Since I posted this item, murderous floods have swept large parts of the Var, leaving - at the last count - at least 20 dead. The menace described below is, of course, on a quite different, relatively inconsequential scale ..
Only a year or so ago, I was moaning about the papillons de nuit that had invaded our corner of the Var.
Before that, it had been the Year of the Frog.
Each year seems to bring a multitude of this or that creature intent on making life, if not miserable, a challenge.
And this year, it's our old friend the mosquito. Of course, it is the female variety - Culiseta longiareolata - we need to concern ourselves with most since (surprise, surprise) that's the one that does most of the biting, sucking, annoying.
They're all over the place, in far greater numbers than I recall from any visit (or longer stay).
In town, the Shopi supermarket apparently ran out of citronelle. A man at my wife's gym recommended geraniums in pots outside the window, and I have all manner of sprays, plug-in repellents, alleged soothing ointment and barely suppressed anger to cope with the threat.
I'm not bitten as much as I used to be. Once I woke up in Klagenfurt, the hotel window open from the night before, to count 20 or more bites. A friend tells the story of a young relative who arrived for breakfast (in France) with her face covered by her hands. When she removed them, she was hardly recognisable, such was the swelling.
In Brittany decades ago, my daughters protested when I used holiday reading matter to squash the bloody things - and yes, the adjective is appropriate - quite dead on the ceiling. But that was on the first night. By the fourth or fifth, they were begging me to be cruel.
Come on then, Salut! readers. Let me have your own moustique anecdotes - and also your remedies (with equal attention to before and after!).
With thanks to tanakawho for the first image and stahlmanddesign for the second