One of the rituals of living in Mt. Clemens was at the end of the summer we would take the screens out of the windows, wash them thoroughly, and then store them safely in the garage until they were needed again in the spring.
Screens. Bugs outside – people inside. All the windows had custom-fit screens and the doors had sturdy screen doors as well. I never gave it a second thought.
Here in Brazil I have never seen a house with screens in the windows and I have certainly never seen a screen door (like on the sliding glass door out to a veranda, for example). Never. What’s up with that? There is positively no shortage of mosquitoes here. In fact, in Itaipú the bugs can be enough of a problem that we will close up the house at dusk (suffocating in the process) just to escape the nightly onslaught.
Now mind you, there may be houses with screens, but in my simple working and middle class orbit I have never come across them.
So we battle mosquitoes every night. Every night.
We have tried spraying the bedroom with bug spray (gross!), plugging in a little electrical bug-away thingy sold in the grocery store, burning citronella incense sticks (ugh!), and worst of all shutting us in behind a closed door and closed windows.
[racket getting recharged]
One ingenious gadget I love is the mosquito racket. This little electrically charged tennis racket does not keep the bugs out, but it zaps them dead if you can swing the racket and catch them in motion. ZAP! If the mosquito has already bitten you and is full of your blood: ZAP – ZAP – SIZZLE ZAP! (followed by the smell of fried mosquito and human blood).
So when I hear that annoying buzzzzzzz near my ear in the middle of the night I reach for the racket and wave it around until I am rewarded with a ZAP! Unfortunately this may happen 6 – 12 times a night and often it wakes Luiz from a sound sleep. But it beats getting bitten (again) – and I certainly feel better that I am fighting back!