Left: Mosquito-Killing potion of papaya, wine, and boric acid powder. Right: mosquito killed by the potion.

|| 29 September 2016

More About Mosquito-Killing Potion

Last evening while I was brushing my teeth I heard the whine of a large mosquito.(How do these creatures keep getting in my bathroom?) I moved the dish of my mosquito-killing potion near where I heard the mosquito. (See previous 22 September Nouvelles Mosquito-Killing Potion for more about potion)

Before I had finished my preparations for bed, I spotted the mosquito drunkenly moving in front of the mirror. With a small piece of damp terry cloth, I swatted him.

In the photo above, on the left you can see the potion, a mixture of papaya peels and seeds, blackberry wine, and a little boric acid powder. On the right is the dead mosquito (enlarged for better viewing). From the stain on the cloth, you can see that the mosquito had drunk a good amount of my potion.

I like that of the three ingredients in my mosquito potion, two are safe to consume. Papaya is a tasty fruit, and you can even put the seeds in salad. (Though I do NOT agree that papaya seeds make a nice substitute for capers, as some recipes claim. Papaya seeds taste nothing like capers to me.) Blackberry wine is safe to drink. Boric acid powder is an ingredient in many eye care products including the saline solution I use for rinsing contact lenses and the eyewash I use for refreshing my eyes.

The creators of the mosquito-killing potion that inspired my own potion, a team from Mali, claimed to have drunk some of their potion to prove its safety. I have not gone so far as to drink any of my own concoction. But two summers ago when five kittens were frolicking here, I had numerous containers of the mosquito-killing potion both in the Cat Cottage (aka the garage) and on the patio. Kitten antics spilled at least four dishes of potion over the course of the summer. Neither the kittens, nor the other cats, showed the least ill-effects from these spills — though I do know that they got some on their paws.

I like the safety of the potion. But most I like my recipe for mosquito potion because it has proved effective in killing mosquitoes. Mosquito bites can carry disease. Mosquito bites are not chic. And we do want to be chic. And healthy.

be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone

Image : Left: Mosquito-Killing potion of papaya peels and seeds, blackberry wine, and boric acid powder. Right: mosquito killed by the potion.