Pat Shingleton: "DEET and No Summertime..."
Officials from the Mosquito Abatement Department will increase spraying operations and making random home inspections, compliments of three days of rain. With daily showers, removing water containing debris from our property can assist their efforts. A super-cold winter can temporarily whack the mosquito larvae. At the University of Florida, 16 nationally sold repellants were tested. Using the hungriest mosquitoes available, the researchers gathered volunteers with exposed arms. The results showed that on average, the skin softeners provided protection for 10 minutes. Citronella products were good for 20 minutes, but repellents containing the chemical N-N diethyl-m-toluamide or DEET, were the longest lasting. The 24 percent DEET solution lasted more than five hours - a product that has been around for 50 years. Finally, the famous “Year Without a Summer” occurred in 1816 as the result of the eruption of Mount Tambora. The volcano discharged dust and sulfurous gases that spread around the globe. The diary of Hiram Harwood of Bennington, Vermont, noted that on June 11, 1817, frigid temperatures found New Englanders building “roaring fires in their hearth, as killing frosts turned leaves and gardens black.” Once the cold spell ended, the farmers replanted their crops only to have temperatures plummeting again in July. On August 21, hard frosts killed crops in Boston and a snowstorm whitened the peaks of the Green Mountains. The eruption inflicted climatic changes all over the Northern Hemisphere and is one of the first examples of global cooling.