Whoa!

  • 10. rhodora  |  June 25, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    Aahhh! Mosquitoes!

    My son suffered from dengue fever when he was eight years old. His platelet count was going down, down, down… and he had to have blood transfusion.

    I also suffered from dengue fever in 1996. Thankfully, I didn’t have to go through blood transfusion, but I felt weak for many days after I was discharged from the hospital.

    I know that when God made all creatures on earth, each has a role to play to promote balance in the environment. But until now, I don’t see what beneficial role mosquitoes play in this planet… All I know is they bring diseases! 😦

  • 11. niceheart  |  June 26, 2007 at 12:07 am

    Okay, I think I might have exaggerated about the size of mosquitoes here. He he he. They’re not an inch long. But they’re bigger than the ones back home. They seem huge because their bites give you big bumps on your skin. And they’re painful too.

    Major Tom, your comment got me googling why there are so many mosquitoes in Manitoba. Found the answer on this link:

    “there are approximately 50 species of mosquito in Manitoba, some that breed in meltwater in early spring, some that breed in open ditches, some that breed along flooded rivers, some that breed in wetlands, and others that breed in the small pools of standing water common in urban areas. Basically, southern Manitoba is one giant bathhouse for the swinging skeeter. This land is their land.”

    Rhodora, as to your question what role mosquitoes play on this planet. I also found the answer on the same link above.

    “It appears that the mosquito, an animal that has existed since the late Jurassic period and continues to thrive despite our best efforts, has not garnered the accolades it deserves. ….

    …the mosquito does have its redeeming qualities. What other animal has so tenaciously demanded our immediate attention? What other animal is so broadly appealing as a regular conversation topic among young and old alike? What other animal stands its ground, steadfast in the face of human encroachment?” He he he.

  • 12. niceheart  |  June 26, 2007 at 12:15 am

    Patrice, thanks for asking. But no, we were not affected by the tornado that hit Elie, 35 kilometres west of Winnipeg. Four houses were downed by the category 4 tornado, and also one flour mill. Nobody was seriously injured. Thank goodness!

  • 13. Kyels  |  June 26, 2007 at 2:59 am

    I have never tried Vicks Vaporub on mosquito bites. Next time if I have any, I will definitely apply it on those bumps.


  • 14. SexyMom  |  June 26, 2007 at 3:43 am

    one of my girls is something like addicted to vick’s vaporub. it’s like part of her security blanket and all. one time i had colds and was not really feeling well, and i was asleep in the couch, i woke up to find her rubbing vick’s vaporub by my temple, my neck, and back. until now, i cannot forget that care and attention that she has given me.

    i hope you are able to patch up those holes, so that the mosquitoes do to enter your house.

  • 15. annamanila  |  June 26, 2007 at 7:09 am

    I know of people who swear by Vicks Vaporub on almost any skin or itch trouble not to mention a stuffy nose.

    So I am not really amazed about your VV devotion. What amazed me is that mosquitoes are present in a cold country? And huge ones you say? I actually itched as I read this post. lol

    Be glad you don’t seem to have the dengue-carrying type.

    Hope your son overcomes his allergy. I know that could be a nuisance. 😦

  • 16. sesame  |  June 26, 2007 at 7:22 am

    I use Badger anti-bug balm for my son. Very good. I like it cos it’s organic and there is no problem even if he accidentally put a little in his mouth. Very child safe.

  • 17. Toe  |  June 27, 2007 at 8:24 am

    Ay, there’s lamok din pala in Canada. Maybe they come out of the ice after the snow defrosts. (maybe lang… don’t know really 🙂 ). I’m really scared of the lamoks here in Cambodia because there’s dengue and malaria.

  • 18. Ferdz  |  June 27, 2007 at 9:30 am

    I hate mosquitoes, especially when they bite of numerous times leaving lots of rounded marks that’s annoyingly itchy and they buzz nearby your ears. kainis. Good thing the government there are taking measures in controlling the mosquitoes there by fogging. Prang dito maghihintay pa ng incident ng dengue befoe they take those actions instead of doing it regularly.

  • 19. julie  |  June 28, 2007 at 6:48 am

    So you too are not spared from the bites of these suckers. Rainy season is here again in the Philippines and the proliferation of dengue is once again being feared. According to the news, there is a new strain even stronger than those we currently have. My, scary. Proper precautions should really be taken because this illness does not discriminate.

    Take care, niceheart.


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