What did I learn today at Gaia Ecovillage?
In the last article you learned about my habit of peeing in the food forest.
In this article you’ll learn about the (seemingly) killer mosquitos at Gaia.
How do I really feel about mosquitos?
I learned that mosquitos can be more than just a nuisance; they can be a major distraction to the point of causing considerable amounts of frustration, annoyance, anxiety and demotivating.
Normally I’ll do a fairly good job of simply ignoring mosquitos. It seems that generally if I don’t splat them against my skin while they’re biting and I don’t scratch the bites, they mostly don’t bother me all that much.
However, this afternoon they were fierce and unrelenting.
Ants will bite you too!
At first I noticed the ants while I was watering the fruit plants (with a mix of water and urine – as you learned about in the last article). It was hot; I was already lacking motivation; and I noticed that I had the occasional ant crawling on my arms or legs.
But they weren’t just any ants; they were the oversized red ants that we were told give a powerful stinging bite. Thankfully I was able to swat them away before they did any damage.
However, they were already on my mind and I was using precious brain power thinking about bugs on my skin – as well as the itchy bites that were already there.
The ants were just a diversion from the mosquitos!
I didn’t notice the mosquitos so much until after watering when I transitioned to washing and drying plastic. That’s when I saw Laura swatting at bugs.
I initially thought maybe she had ants on her as well. But she said they were mosquitos. She was right. And soon I started noticing them biting me. I could feel them landing on my and my skin would get itchy. The few I spotted were very small but powerfully annoying.
Long story cut short, the mosquitos (and bugs in general) definitely impacted by mood in a bad way. Now I don’t want to water plants or wash plastic!
Bugs will get in your head.
Coincidentally, as I edit this story while in Chiang Mai Thailand, I’m dealing with bed bugs in my home. I discovered one crawling on my pillow after just a few days of moving in.
I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal because they’re really not harming me in any way physically. But the problem manifests in a different way.
Much like the mosquitos at Gaia, the bugs are “in my head”. I don’t notice them biting me. But now I think about them and do things to fight them that takes up time, energy and becomes an increasingly challenging psychological burden.
Bug spray doesn’t work.
I wasn’t so sure how effective it would be… but I finally threw in the perverbial towel and finally succumbed to buying and using some bug spray.
I ended up spending about 20 cents on citroline spray.
And I soon realized it wasn’t really going to help. It’s hot causing me to sweat off the bug spray and the bugs bite me regardless.
I tried more of it when I was in Bangkok and watched as mosquitos still would bite me even with the spray on my skin!
I think my best option and the healthiest option – rather than fighting the bugs with (potentially toxic) sprays and such – is to accept that the mosquitos will bite and do my best not to worry about it.
There was this one time in the forest…
On another day…
In the morning Tom led the group into the forest where we explored for a few minutes. The idea was to get in touch with the forest and nature but what I experienced (as well as most of us) was getting in touch with the mosquitos in the forest!
What’s your experience with bugs?
How do you deal with them?
In the next lesson you’ll learn about the somewhat controversial subject of going vegetarian or vegan and its implications for your health…