Biting Back at Mosquitos in H-Town

I love my town. And its mosquitos love me.


Does this happen to you? (This isn’t my leg, but it could be). More from the Mayo Clinic.

Endless Love

H-Town is a fantastic place to live. The people are great, the lawns are all squared away (for the most part) and we’ve got plenty of good bars lying around. The only thing I hate are the mosquitos. When I say they are a pain in my neck or they come back and bite me in the ass, I mean it quite literally. _____________

Summer Nights

I’m not one of your typical bug-bite getters. After a 10-second step out to our standard-issue minivan, welts the size of dimes, nickels and sometimes quarters appear like Dementor magic on my skin. The swelling usually subsides in a day or so but the itching lasts for weeks. We’ve attacked this itchy invader problem with aggressive and defensive strategies. I’d baptize myself in DEET. We had the lawn guys put down pellets in the grass. We set up Citronella Torch Stonehenge around the patio table. We ran through the must-be-true-because-they-were-on-the-Internet bug-beater commands:

  • carry a dryer sheet (like Bounce)
  • daily dose of Brewer’s Yeast & Vitamin B
  • Dab on Tea Tree Oil on light (or dark?) clothes
  • wear long pants and long sleeves, but
  • don’t sweat. Or breathe. Or be human.

Mayoposterbugs We also made sure to

  • empty gutters
  • clear any pooling water
  • get rid of certain weeds
  • dump bird baths and kiddie pool water at least once weekly (we have neither)
  • perform ancient Celtic Rituals while dressed in plaid lederhosen.

Nothing worked (not even the lederhosen, which is usually so powerful). So inside we went and there we stayed, watching the summer nights pass us by. But even indoors I wasn’t safe. I am so-well-loved by these Biting Creatures of Minuscule Mass that I had to spray myself with DEET before I went to bed. If I didn’t, I’d wake up with itchy welts not only on my body but on my face. I’m too old to look like I’m stressed out about the SATs. (For the amateur scientists who are surely wondering: Eau d’ DEET repels more than just insects in a human boudoir).

Bye, Bye Miss American Pie

Recently, this all changed. In these past few weeks, I have eaten outside with my family for many nights. I walk back and forth to the car freely and sans fear. I go outside in my backyard at dusk. And I do all of this without bug spray. I’ve been introduced to wonderful, safe, brilliant, must-have-on-a-desert-island chemicals. Chris Whiting of Mosquito Platoon (whom I would knight if anyone else shared my royal delusions of grandeur) freed me from summer prison with a quick spray of the perimeter of the yard. Those of you who don’t have the extreme histamine reactions to bug bites may not understand it, but I feel like this is a whole new life. After a winter filled with snow and 6.66 too many snow days, time outside is well overdue for all of us.


Chris Whiting, owner of Mosquito Platoon, his lovely wife Anne and their dog Gertie at home. Chris started Mosquito Platoon when Anne stopped sitting out on their new porch. What a guy!


Baby Got Back

Mosquito Platoon’s solution is some kind of mad science genius (I picture leprechaun-sized, crazy-haired scientists in bright Bavarian basement labs toiling for years on end only to erupt in sheer maniacal laughter upon perfecting the formula) that is safe for kids and pets.

Look at that face! Pets need protection, too.

Look at that face! Pets like Gertie need protection, too.

The Mosquito Platoon guy sprayed during the day. It all dried in 15 minutes and its potency hasn’t shown any signs of fading despite all the rain. I was skeptical when Chris asked me to try it but I’m a true believer now. I won’t go another summer without it. Pool fees, camps, hurricane-day movies can all be damned. I’m enjoying having my backyard back.

Chris's labor of love: old Ford refurb. Guys: haven't been in the hobby space lately? Spray and play, baby!

Chris’s labor of love: old Ford refurb. Guys: haven’t been in the hobby space lately? Spray and play, baby!

Chris can send his Mosquito Platoon troops to your house, too. If you or anyone in your family battles bug bites, if you have pets, if you’re planning a garage dance party, if someone’s workshop has been abandoned, or if you just want to eatcher hoddogs in peace, give Mosquito Platoon a call. For the price of a few dinners out, you can enjoy the summer again too. ________________________

This was a commissioned article.
Bug-bite leg photo credit: LOLO FROM TAHITI on Flickr.
All other Photos by Christine Cavalier for