Bonjour de La Ciotat + La Remoulade
How Egg rolls are Eaten in France & L'appétit vient en mangeant

Peeping Toms, street-side meltdowns, and this new city life in La Ciotat

Beach in la ciotat
So far it's been nine days that we've lived in La Ciotat. The residents of La Ciotat are called les Ciotadins or Ciotadines. Listen to the previous sentence in French via the link below.

Today's Word: LA CIOTAT
    : French town located in the Bouches-du-Rhône

from the Occitan "ciutat" -- ciutat is also a variety of grape. It seems Jean-Marc cannot get away from them!

Click here to listen to the following sentence

Voilà neuf jours que nous habitons à La Ciotat. Les habitants de La Ciotat sont appelés les Ciotadins ou Ciotadines.


by Kristi Espinasse

With a new life comes new habits.  Instead of typing this post indoors on a desktop computer in a quiet room, I am borrowing Jean-Marc's laptop which I've set up outside on our front terrasse. This change came when my old ordinateur slowed to a turtle's pace last week.  Bear with me as we adapt to more change--and many new surprises!

Collared dove pepper tree faux-poivrier
Friendly collared doves, or tourterelles, strut past Smokey here on the front terrace. More photos here.

Seated outside with an awkward keyboard and our golden retriever, Smokey, something else is smoking: a spiral mosquito disk which I have placed on the ground as a further deterrent (after covering my arms and legs with long sleeves and pants and lots and lots of oily lemon balm). We have been battling mosquitoes since moving in last Monday. We didn't notice the blood-suckers last March, when we signed the promise to buy this bungalow. And though we have no regrets for this property, we do regret our unwanted roommates and are arming ourselves and our home with a barrage of defense: plug-in units of mosquito repellent, essential oil candles, essence of eucalyptus...and we are searching for any sources of standing water (such as the potholders, or saucers, beneath our plants or the puddle that forms beside the garden hose or the leak beneath the kitchen sink. I hadn't thought of Smokey's water bowl. Does that count as a humid, welcoming environment for les moustiques?).

Biting pests are enough to put anybody on edge, so to help us relax and settle in we invited our first guests: our next neighbors to the west and to the north (we live on a corner). Neither of our voisins knew each other, though their families had owned these homes since the 50s. Slathered in lemon oil we toasted, raising our glass, as well, to the previous owner, Deborah, who joined us on that fourth night.

Two days later while sitting on the front porch I noticed a man peering into our front gate. On closer look it was one of our guests from our meet-the-neighbors night. I waved my hands and hurried over and opened the gate. Our neighbor to the west was a little embarrassed, explaining he was just out on his morning walk when he glanced over our gate. Little did he know my thoughts: nosy neighbors are a good thing! Here's to your morning walk and don't hesitate to check on us whenever you are out and about!

But the next day when I noticed an ominous figure staring past our front gate it wasn't our neighbor! As I looked up, the man startled and darted off....

A lot of people walk past our front gate on the way to the beach. And as they walk back to their cars we overhear a lot of meltdowns--young children who are not happy to return home and they are keen to let the world know of the injustice by their high-pitched screams which rattle my bedroom window behind which I am trying to nap. With so many meltdowns each day, during tourist season, we are putting double-vitrage windows high on our list of priorities.

Other than the tantrums, or crises de colère, we hear a lot from our quiet perch on the other side of the leafy fence. Because the tourists can't see us, they freely express themselves, with the help of a lot of cussing, fighting, and otherwise private conversations. My daughter Jackie and I shared notes as well as other observations about the neighborhood: You know that now that we live in the city we could be cambrioler...

Burgled? The thought brings me back to the mystery man at our front gate. Was he casing our property? Or was he peeping? Jean-Marc had another, more reassuring scenario:

He is probably another curious neighbor. In that case, take a good look at us! And if you see somebody else here please call les flics! We'll look out for you, too. In France, that's called Voisins Vigilants! Now if only someone could look out for these blood-suckers, the abominable moustiques!

Kristi porch hammock pepper tree
On the front terrasse, waiting for our guests.

la terrasse = patio, terrace
un ordinateur = computer 
un moustique = mosquito
un voisin = neighbor
double-vitrage = double-paned
la crise de colère = tantrum, angry outburst
les flics = cops
My sister-in-law Cécile, welder, woodworker, superhero writes about her latest creation:

Jean Marc avait fait taillé les oliviers du mas des bruns et m´a proposé le bois;
Jean-Marc had the olive trees pruned at Mas des Brun and offered me the wood;

il a séché 2 ans et demi...
it dried for two and a half years...

le hasard a voulu que l´assemblage se fasse maintenant.
as chance would have it the assembly happened now.

un clin d´œil...une douceur , l´olivier a tellement de symboles: paix, réconciliation,victoire, force....
a twinkling...a gentleness, the olive tree has so many symboles: peace, reconciliation, victory, strength
To inquire about this sentimental piece--contact Cécile via her website:

Thank you for the suggestions you have sent in, regarding what to name our home in La Ciotat. So far we have not picked a name. Jean-Marc likes Dolce Vita and, lately, Shalom, which means "peace" and is used as a Jewish greeting and farewell (Merriam-Webster). He picked up the term in this helpful devotional, which we began reading every morning during last year's storm.

This brings us to our readers and friends in Houston. Our thoughts are with you. I can't find the hearts on this foreign keyboard, so we are releasing a virtual sky full of coeurs from here in La Ciotat.  Bon courage, Houston.

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


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Catherine Berry (But you are in France, Madame)

Good on you for finding the positive in the new and best of luck with the continued settling in. You've made a great start by inviting the neighbours in straight up.

Patricia Cowan

So happy for all that is happening in your new home and way of life...looking forward to more!
Appreciate your good wishes sent to Texas!!

Have been following for 5 years now, have your books and so enjoy your blog!

Liz Konold

Ah me! Les moustiques of summer--and fall and spring. Since they consider me their 'favorite dessert' I have resorted to a large 'moustiquaire' over my bed which works most of the time. When one of the varmints gets inside I detach the bottom and wring the netting, then watch the tiny body fall on the bed with great relish. Enjoy your interesting change of scenery and life. It's always fun to read 'what's next!'

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristi,

Nice to meet your neighbors right away! I was admiring the tree behind you in the it some type of willow? I love its graceful curving trunk and willowy type branches! Have fun in your new town! Is your yard fenced in? I was wondering how you keep Smokey from wandering off on his own adventures in the city or maybe he wants to tag along with some of the tourists on their way to the beach!


This summer seems to be particularly loaded with pesky mosquitoes... some very small that you don't hear them buzzing or even see them... just feel the itching and swelling of their bites. It does make me wonder again why screens aren't used much here although I've seen a few screened windows more recently in walks around our village. I've come to appreciate why windows/doors here have "sheers"... lets in air, keeps out some bugs. I'll have to try to lemon oil as I, too, feel as though I've become the daily feast of mosquitoes.

Sue J.

If I have my cultures straight, inviting folks on the 4th night in your new home is so wonderfully American. That they had not met each other seems quite French. Brava to you for hosting an evening on the patio to get to know your neighbors.


♥You look lovely!
I can imagine the conversations you hear..always adaptations and surprises in new homes..
Very sweet of you to INVITE the neighbors so soon after moving in.


Basil and other aromatic herbie plants annoy mosquitos no end evidently. I have one in Paris, Max. This year he's more subdued because of the Franprix basil plants. Worth a try non?

Pierre Lehu

Look on Google for mosquito fan trap videos. You can kill thousands of mosquitoes, no poison

Best of luck to you in your new home.

Thank you for your words of encouragement to those in Texas!


Kristin Espinasse

Mint is also mentioned, along with basil. A good thing as both serve a double purpose... 

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, Sue, but it was Jean-Marcs idea to invite the neighbors over so soon. I am glad we met them early on, as we could all hear and perceive each other those first days--so it was good for everyone to put a face to the shadows beyond the fence. We are fortunate to have friendly--and now familiar--neighbors 

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, Patricia! 


this sounds like a great move for you and I'm so happy for you and your family! About those annoying mosquitoes, we were tortured by them as well this year when we moved into a lake house so I desperately studied Consumer Reports about every repellent and discovered that the best rated one by far is Sawyer's Picaridin. And it's just a light spray so you don't feel like you need to hop in the shower after your buggy evening. Good luck!

Kristin Espinasse

We love the tree, too! It is called. A faux-poivrier. I will write more about it soon. Yes, our property is fenced in, but it is a low fence and in need of repair. Smokey could easily get out but, without his mama, Breizh, he does not have the urge to venture out. Thank goodness! 


Your terrace looks lovely and come autumn all those meltdowns will occur in classrooms leaving you in peace.

Gail L from AZ

"Shalom" gets my vote! Am so enjoying hearing about your new place. Sorry to hear about the pesky mosquitoes.

Kristin Espinasse

Merci, Monique ! 

Kristin Espinasse

Will check it out. Thanks, Pierre! 

Lynda House

I have just been exploring La Ciotat on Google Earth. It looks delightful. I wonder where your house is? Obviously close to the beach and to the east of the boat harbour ....... I will see if I can spot a bungalow with a front Terrace and lots of trees!

Anne Umphrey

Are there bats who live in your part of France? A bat house will welcome these little flying mosquito catchers. They are incredibly efficient at eating mosquitos. Found on the web: A little brown bat can eat between 600 and 1000 mosquitos in a single hour.

Laura West


Put some vinegar in the standing water you find. Just a few drops will do and it shouldn't bother Smokey. It will make it acidic and unappealing to the mosquitos.

Trina from St. Petersburg, FL, USA

Avon Skin So Soft keeps them off your skin, although probably too she-she of a fragrance for J-M. I often burn citronella candles outside in Florida, though not everyone likes the smell of citronella. I like the smell better than I like the bites! I can understand why you have lots of 'peeping-Toms' what with a lovely home and terrace, people are curious to see what loveliness is behind the fence. You must feel a bit like those whose homes are often photographed for Instagram. Enjoy hearing your new stories.

Trina from St. Petersburg, FL, USA

PS You might also talk to other dog owners, or Smokey's new vet, about the mosquitoes. Here in Florida most dogs that spend time outdoors are on medication to prevent heart worms that come from mosquito bites. Sad, but true.

I second the suggestion to put up some bat houses if you have bats in the region.

Also, Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil is a very, very effective mosquito repellent. (No financial interest.) Not sure of sourcing for you, but it does not have poisons in it and avoids terrible chemical odor of some. I water it down to reduce the oiliness and apply it to my skin before venturing outside after sunset all summer long.

All the best to you and Jean Marc as you start this adventure in your new home!


Hello Kristi, Lovely to have your news as ever and excellent idea to give us a direct link to the Instagram photos which are beautiful. I do so sympathise about the mosquitoes which in this corner of Yorkshire are (periodically) an absolute menace, maybe due to a large dam in the area. We've never found a very good solution in nearly 10 years of trying. We've tried the Avon stuff, planting lemon balm, spraying citronella and other more evil substances, and tried both to deter them and treat the awful bites they sometimes inflict. Some years and seasons are worse than others, and evenings are the worst time. Different things work for different people and different places. Do ask your neighbours how they tackle the problem, particularly any relative newcomers as others may just have acquired some immunity over time. Google and Amazon also have suggestions. Don't get rid of the pond as I suspect it may not make much difference.


Sounds like everything is going well for you in your new home. Nice that you invited the neighbors for a get together! I would think Smokey's water bowl would be okay, since he probably empties it quickly enough. I think it's standing water that's a breeding ground for mosquitos. Good luck, and enjoy your new home!



Moises as we call then here in the Carabbean don't like lavender oil which Pam heats in a little pot over a tea light candle. Clears a room out! The larvae take some 10 days to hatch out so need standing water for 10 days! Only females bite as they need blood to produce eggs. We have a couple of 'zappers' which look like tennis rackets but have an electric mesh which activates when you push a button on the handle. Very effective in swating that mosquito buzzing by your ear at night! Also vitamin B is suppose to be good in reducing the bite effects and keeping them off. Rum helps too!


It soundslike your new life has hit the floor running!
If you can wear,go to the pharmacie or order on Amazon,Les Boules Quies.Best ear plugs in the world.
They are made of soft cotton and beeswax.Just the thing for a long,silently blissfull nap.Found these in France years ago.
Last year , i put a mosquito plant in the front yard and back.It is a type of geranium.
It helps with the mosquitos,especially when sitting on the porch.The have been awful here this year So much rain. I thought it was annual,but it returned with a vengeance.I have to trim it often.

Kristin Espinasse

Good idea! Thanks, Laura. 

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you for the encouragement. We do hope to keep the pond or wading pool, which is currently tiled and empty. We did wonder, though, about inviting more mosquitos. We would like to put both a fountain and fish there... both would keep the water moving! 

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, Janie. Will look it up. The second word seems French :-) 

Lauren Johnson

Warm wishes to you and Jesn Marc as you start your new life as city dwellers! Life is a curious journey, isn't it? About those pesky mosquitoes... Three years ago we rented a large home in the Vosges Mountains in Alsace for a month. The landlord asked that I water the many window boxes full of geraniums that adorned each window. She explained that mosquitos do not like geraniums, and thus, our place should remain mosquito free. I can't remember having one mosquito, and we left the windows open day and night!


Thanks for inviting all of us (your faithful readers) into your new home, too! I've followed your moves from home to home for many years and always admire your positive attitude when faced with change.

Judith Dunn

Kristin... I am one of the lucky ones! never get bitten at all.. but my husband, Gerry is a
'les mostiques' magnet! We have learned from Facebook
to take dryer sheets and rub them on yourself and clothes you
have on! Stick them in your pockets or near your when you are outside. I have never
seen them sold in France, and I was there in 2016. Have your sister in the USA send you
several boxes of them.. they really work! I have a feeling your 'voisins vigilantes' is going
to be a good thing, since you are near 'les gens'. All the best wishes for a long and very
happy life in your your home! "Heart & Soul"....a contribution to the many suggestions,
Bon Weekend coming up! Judi Dunn ,Tallahassee, Fl.

Kristin Espinasse

Oh my...bats! I think we will stick to mosquitos until we get very desperate. 

Cheryl in STL

How lovely to see you on your terrasse! It's going to be a place you'll love after you get those pesky mosquitoes under control. I'm lucky because they don't find me too appealing. But bat houses are an excellent idea if you have bats in Provence. We use a citronella candle when we want to eat on our deck. And we do have a fish pond with an mosquitoes around it! Bon courage!

Kristin Espinasse

Good idea about talking to the vet. Thanks, Trina. 


A treasure chest of wise and wonderful suggestions here re the wretched mossies. Even my sweet-natured little grandson said tearfully this week, "What are mosquitoes FOR?" as I treated his bites. I'm going to try several of your readers' new ideas and make a running list as the ideas come thick and fast - though here in Yorkshire bats didn't work. Meanwhile, I'd been wracking my brains for a house-warming gift for you, one everyone can share if they want and with no strings. I'd like to start a fund to help restore the pond and the water feature. If for any reason that proves impractical, then you can use it to install any other calming and wished for feature in the garden.

Paul Guerin

Come check out San Miguel de Allende, MX...inexpensive, a healthy wine producing scene and very international..PLUS very few mosquitos!
ps, Closer to mum.


The link to donate seems to have disappeared. It may be my browser etc. but could you possibly put it back? Or next time please?

Courteneay duBrowa


I have followed your blog for many years, at first with the intention of improving my French, but then I just got sucked into your lovely way of writing about life, the good and bad, ups and downs! I too just moved to a new town, from quiet Mercer Island, Washington, where we lived on a secluded, forested lot, to busy, bustling Berkeley, California. I am your age, an empty nester, and moving to a new town at this stage was definitely not in my life plan, but hey, here I am! So I am trying to enjoy my new surroundings. We too have dog walkers passing the front porch- on their way to get coffee, and kids ( and dads!) playing basketball after dinner down the street. I thought I would miss the solitude of my woodsy home, and I do at times, but it is also fun to hear the bouncing ball, laughter and chatter that comes from the players. We have moved from Portland, Oregon to Mercer Island to Berkeley within the last 6 years, so I'm with you in your moving house adjustments, it's not easy, that's for sure! Our new neighbors have been lovely, bringing us wine, muffins, even a bottle of olive oil. I think I will follow your example and see if I can round up some neighbors for a glass of wine this weekend. Best of luck to you in your new place, it certainly looks heavenly!

joie in Carmel

Fill the pond with water and get either some goldfish or koi....they eat the mosquito larvae. This kind of control is used in canals and other water areas . Planting the basil, mint and other plants (that you will use in cooking also) is a good idea to help keep them out. As for the peeping Toms....I think sometime people just want to see what is behind the gate or wall...and your garden does look so beautiful and inviting.....just curiosity. As for the noise...the windows will help and maybe a cute little sign just outside that says "shhh, sil vous plait, bebe dort.". Wait on the name.....I like "Ceci et Cela" or "Nid d'Ecureuil". There was a place in Lake Tahoe called the Squirrels Nest that had all imported French things....from sweaters, to dishes, children toys and a bistro outside under the trees decorated with broken plates lining the fence, wire baskets filled with booules, wire mannequins with hats and it was just delightful. I bought my first french dinnerware there...some Gien soup bowls. We had heard there was one in Paris also....but I think it has since closed.

Robbie Lane Jackson

Find anything with lavender in it. An inexpensive lavendar water or toner makes the perfect mist for sheers, and you can spray it lightly on your hair, your clothes, (ck ingreds first, use no oil), and on your bed clothes, (sheets), to ward off the pests. Also, I read that the nasty pests hate marigolds. You can make lavender water with real lavender. Lots of recipes on line. Put in water or in alcohol. Good luck. They're so big here on the NC coast, and after the heavy rains, the sand fleas, (no-see-ums), are biting today. Inside, here, lavender-scented candles work very well.

Good luck. Robbie Lane Jackson

Nyla Witmore

I predict that some of your best memories, adventures and blog stories will come from meeting people on your property or being inspired by conversations passing by. If they seem like "lemons" in your life, you always figure out how to turn things into lemonade.


Just wanted to say congratulations on your move. City life will take some getting used to, but it has its advantages. Maybe Maison Calme'perhaps? (Peaceful Place) I originally tried 'A Place of Peace' but the translation I got was unwieldy. Next I tried 'Sweet Freedom' which my browser translated into Douce Liberte' among other possibilities. Whatever you call your new home I hope it will be a place of peace for you both and will give you the sweet freedom you crave.

Kristin Espinasse

Courteneay, Good to read about your similar move. Invite those neighbors over. You will be so happy you did!

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, Margaret, for your thoughtful idea. I love it! I will put the link in the next letter and look forward to this serene project. 

And thanks to all who have shared such helpful mosquito tips. We will be trying them out!


You are lovely in your "little black dress". Good luck in dealing with the mosquitoes, chère Kristi. It is never good to be bothered by those pests. Bon courage!

Heidi McElroy

Try this for your personal protection from mosquitos. Put a dryer sheet in each shoe that you are wearing with much of it sticking out. I hope dryer sheets are available in France. I use dryer sheets with my grandchildren by pinning them to their clothing. I hope you will find relief.

Leslie in Columbia SC

We used to sing a song at the campfire at summer camp called "Shalom Chavarim" which I believe means "Peace friends til we meet again" . (I am Episcopalian but we sure love that Hebrew song!) You can look it up on Youtube. It's a nice name for a house :)

Sue J.


Jan  Hersh

So thrilled to get all these ideas for fighting mosquitos! They love me! Looks like a lovely place to live and being close to the beach is heaven in my book.

Diane Young

I had no luck at all with the Avon but have had practically no mosquitos this year - and I'm a person who gets attention from insects of all kinds. You look so great in your party outfit I bet the neighbors will be drawn to you and Mr. Dreamy quite often. Bonne chance!

Judy Feldman

Kristi, I love your first photo, and you look beautiful in the second. Best of luck in your new home. I know you will make it cozy & wonderful. I'm a moustique magnet, so I sympathize with you! Fortunately, not too many in AZ.


Sorry about the annoying mosquitos. Are Smokey and "The Cat who Came with the House" (good title for a book) getting along o.k.?


Our dear Kristi,
You both have welcomed this wonderful new step with open arms,heart,and (always!) joie de vivre!!
Please know we are all sharing your happiness!
When we first were married the term they advised newly married couples to expect was called " a period of adjustment".
We found this to be true,too,with each new place we moved;no matter how much you love it,there is always some getting used to in different surroundings.
All it takes is patience and time.(and as my dear Mama used to laugh:"And please God give it to me right now!")
Inviting your neighbors was just a wonderful thing to do,for as we all know,good neighbors can be nothing short of a blessing!
I don't have any suggestions(alas) for mosquitoes; we have been inundated with pesky little flies which can also drive you nuts(!)
Some annoyance or another never fails to pop up but makes me humbly remember (and be grateful for NOT) things certainly could be worse.

Special prayers now for all the flood victims.
LoveNatalia XOC


Better fix that leak under the sink, Kristi--plumbing leaks can add up to a lot of money in your bill.


Hi Kristi & JM - as one person stated in their comment, please be sure to take Smokey to the vet for heartworm medication ASAP. If you have so many mosquitos, he is definitely at risk.
Thank you for sharing your adventures - I have been reading your blog for many years. Are the new owners of Mas de Brun going to continue with wine, olive oil and honey production?
And please provide us all with an update on Max - how is he getting on in Mexico? Is he anywhere close to your beloved mother?


Hi Kristi and Jean-Marc, I just read that a little brown bat can eat 600 mosquitos in no time at all, but then, how to keep him around when the mosquitos are gone, in case they come back!! You are will conquer these little pests. God bless you, C-Marie

Jill and Jeff Harris

Your story about your new home reminds me of when we had a sweet cottage in Carmel, Ca (Lilacs and Laughter)
which seemed to draw people both morning and night! When I look back (we now live in Malibu, Ca) I remember
meeting many of these lovely people - visitors just curious about the Carmel architecture and eager to share
their own stories. I so enjoy your stories, Kristi and appreciate your sharing them throughout the years.
Best wishes on this new adventure - think of those wonderful evening walks along the beach you will take with your family -
they are best after the visitors have left for the season and you feel the sea is all yours!


Blessings on your new home! Thank you for the devotional suggestion - I will pursue that. A powerful one which has made a major difference in my life is Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson. It offers a prayer challenge with great rewards. May the mosquitos abate as you thrive! Amicalement, Janet


You look lovely in your new patio.

From spending time in a Central American jungle..... we used the super toxic but effective DEET during the evening hour of mosquito buzzing. The morning mosquitos were less annoying, and we wore loose long silky pajamas and thick fuzzy socks with a hoodie pulled around our we did not have to put on the DEET. At night, for the beds, mosquito nets, purchased with the smaller, no-see-um, holes per square inch. Also at night we wore baseball caps with a no-see-um bee-keeper style net over. The tennis racket bug zapper is great. They make rechargable ones. Very smug feeling while zapping the mosquitoes. For the day we had to wear long sleeved pants and shirts. The mosquitoes there are carriers of diseases and you are lucky to not have to deal with that aspect. Small smokey fires of anything kept them away as well. We found that not being sweaty made a difference too so we would take a shower before sitting outside in the evening. It sounds like your bugs are seasonal. Hurrah for that.

If you fill your fountain there are specific fish called mosquito fish that your local mosquito abatement office can either get for you or tell you how to obtain them. Super effective for the larvae.

Good luck!

How about: "Paix-Sage" c'est à dire...Peace-Wisdom ...also a jeux-de-mot —Paysage...landscape. Your "landscape" of peace and wisdom!


You look radiant in your new home, Kristi. It sounds like it's certainly a very different new home for you, and I hope you and Jean-Marc are enjoying it. Good neighbours are not always easy to find, and it sounds like you are very fortunate to have landed in such a perfect spot, street noises and pesky peeping toms aside.

bonnie groves poppe

It is Schinus molle, from Chile, but in California it is known as California pepper. It is not frost hardy, and we do not see it in the Vaucluse where I live. It was brought to California by the missionaries in the 1700s-1800s, the oldest known ones being on the property of the old missions in CA. It can get *huge* and is very picturesque and beautiful. I love them.
bonnie in Carpentras

bonnie groves poppe

Yes, I too encourage bats and have several bat houses up. They are not eating enough mosquitoes however. I'm in Provence but not near Kristi. We have bats but need more. They are wonderful animals. In my old house in the Herault they would come in and fly about for a bit after I went to bed.
bonnie in Carpentras/Mazan

bonnie groves poppe

If you move the water every day it should be okay. Dog's dish also as you change it every day, I presume. The culprit is standing water, even a very small amount. It could be on your neighbor's property also.

Kristin Espinasse

Wonderful jeu-de-mot! 

An Scott

I guess perhaps having the town spray for mosquitoes is not a possibility?
I am not fond of dealing with whatever they use to spray via the planes and helicopters from above to get rid of the mosquito population, but here in Naples, FL, I am thankful that we were able to get some relief.

I know what you're going through. Back in June, the mosquitoes here in SW Florida were so bad that you could not walk outside day or night without being bombarded with the nasty critters. You could easily find a dozen of them on each of your legs and arms. And our little Yorkie, as well as all of the dogs and cats in Naples were all suffering from the mosquito invasion as well. My puppy refused to go out sometimes because the mosquitoes wouldn't leave her alone.

We tried every mosquito repellent we could find. Finally I ordered Skin-So-Soft, thinking it was going to be our "savior"....but alas, no luck. Our mosquitoes didn't seem to be bothered by it. They kept on biting. It was like something you'd find in an old Alfred Hitchcock movie "The Mosquitoes"...

Finally someone in the neighborhood told me to call our county mosquito control department and file a report and request spraying. We learned they responded to areas in order of the number of requests they received, so our neighbors and I got a bunch of other neighbors to file a reports and requests as well, and within a couple of days, the county sprayed and voila...nothing. Not one mosquito. A beautiful day in the neighborhood! It was one time, I was thrilled to have the spray rid our area of the pesky mosquitos.

Is there a county or village department that assists with mosquitoes in La Ciotat?

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, Bonnie, for the wonderful info on the Schinus molle. Waving at you over there in Carpentras :-) 


Hi Kristi,

My dad used to raise tropical fish during the summer in an old washing machine tub buried in a hole up to ground level in the garden. He didn't install a pump, but just put in some little floating pond plants. There were never any mosquito larvae as the fish ate them all and grew fat and healthy in the summer. Any type of pond fish would no doubt eat mosquito larvae.

Congratulations on your new home.

Herm in Phoenix, AZ

Salut Kristi,

Nice photo of you!

Yes, mosquitoes can be a pain! Those who think little things don't matter have never had to sleep in a room with a mosquito!


Kristin Espinasse

Love this story and your Dads ingenuity.  Thanks, Bette. We are looking into repairing a fountain in our yard, and would like to welcome some fish. Perhaps we dont need a pump, after all (what with the floating plants). Will check it out! 

Pj Whelan

Hi There ... We have learned a thing or two about mosquitoes at our own property in Connecticut. First, we put up bat houses that attract bats who consume the pesky bugs like candy! Dragonflies love them as well. Swallows and other birds of that family consume mass quantities. Secondly, look on Amazon for Barley cubes or rings to float in dishes or ponds etc. They are all natural and prevent the bugs from laying eggs. Very effective. Mosquito netting on beds is great and I like to dye the white netting different colors sometimes too. A great deterrent is a ceiling fan here and there. A tip we picked up in the Caribbean ... The mosquitos do not like breezes!

GwenEllyn Anderson

Love the photo! I'm so glad that your move has been going smoothly. That's a big step - to leave a chunk of lifetime behind. How is Jean-Marc doing in 'retirement'?


Hi Kristi - Maybe you wouldn't need a pump in your renovated fish pond,but I love the sound of a fountain on a hot day. It makes me feel cooler just to listen to it.

Thanks for triggering that fun childhood memory of my dad's washer tub summer time aquarium. It was always exciting to watch him empty the tub to bring the fish in for the winter. There were always many more fish than he put out there. They were mostly live bearing guppies who reproduced well during the summer on their diet of mosquito larvae.


Kristin Espinasse

Thank you Jill and Jeff! I can relate to being curious about the architecture and will look forward to the chance to talk to a passer by. Hopefully we can learn more about the neighborhood history and, if lucky, meet a new friend. 


Bravo for taking the proverbial bull by the horns and reaching out to your neighbors! As you get to know them and your local merchants you'll feel more and more chez vous.


Dear Kristine,
Welcome to your new home, a suggestion to blow away your pesky mosquitoes - put a fan on your terrace and turn it up - no chemicals required!
Please know that your blog brings me lots of smiles and happiness as do your books!! My family and friends all love your taste de tomatoes!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you.

Sylvia Kingsley

Hello Kristin
Delighted to hear you received my messages(2) and Thank you for one....
I haven't had any posts from you since Sept.5, do hope I'm not missing anydaily bulletins...
Have you sent out more lately?
If it's possible, I should be glad to know name of Store where mother bought
those lovely shirts in Porto Vallarta please? Maybe she could act as agent for me,for only two shirts? I would show appreciation. Would be lovely to meet you all one day..nearly 90, mobile, painting and writing...Former National newspaper
writer.. Wishing you all Happy, Healthy and Long Years in your new home.
Regards to Mom too.


A wonderful way to keep mosquitoes away while sitting outside is to set up an electric fan, especially the oscillating type. They can't compete with the fast moving air.

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