I realized this was not an average July when last night, sitting in the living room with the windows open and having opened the windows in my bedroom, I had a minor freakout when I noticed my roommate had left the light on in the hallway. "No light!" I screamed in my inner monologue, not wanting my roommate to think I was nuts. After almost two weeks of this weird goddamn almost-summer weather with almost-East-Coast-style humidity, I've learned that those two things hall lights turned on and my bedroom windows open cannot happen at the same time if I don't want to be tortured all night long by a single, tiny, buzzing, vampiric insect.
But seriously, all this "monsoonal" dampness has created secret pockets of standing water, somewhere in the vicinity of my apartment, and suddenly I have a mosquito problem for the first time in my fourteen summers in San Francisco. SFist's Eve Batey concurs. "I got three bites in my Outer Sunset back yard at dusk on Saturday. And at first I didn't even remember what they were!" And our friends at the Bold Italic just published this piece about their mosquito hell.
This is not to say that I've never known there to be mosquitos here. Back in May, shortly after we had a little rain, I recall a warm evening when I had my windows open, and one of those little bastards woke me up several times making that infernal high-pitched buzz near my ear, causing me to slap myself in the ear and then bolt upright. (And back in 2010, we had a wet spring and a "bad" mosquito season, too.)
Of course, we are spoiled here in the Bay Area, and most of us don't even have screens on our windows because unlike most of the rest of the country, we are not plagued by gnats, no-see-ums, and mosquitos all summer long.
But, just in case you've lived here many years and don't remember what a live, disgusting, blood-sucking mosquito looks like, see the above disturbing HD video.
Since the moist weather is expected to return next week after this mini heatwave, you may want to consider heading to REI or your local grocer to find some natural (or unnatural) insect repellant. Here are Good Housekeeping's recommendations.
Below are two how-tos for making different types of natural insect repellant with stuff from the farmers' market.