Killer Gnats


Gnats are an annoying but relatively benign insect in the US.  Like  many insects, they must have some use in this universe but I have yet to discover it.  Unless it is to be an irritant.  On the other hand, a UK relative of the gnat, the midge, has some very potent purposes.  Namely, to eat people alive.  Especially me.

While staying at my in-laws’, I would wake up each morning with new red itchy spots.  It got to the point that I was practically covered in it.  The itching was unbearable at times.  My family each had a few spots from time to time, but I was constantly finding new bumps.  At first, I thought it might have been mosquito or other bug bites.  But when it started increasing and I was its major target, I thought I was allergic to the change in detergent or something.  When we stayed at hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, the itching and red spots improved.  Therefore, I realized it wasn’t the detergent.

Finally, we moved into our own place.  We noticed, from the very first, that the place was infested with these gnat-like creatures at night.  They were very attracted to the ceiling light.  The red bumps returned.  Then we figured it out.  We were living with killer midges.  And the reason I was attacked at my in-laws’ previously was because I had slept in a room with the windows open.  Since I was the primary occupant of the room, I was the biggest target. 

Because we could not live without the use of the light, we had to figure out what to do with these murderous midges.  If you could have seen my bite-ridden body, you would have thought I had leprosy.  Anti-itch creams barely touched it.  We went in search of fly-traps and other pest control products.  It was very difficult to find, but we did track them down at Sainsbury’s HomeBase (an equivalent to Lowe’s or Home Depot in the US).  We opted for the electric bug zapper.

It was so pleasant to hear the little z-z-z-z-zaps!, z-z-z-z-zaps!, z-z-z-z-zaps!  We were soon ridding our little world of these pesky pests.  Not so fast!  The zapper failed in the night.  We managed to exchange it for another and this one lasted for two weeks.  Unfortunately, at this point, we lost the receipt and the time limit on exchanges had passed.  So the mocking midges are back, and I’m afraid.  Very afraid.

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