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A Diet For Mosquitoes

Omar Chowdhury
1 April, 2005

The mosquito is an insect which has played havoc with Man’s health and peace of mind. All those who have fallen prey to this tiny but formidable pest regret their encounter. Sitting on a lawn. In the cool of an evening, all pleasure comes to an end when that persistent drone assails the ear, sometimes heralding attack! Once in a mosquito zone, no place is safe from their intrusion and presence. Many are the methods and appliances employed to combat the mosquito, about which creature a few words.
The Dictionary describes the insect as a kind of gnat, females of which puncture the skins of animals with long proboscis and suck their blood.
This dreaded creature flies around looking for its victim, and once the target is in sight, encircles in, and setting on the surface of the skin, thrusts its brutal needle in and fills itself with the blood of the victim, like some diminutive vampire. They must carefully avoid body hair, which calls for exact scrutiny before commencement of their unpleasant operation.
Massive spraying of large areas, usually misdirected, with powerful insecticides, have proved of little use. Mosquitoes breed freely in drains and stagnant pools. They conceal themselves in plants, so gardens are natural and convenient preserves. Open windows are invitations to enter and mobilise. But although mosquitoes may gather in swarms, they are lone predators. Aerosols and coils are ineffectively used to exterminate them, but these can be health hazard as well. Then there is the ingenious electrical device which is advertised to work as follows. Plug it in, and a light will glow. This will attract all the pests in the room, and once they are in contact, electrocution will result. Alas, this is not the case. I have seen mosquitoes thrown back on the floor, after which they have shaken their frail bodies, and after a while risen reinvigorated to resume their tiresome activities!
A couple of scientists of the University of Florida, reports Reuter, have come up with a novel way of hitting back at the mosquito. The method is to prevent the “backyard pests from developing into adults by starving them to death.”
“The diet pill consists of a natural mosquito hormone, found in a female ovary, and secreted after the insect digests a blood meal.” Apparently this enforced dietary pill will create devastation in the mosquito’s entire digestive system, thus eventually killing it. I cannot quite understand how all his can be achieved, but we must bow to the spirit of science and offer applause to the Professors. Incidentally, clapping is a good way of killing mosquitoes : Get them between the palms and they’re dead dodos!
In the past, experiments have been carried out in the Tropical College Of Advanced Entomology, in which mosquitoes were subjected to intense hormone examination, which revealed that this digestive enzyme could be cultured to produce a substance called Ultrazyme, which, if injected back into the mosquito, destroyed its immune system. Once this occurred, the creature lost its appetite for blood forever, as a result of which it obviously died of starvation.
In Middle Volta, a particularly savage type of mosquito suddenly arrived on the scene, which could withstand all kinds of pesticides, and malaria broke out virtually, leaving thousands dead. Some said this new pest was a byproduct of toxic wastes dumped by foreign governments to undermine communism Africa. But special mission sent by international organizations, including nosy-parkers from Amnesty Supranational, alert to violation of insect rights, soon exposed this canard, saying too much agitation against atomic energy would not get anyone anywhere.
With all this malevolence directed against the mosquito, what chance does it have for survival? Those who care for the underdog, the underflea, and the oppressed of all kinds, will gnash their teeth in anguish. But they must realize that better to banish meningitis and malaria than fall victim to the sonorous drone of those little specks that fly around in the twilight, making life miserable for animals who are jealous of their blood, and averse to perishing from fatal diseases!
Let me conclude this grisly Essay with an amusing anecdote :
Two mosquitoes on Robinson Crusoe’s arm have satisfied their appetites. One says to the other, “So long, old chap, see you on Friday!”
Cheerio for now!


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