The Glorious Twelfth

The glorious twelfth is a term used usually to refer to the 12th of April, the start of the hunting season in Italy for the common mosquito (Bitius Leggius) and to a lesser extent the tiger mosquito (aggressive-bitius).


Mosquito Latin name Bitius Leggius

Experienced mosquito hunters will have a preferred weapon of choice; from the low tech ‘attempting to hit them with the flat of the hand’ to the high tech use of modified squash rackets which release a thousand volt current when applied to a poor unsuspecting mosquito.

Midnight hunt for mosquitoes

Here we have an advanced mosquito hunter using the racket, note the clever use of a netting to catch a mosquito Credit

Hunting is not restricted to woodlands and gardens. Many households incorporate a number of ingenious devices to trap mosquitoes inside the house so that the family can hunt the mosquitoes at their leisure. They may include netting over the windows and doors or netting over a bed.

Hunting mosquitoes can also take place at night. To an Italian the pure joy of waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of the whining noise of a mosquito trapped in a bedroom can only be equaled to Italy winning the Six Nations Rugby Championship, which to date they have failed to do.

Look lads, this time next year we will win.

Look lads, this time next year we will win.

To ensure that there are sufficient mosquitoes to last from the Glorious Twelfth through to the 3rd of November;  which is not only the end of the hunting season but also my birthday, farmers are encouraged to flood low lying fields to provide adequate water for the mosquitoes to breed. A by-product of flooding the fields during the summer is the production of rice for risotto, which the farmers sell to supplement their income. Vercelli in Piemonte is the centre of mosquito and rice production.

Mosquito farmer checking the mosquitos will be ready for the start of the season

Mosquito farmer checking the mosquitoes will be ready for the Glorious Twelfth : Credit

In America hunters wear high visibility clothing to identify themselves to other hunters. In Italy we are a little more fashion conscience, Italian hunters therefore identify themselves by spraying their bodies with liberal doses of noxious smelling sprays. The most common odour is citronella.

David with Sprayer

David with his industrial sprayer: Credit Mosquito Squad

The monferrato area of Italy is world renown for not only the quality of its mosquitoes but also their quantity and size.

Mrs Sensible and I will be running residential courses through 2015 on:-

Safety whilst Hunting

First aid for mosquito bites

Taxidermy, the lost art of mounting a mosquito head

Wine and grappa will be served as refreshments. For more information please use our contact form

31 thoughts on “The Glorious Twelfth

  1. Oh, good! I’ll bring several of the little rascals that I’ve trapped already, for the taxidermy sessions. Maybe the season starts earlier in Tuscany?? I’ll also sign up for the wine and grappa, if there are spaces still available. Do you take MasterCard?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had the netting over the bed while living in Grenada (BWI…not Granada which is in Spain) and it was great at keeping the beasties out of my bed and away from my ears….but the night a bat( small one and I’m not afraid of them) decided to venture into the bedroom caused my cat (who was under the net on the bed with me) to jump for it( the bat) and bring the entire contraption down on our heads. The bat survived but my husband almost died laughing at us (he had been in the other room).
    Good luck with your classes. I hope Yvonne didn’t leave her library card in OZ.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha ! No mossies here as my nearby Spanish river runs fast and not many people have pot plants as they turn to sticks if not watered 10 times a day 😉 My local English friend David has dozens of pot plants with trays and is bitten on his legs all the time from the 12th April onwards. Happy hunting PN 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. NP I just read a most fascinating article on Yahoo news this week regarding blood types—it seems those who possess O blood types (of which I am one of the positive varieties) are less prone, almost resistant, to Malaria—-so if you are not of the type O variety, you may wish to take up G&T’s with plenty of quinine—and are not Gin and Tonics are oh so English 🙂
    Just a thought 🙂
    hugs—o+ cookie


  5. I would like to sign up for your courses – although I should warn you that I am almost at master level, having previously managed to kill a mosquito, in my kitchen, with my bare hand on more than one occasion. Will you be branching out and doing courses on the capture and taxidermy of wasps?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Killing a mosquito with your bare hands is impressive. We teach our students how to stun the mosquito rather than splattering the beast against a wall. If you are already at Master level would you be interested in becoming a lecturer? Unfortunately the paperwork and associated costs needed to diversify into wasp hunting is too complicated in Italy. If only life was simple here


  6. We couldn’t actually sit outside last summer because of the tiger mozzies. We’ve got the electrocuting rackets and some smelly anti-moz cream. Summer’s become a bit of a bore really!


  7. Do you have a special price reduction if I sign up for a wet wooden spoon defense course too? I hate mosquitoes, but I also hate using chemical guck to get rid of them. Apparently geraniums on the windowsills keep them out. But as I forget to water them and I hate the smell of geranium leaves, it’s no good for me.
    I remember being in Pavia once and wondering why there was a pervading smell of citronella in the streets. Then I say the cloud of midges and mosquitoes that were following us down the street, and I understood.


    • Hi MM.
      I am trying to dissuade women from attending the wet wooden spoon defense course, in the wrong hands a wet wooden spoon can be dangerous. I am thinking of running a wine appreciation club we could negotiate a price for this course.

      I hate spraying chemical gunk as well, last year my training paid off and I wasn’t bit too much. My daughter looked like spotty dog after her visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I was hoping to visit Italy over the summer but needed a good reason to do so. Too bad coming for a mosquito swatting course will not hold as a valid reason since there are no mosquitoes in my neck of the woods. Let me try and think for another reason…..


    • I can send you some of our mosquitoes, we have plenty. MM has asked if we will be running a Wet Wooden Spoon defence course for women with lazy or naughty husbands. If enough people show interest Mrs S may run a course.


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