18 October, 2007

Corfu Insects, how to avoid bites and stings...

Corfu 2007 - #38
"So many tourists, so little time"...well, quite...being careful sort of folk, we read up extensively before we went out to Corfu, and one of the things that stuck out quite significantly was that there is quite a problem (one that is starting to creep into the UK) with mosquitoes, especially in the Blue Bay Escape Resort thanks to the fact that it is situated just off a huge, still lake (this one here) -
Corfu 2007 - #54
- during the day, absolutely no problems, didn't see a single one (apparently they only hunt at night), never saw a single one in the night time either, however, one night I was definitely blessed with a visit, when I foolishly neglected to spray DEET spray (we got it from Boots the Chemist, it's the one in the silver spray can, although we had to ask the Pharmacist in our local store) and managed to leave the tiny window in the bathroom open (whoops)...the next morning I woke up with about 7 bites, including one on my cheek...nice...Any bites you *do* get, treat them as soon as you notice the itch with pyrethrum spray (which you can also get from Boots, handily enough)...anyway, at this time of year (at least) you can pretty much forget the mozzies if you spray DEET a few times a day (it even still works fine if you spray it on your clothes, as it works by hiding you in a cloud of insect invisibility chemicals, they will literally fly right past you and on to the next tempting target never knowing you were ever there) oh and remember to close the windows (obviously) as even the 50% spray will run out before morning, and the little blighters are good for 10km per night (which is a lot of turns around a tiny apartment)...
Corfu 2007 - #118
...now, Ants...Ants don't bother me at all, but if they *do* get to you, the ones you will encounter around here are some of the biggest I have ever seen (bigger than the leaf cutter ants in the zoo) and they were all over the back of the pool area - at times it was very, very difficult not to end up with them all over the bottom of your flip-flops (poor little things)...however, they had no interest in any of the drinks or food, nor in climbing any of the sunbeds, seeming perfectly content to collect small bits of vegetable matter, like their zoo-dwelling cousins...
Corfu 2007 - #77
...Last, but definitely not least - wasps (and the odd 1" long hornet!)...these charming little fellows were almost omnipresent, exploring *everything* and in *vast* numbers, zoom in on the picture above and you will see one of the many traps the hotel staff leave around (without making any apparent impact)...however, while they were definitely curious, they also knew *exactly* what they were after, and unlike English wasps they were *totally* disinterested in beer (hurrah!)...don't get me wrong, they certainly checked everything out, but they actually only stopped for any great length of time to consume two things -

1) Sugar in a liquid form (any soft drink)
2) Meat (I could *hear* the crunching noise as they tore the flesh from the bones of my BBQ leftover)

- so if you left them while they sniffed your beer, ice cream, foot, (whatever) in no more than 15 seconds they had discovered it wasn't sugar or meat, and off they flew...

However, my expert tip (if you absolutely *must* have a soft drink) is that the empty ice cream tubs (from the pool bar) make a perfect seal over the top of the glasses they dish out there...problem solved... ;)

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