Sugar and spice and everything nice.

The bugs certainly seem to agree.

Bugs are a problem in South East Asia in general. In Thailand, Dengue fever is a re-emerging threat. You know it’s serious when it’s the first topic the medical officer talks about when you first report in. And that it’s a growing issue when she proceeds to spend a good 20 minutes talking about the effects and symptoms.

But in Bangkok, you don’t get swarmed by bugs around your face the moment you step outdoors. In fact, I rarely see them. The rainy season brought in a number of breezy days which makes the weather more tolerable as well as the bugs go away. So walking about, bugs aren’t a problem.

It’s sitting still in a location for a longer period of time that gets bugs approaching. Even then, I don’t see the bugs. I just feel them when they find a piece of me. Usually my ankle or my arms. So far the worst cases of bug bites happened indoors, on the same limb, instigated usually by one single mosquito that flits up and down, biting on different parts of my skin, apparently enjoying its fill. Until I kill it. Then I don’t get another bite for the rest of the night/day but the bites itching like crazy, driving me to distraction.

Your best deterrent for avoiding bug bites? Sit near me. They seem to find me more attractive. That three plus hour evening of muay thai? Out of five of us, only I got bit, many many times, with swollen proof dotted up my entire right arm. It’s bad when the gang thanks me for taking it for the team.

Tonight, at the massage spa I visit? The masseuse noticed I kept scratching my right arm. It didn’t register to me at the time I had a mosquito flitting about… until she stood over me and slapped my arm, killing it. By that time, the three bites had grown to the size of a dime each.

For some reason it’s just the right side of me. Right arm. Right foot. Right ankle. ???

There are not many mosquito netting set up anywhere. The mosquitoes don’t swarm about in hoards. Instead, the likely encounter is most likely with lone bugs at lone moments. Which makes it easy for me to forget to put on bug spray.

Electric fly zappers are more common than bug spray or netting. The popular and cheap options look like a toy tennis racket, when the middle is an electric screen of sorts that buzzes when it catches a buy and fries it. The racket is wide enough that all you have to do is swing in the vicinity of the bug and the odds of getting it is high. Don’t ask how it works. I don’t have one… yet.

Then there’s the story of how a coworker once found out those zappers don’t just fry wasps immediately. Rather, the little buggers burst into flames….

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