Mosquitoes are Teachers – what?

I wrote in our Kamloops Backcountry Hikes that you can hike on most trails year round in the semi-arid Kamloops climate without using bug repellant, but this year has been a bit different – there are a lot of mosquitoes this year, also a lot of rain and short stretches of heat which is prolonging their season.

I’ve lived and hiked in Kamloops since 2005 and have found that ‘skits’  have not been a big deal except in the spring or when travelling through shady areas by lake shores and creeks. By mid summer the heat dramatically cuts back their numbers, but this summer is a bit different – so far.

One of several springs along the Tranquille River Trail

Both Al and I are not fans of putting insecticides on the largest organ of the body, our skin, so we ‘feed’ the mosquitoes.

As a ‘feeder’ I’ve learned that after a bite if I resist scratching it, in just a few minutes the irritation declines and disappears and the need to scratch goes away entirely. If I cave in and scratch it, I’ll be scratching the bite for 2–3 weeks. From this I’ve deduced that mosquitoes are great teachers by giving us an opportunity to exercise tolerance of discomfort by withstanding a little sting and ignoring the urge to scratch for a few moments. If we’re successful the white lump disappears.

If you give up and scratch, the white lump inflames and itches for many, many days, scabs can form and then there is blood on the sheets or your clothes and so on – I’ll take the former.

As a society we’ve become very soft and intolerant of discomfort, any little thing gets under our skin. We’re programmed to avoid discomforts or treat them by buying a product. Not this chicky!
Mosquitoes can be looked upon as reminders to build tolerance for discomfort which can enrich other areas of our lives because there’s plenty of things in this world that would benefit from our tolerance. ‘Skits’ also remind us to make a choice about a future outcome – to itch or not to itch.

Through a little introspection, nature reveals subtle yet important life ways.

Mairi Budreau