She's out there, the night wind seems to whisper as it whistles down the chimney and snuffles around the flue.

She's out there, and she wants your blood.

It may be her you see looking in your bedroom window after everyone in the house is asleep except you. It may be her peeping out at you from the closet in the middle of the night.

She comes back every night, and every night she comes a little bit closer to your bed, and a little but closer, and a little bit closer, until one night, you'll hear some whining right in your ear.

She'll be alongside you, then on you, then she'll bite and your blood will be inside her...

Brace yourself. It's getting to be the time of year when swarms of mosquitoes are out for your blood.

As you're sitting on your porch or deck while the mosquitoes eat you, remember as you're being bitten, only female mosquitoes -- tiny winged vampires -- attack humans.

Here’s a swarm warning: With the arrival of warm sunny weather, stagnant puddles will become festering mosquito maternity wards.

While some mosquitoes breed in such places, others lay their eggs in moist ground. We're talking future harvest here, folks, and it will probably be a bumper crop.

Perhaps you think a mosquito is a mosquito is a mosquito. Not so. There are many different types. They may be male or female, disease bearing or not.

Nationwide, mosquitoes range from the floodwater mosquito, which is a fierce biter and bothers people, but is not known to carry disease, to our old friend culex pipens, which is a shy type. Folks may not feel ol' culex ' bite, but she can carry the sometimes fatal disease called encephalitis.

Some species spend their whole lives within a mile of their birthplace. Others fly up to 20 miles from their place of origin.

Around here, that means you'll never know if you're bitten by a Pontotoc native, or a native of Randolph or Hurricane or perhaps Ecru.

Ever wonder why you can feel so keenly the bite of a mosquito making an unauthorized withdrawal from your blood bank? It's probably because most people are allergic to the mosquito's saliva -- that's what produces the welt after a bite.

The saliva helps prevent the blood from coagulating and makes it easier to draw blood up the insect's needle-like proboscis. In case you wondered, the whine you hear is produced by the insect's wings, which beat up to 1,000 times a minute.

What can you do to combat this pest? Some suggestions include emptying buckets or forgotten birdbaths or wading pools. Drain ditches and get rid of abandoned tires, because they trap water and make excellent breeding sites.

After that, use repellents, and stay indoors near sundown, when several species answer their respective dinnerbells. Wear light-colored, long sleeved clothing when you can.

And await fall and winter, when the only thing putting the bite on you will be Santa Claus...

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