Recent late evening thundershowers and hot sunny days may have done a ton of good in the garden, but the rains have also given the mosquito population an edge. I have an extremely bad reaction after being bitten by a zanzara, and regardless of what's been said and written - all positive - on mosquito-repelling plants, I still find it necessary to supplement the geraniums and marigolds with chemical products. In the typical italian home there are no window screens(!) which further exacerbates the problem of keeping skeeters out. I remember one sleepless summer night in Tuscany where it was so hot that I simply had to open the windows - the bloodsuckers wasted no time coming in.
The above items are conspicuously stocked on major supermarket shelves just before summer comes along and I noticed that this year, brightly colored repellent wristbands were a fast-selling item. We mainly use heat-activated insecticide tablets (they look like small pieces of cardboard) outside, never indoors. There's also the vaporizer that plugs into an outlet but we no longer use it. The spray is for enclosed spaces like the tool shed or garage, but it's the coil repellents that ring a bell with me. They've always been a regular household item in Hawaii (we used them to light firecrackers on new year's eve) and recent visitors from the islands commented that the citronella and geranium-scented mosquito coils would probably sell like hotcakes (only the green ones are available in Hawaii). My husband did take it upon himself to install retracting window screens in the kitchen/living room where we spend much of our time, but the biggest improvement has been the double screen door panels with a doggie entrance - it keeps the insects out but lets the breeze in. The only hurdle now is to convince the dogs to use it.
And lastly, the gratuitous tomato shot since it's all about tomatoes for a lot of gardeners right now. Tess's Land Race currant on June 23rd, July 6th and today. They are so tiny but have good tart/sweet flavor.
Today's high: 29°C / 84°F