I love living and working in Austin. I had the great opportunity to work at a satellite office getting to test drive Robot Car around town. There are so many things I came to love and miss about the city, right down to the humidity. But along with humidity comes the only downside and thing I come to fear most whenever I go outside: mosquitoes.
I’m, what scientists call, a mosquito delicacy. They can someone pick me out and fly for miles just to suck me dry. I can be sleeping mere inches from another person and I will wake up with five mosquito bites and they will have none. NONE. “Not fair” is an understatement.
I’ve tried everything. I’ve changed my diet: I gave up sugar; ate a clove of garlic a day, and still ended up their favorite dish. I’ve looked into all sorts of hocus pocus homeopathic nonsense that might have thrown my main predator off my scent for five minutes before finding me. I’ve slathered all manner of healthy hippie all-natural bug repellants, sprays and lotions all over my body, to no avail. Usually at the end of the evening I dejectedly reach for the bottle of deet to attempt to mitigate the damage already done. (Which should probably be their slogan: “Accept defeat, just use deet.”) Short term comfort wins again over long term health.
And then, I read this article about how properties in sweetgrass are as effective as deet, the only problem is they don’t last as long. As effective as?! Native Americans knew about this stuff and we’re just rediscovering this now? Why isn’t every lawn in America planted with this stuff? Anytime you wanted to go outside, you could just roll around on the lawn for a few seconds, then enjoy a cold one! (And yes, that would be perfectly acceptable behavior to me) Every time you mowed your lawn you’d be harvesting the means of your own mosquito repellant! If you’re going to go through the pain of keeping a lawn, might has well have it work for you!
There’s so much I want to know! Is sweetgrass merely growing in your yard enough to repel mosquitoes? Does you have to rub it on you? Or do you just have it to rub it to activate the oils and that’s merely enough? Maybe instead of mowing your lawn, you could have a machine that rubs your lawn to create a safe zone no mosquito dare enter! Think one of those push mowers, but instead of blades, it has rubberized paddles. Light a couple citronella candles and my fortress will be impenetrable!
But in all seriousness, please expedite the genetically modified mosquitoes, Monsanto. So far no one has successfully argued the collapse of the ecosystem if we were to remove mosquitoes all together. If the zombie apocalypse is inevitable, we might as well be comfortable in the meantime.