I can't think why you might be curious, but just in case you are curious, this year, mosquitoes own Wisconsin. My rectangular patch of it, at the least. We've had unusual and copious amounts of summer rainfall, which apparently contributes to mosquito prosperity and mosquito fecundity. Plants desirable and not have also benefited. The yard is normally sere and semi-dormant by August, but this year there is lush greenery growing voluminously everywhere.
I just got in from attempting to do some weed-whacking in the back yard, trying to do my duty to fight back against the weeds. The insects were defending their homeland vigorously. I am bigger than they are, and fancy I have better technology. In most battles in my yard I like my chances (although the besieged juniper stump is still holding out). But the mosquitoes are guerrilla fighters. They are motivated, mobile, and greatly outnumber my forces. Their attacks are persistent and relentless. I withstood the one that flew into my eye, and the one that flew into my ear. I lasted until one of the little devils flew right down my throat. I have retreated.
(Left: Aerial map of battlefield)
The screens are sufficient to keep most of them out of the house. I often work until dusk shrouds my office in gloom, and this summer I not infrequently see the shape of a mosquito float serenely past between me and the monitor, in silhouette. This causes me to erupt in a frantic spasm of clapping. Sometimes I get them. Most times not. I have not given up the fight for the indoors.
Benjamin Franklin said that beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. I believe it was an atheist, although it might not have been an atheist, who said that the existence of mosquitoes proves the opposite.
I plan to retake my territory and airspace for good at first frost.
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by John Scott: "Watch this. It will provide a) a humbling perspective on your problems and b) a highly satisfying revenge fantasy."
Mike replies: Very, very cool. Mini Star Wars! Like a lot of TED Talks, it's a long way to go if you don't have the time to spare, but worth it. For those of you who are busy, you could start at about ten minutes in—the preamble is that they're investigating eliminating malaria by figuring out ways to attack the mosquito.
Featured Comment by Michael: "A little story I call 'In the House of Compassion':
A while back—quite a while back—I was doing some research with Buddhist forest monks in Sri Lanka. At one monastery I was put up for the night in a separate house, a single-room cell which had been freshly whitewashed inside and out with the word for the Buddhist virtue of compassion (for all living beings) painted over the door. I had forgotten all my anti-mosquito paraphernalia, and as soon as I turned down the kerosene lantern to sleep, the attack began. Every few minutes through the night I would rise up and slap away at them. I missed most, but discovered in the morning light that those I had hit had something in common: they were the ones who had drunk my blood, which was smeared, with their guts, in little dark marks all over the fresh whitewash around the bed.
"I thought it best not to raise the topic with my hosts. Nor did they, gracious as they were, bring it up themselves."
Mike replies: . Funny! I have a similar story. I was once besotted with a girl whose mother had taken up with a fairly noted German theologian. This man had a philosophical aversion to taking any life at all—he was the type who would capture a spider and release it outdoors rather than kill it. Well, they moved to South America, and within two weeks, the German theologian had taken to standing quietly in the kitchen in the dark, then flipping on the light and hacking away in a frenzy at the inch-and-a-half-long cockroaches with a machete before they could scurry to cover.
We all have our limits!
Featured Comment by Andrea B.: "The husband was once bamfoozled by the sight of me dancing around a bit disheveled in the middle of the room waving the vacuum cleaner hose around in the air. 'Mosquito,' I sez. 'Carry on!' he sez."