What kinds of bugs are common where I live? When I was growing up I was an easy target for moths, wasps and mosquitoes. I’d swell up immediately after getting bitten. The bites would become inflamed, itchy, and miserable.
I remember one day playing a game of kickball out in our yard with my brothers, when I felt a slight pinch and burning sensation. I looked down at my leg to see a combination of a wasp and bumble bee biting me all at the same time. I screamed, trying to flick them off.
“Calm down. You’re only going to anger them, and make them want to bite you more,” my brother John said.
“But their bites hurt. What am I supposed to do?” I shrieked with tears streaming from my eyes. Walking over to the swing set, I sat on the slide while picking up a stick to see if I could get them to climb on it and away from my leg. It worked. After gently setting it onto the ground, I got up from the slide very slowly, and back away from it gradually until I was far enough away from the wasp and the bumble bee where I was able to run.
I ran inside the house, and into the kitchen where my mother was washing dishes, screaming and crying.
“Will you settle down and stop the yelling,” my mother grunted while washing the dishes.
“I just got stung by a wasp and bumble bee all at the same time. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was playing kickball with Johnny and Stanley in the yard, minding my own business, when I got stung,” I cried and shrieked while rubbing the tenderness of the bites on my leg.
Turning off the water, my mother grabbed a dish towel from the drawer, dried her hands, set the towel down on the counter, walked over to the refrigerator, opened it, and took out a bottle of vinegar. She took a bunch of napkins from the kitchen table, poured some vinegar onto them, and dabbed my leg with them where I was bitten. I cried as she did.
“I realize it stings and burns from the vinegar, but the pain, burning and itching will go away in just a little while. The vinegar will disinfect the bites, and prevent any infection.
Just sit down a while, and let the vinegar work. I’m going to go into the bathroom to get a bandage to put on it,” my mother said on her way out of the kitchen.
I sat down on a chair next to the kitchen table like she told me.
When she returned, she applied a bandage.
Over the course of the week passing, she changed my bandages daily as she reapplied the vinegar, until the swelling went down and the scab from the bites went away.
I’ve always loathed mosquitoes, moths, wasps, and all kinds of insects, because of the havoc they’ve caused me throughout the years.
© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2015