Pests also live for plentiful rain

Take cover, hide, make yourself smell as noxious as possible, run from the car to the house and slam the door behind you, crank up the AC and avoid yard work — the alarm has been sounded and the warnings have gone out.

There is an invasion going on — two if you count the widespread inundation of media reports — and if you’ve ventured outdoors recently, you’ve been attacked.

Of course it’s coming on just in time for some of the most beautiful, greened-up days the area has seen in a long while.

Yep, we asked for rain and we got it — and this year, the first in long, dry while, we got it for several drenching, consecutive days.

For the benefit of regional newcomers, a little known fact about the “desert”: everything that exists in other climates — cold, snow, rain, bugs, weeds, mud, allergy seasons — exists here too only instead of being a slow, expected part of life, those things come on fast, severely and in the extremes.

What that translates too, is just as the rain made grass and wildflowers mysteriously appear overnight, it only takes a drop or two of water to sprout mosquitoes absolutely everywhere — and they’re big and desperately hungry.

Just think Gremlins, you remember, the cute little fur balls that turn vicious killers when they get wet, and you have the High Plains — instant bugs, weeds and critters galore, just add water.

Another interesting thing about the water activation of the region is that when it takes place, the spontaneous life forms that emerge go forward with a vengeance because they know the moisture only lasts so long under the scorching sun and the clock is ticking. With a limited time to be born, mature, find a mate and reproduce before the sun shrivels everything up again, life must be lived at high speed – hence weeds that triple in size overnight and, yes, mosquitoes that do the same and eat like they only have five seconds to live.

These supercharged mosquitoes seem to defy known conventions. They bite in full sun, they bite through clothing and they don’t seem to blink at fancy bug candles or any but the strongest repellants.

Though psychologically it seems like a pint, each mosquito is only exacting approximately 5-millionths of a liter of blood per nip — not such a big deal.

That is, until a cloud of them rises up to greet you when you pass by a damp patch of lush, tall grass and you screech in terror and develop a newfound skill as a triathlon runner.

They probably think they are being honorable by replacing that little smidge of blood with saliva, but in reality, the anticoagulants in their gift cause the victim’s body to shift into high gear, rushing histamines to the site to fight it off. The result: itching welts of misery.

A couple bites for the average person aren’t the end of the world, but a full onslaught spells agonizing discontent for anyone, not to mention there are some people who react severely and experience allergic reactions or infections from even the smallest of nips.

Rest assured, it will pass eventually. Mass spraying will commence and sooner or later, the moisture will dry up and take with it any skeeters that survived human eradication efforts.

Meanwhile, those with type O blood, known allergic reactions, stinky feet, a propensity to be sweaty and or highly excitable, heavy breathers, heavyset, and a preference for dark wardrobes beware — take evasive measures and stock up on bug spray — you are, unfortunately, on the menu of choice.

Sharna Johnson is a writer who is always searching for ponies. You can reach her at:
insearchofponies@gmail.com