Thursday, May 15, 2014
If you hang around most any farmer (or anyone who spends time outside these days) you’ll probably notice a distinct odor. Vanilla. Yes, vanilla! This fragrance spray seems to be our best defense against an insect pest… little bitty black swarming gnats (some call them the black bitey bugs). They returned last weekend, and seem to have become an annual, late-spring infestation. This will last 4-6 weeks until drier days become the norm. These pests first arrived in 2008, and it took some time to figure out how to protect ourselves from them. Even though they’re only about 1/8″ long, their bite is fierce. A bite will form a hot, nickel-sized welt almost instantly, and it’ll itch like crazy for days! They seem to prefer to fly about your face, particularly around your eyes and ears and scalp and collar. We had hoped that after the severe, extended winter we experienced, it would reduce or eliminate the gnats this year. Not the case.
So, until the dry days of summer, we will all be sharing the same aroma. Our after-shave or cologne has been replaced by the sweet smell of vanilla! Until 2008, this was not a fragrance you would associate with a farmer, but it is de rigueur these days!