Saturday, September 24, 2011


It was 93 degrees outside on the first day of fall. Ninety-three degrees and bone dry. How dry?

So dry that I raised a cloud of dust just by standing.

So dry that every photo I tried to take was blurry yellow-brown.

Yes, the dust is unpleasant. But the light, fluffy soil that fills the air (and is great for growing onions), also grows my mortal enemy:

Puncture vine.

AKA, goat heads.
AKA, the things that I track around with me everywhere I go.
Heat and dust and puncture vine are not what we're here to talk about though. I'm here to talk about culicoides.

They call them no-see-ums, so look closely while you can.

We had a cold spring and a late summer, so here, all of a sudden at the end of September, the bugs have arrived.

Quincy stopped shaking long enough for a picture. I see at least eight flies on him.

Bunny's tail never stops.

Blue's eyes were red and swollen from the constant irritation.
 Something had to be done. So I got out the arsenal:

The nice thing about it being 93 degrees is that I could safely give Blue an early-fall scrubbing. I spent an hour working medicated shampoo into this:

Hair loss and dermatitis caused by culicoides and the neck threadworms that they transmit. Blue has a lot of these nasty patches of so-called sweet itch.
Then I drenched him in Flysect, smeared his face with Swat, hit all the sweet itch patches with EQyss gel, and topped it all off with a fly mask. The end result looks a lot like what I started with... minus the flies!

Who's a pretty boy? Blue is!


  1. Goatheads! I'd never heard of them, and now I've read TWO blogposts this week about them. Here's Funder's"

    We've got buggies too, bah! Cold weather is good for something.

  2. I love that Funder has the same problem. I keep going barefoot in the house and regretting it at least twice a day.