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What doesn’t kill you might make you itchier

You might have seen the recent news about Ed Stafford – the British man who walked the length of the Amazon river. Fifty thousand mosquito bites and 859 days  later – he emerged as the first person to ever walk the length of the Amazon river. So let’s do some math here.

Exactly how many years is 859 days? 2.35 years

How many bites per day did he receive? 58.2 mosquito bites per day

Hmmm. So things brings to mind quite a few related questions. I can see how the number of days was easy to count but how exactly did he come up with the figure of 58.2 mosquito bites per day? Where did he fit all of these bites on his body? Wouldn’t his body develop some sort of immunity to the mosquitoes after a couple years? Since he was wading in water, are all of those 58.2 bites per day all of the upper portion of his body? At some point did he stop swatting at the mosquitoes and just say “ah heck, I gotta keep walking”. By no means do I want to trivialize his accomplishments but these are valid questions with the dubious distinction of probably the man with the most mosquito bites ever.

To see some great photos of Ed Stafford, take a look at:

There are more than 200 types of mosquitoes in that area and certainly there is no better place for mosquito breeding than where there is standing water. Often we think that since a river’s water moves that there cannot be mosquito breeding. However, at the shore of rivers, rocks and other ground debris trap water allowing it to stand. Even standing water the size of a soda bottle cap can be sufficient breeding ground for tons of mosquitoes.

The good news for those reading this article is we can work our hardest to eliminate mosquito breeding ground – standing water from our yards. But keeping mosquitoes away really is a two-pronged approach. We need to mist for mosquitoes as well as eliminate standing water.

Congratulations Ed Stafford!

Let me know if you can find a blog post or article detailing the mosquito bites along this trip. I’d love to read more about it although I’m sure Ed is glad to forget that portion of his trek.