I don’t usually argue for extinction, but I make an exception in this case. I can’t see any useful function mosquitos perform. Although a friend once told me fish eat the larvae. True, but fish eat a lot of things, and I think they would be okay without mosquito larvae. Maybe to fish, mosquito larvae are like caviar. But you can live without caviar. I don’t want to kill fish. I just want to kill mosquitos.
The occasion is, it’s Spring, and the mosquitos are waking up. The occasion is also that I just saw an ad on TV for a relatively new product made by “Off!” It’s a clip-on mosquito repellent, which you can either clip onto your waist or just sit beside you. It looks sort of like those air freshener disks you can buy. It creates an invisible force field around your entire body which repels mosquitos. Ask me if I believe this would work.
Also ask me if I believe it’s good marketing–it is, for about five minutes.
Since I live in Florida, I am in the heart of mosquito land. I’ve tried every repellent known to man so far, except for these new disk thingies. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
1. DEET is disgusting stuff. The smell will gag you, it feels oily on your skin, and frankly, it’s poison.
2. Repellents using Picaridin are better. Nobody has yet told me it’s poison too, but if it is, at least it isn’t oily, and it doesn’t make you smell like a corpse.
3. Citronella candles don’t work either.
4. Whatever repellent you use, you will spray it on, but you will miss a spot and get nailed.
For a while, there was a big scare about West Nile Fever, which unlike malaria, is not as apt to kill you. And all it takes is one bite. You could dress up in mosquito netting and load up with DEET, and then, see Point #4. So, you just act as prudently as you can, without turning into Howard Hughes.
As my friends and regular readers know, I spend as much of my leisure time as possible in my back yard at my picnic table, reading. I love reading, but I want to be outside too. This means that me and the mosquitos are at constant war. I use Cutter Ultralight (Picaridin, not DEET) ,but see Point #4. You will always miss a spot. Mosquitos are quite clever. They are able to ignore the sprayed parts and zoom in on the un-sprayed parts. How can they do that? No wonder they have survived for a gajillion years.
In my city, we have mosquito trucks. They come through at dusk or a little later and spray pesticides which they say are safe. I love it when I see the mosquito trucks, and I love it when I see bats, because they eat mosquitos. But there is some controversy about it. I’m okay with the nuclear option when it comes to mosquitos. They aren’t just annoying–they’re deadly.
I’m also not okay with fleas.