Doing battle with mosquitoes

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
It’s a high-pitched sound that immediately puts us on alert.
Those darn female mosquitoes burned in my ear as I sat out on the deck watching the sunset Friday night. For almost an hour, I could hear them winding up, high above me, into a steady, growing hum.
And then first one, then another seemed to drop out of the air, landing on a visible piece of skin. They were the path markers.
A swat and it flitted away—only to return a moment later. A smack with the bottom of my hand and it was not more than a black smudge.
Alas, more arrived and they drove us indoors.
Once inside, we were safe from those thirsting bloodsuckers. I looked out on the screen and hundreds were bouncing off the tightness looking for a way to break in for a feeding frenzy.
More seemed to join them.
After the lights went out, however, a single mosquito had found its way into the bedroom. Instead of feeling sleepy, that darn single mosquito caused both my wife and me to tense up, waiting for it to land so that we could crush it and get on with sleep.
We were alert.
Your imagination plays tricks with you. You imagine it on your forehead and you hit hard—only to hear it buzzing behind your ear. You wait in anticipation of it landing, willing every nerve to tell you exactly where it is landing so you can strike out again.
You might change your tactics and say, “Just bite me, mosquito, and go away a happy camper with a full belly.” Or you stay awake and alert waiting for it to come at you again.
Or you flip on the light and choose to hunt that monster down. How can such a tiny creature create so much discomfort?
Mosquitoes only seem to come out in the coolness of the evening after the heat of the day has disappeared, or in shaded areas. They can erupt from the grass as I mow it at home or when I brush up against the shrubbery.
For early-risers, you can be met with a cloud of mosquitoes at dawn.
Waking in the morning, the screen in our bedroom was covered with hungry, salivating mosquitoes still trying to break through. I smiled as I watched those tiny critters bang their head against the tight screen knowing I was protected.
A single female can lay 300 eggs at a time, and is capable of doing that several times over the course of a season. Within 10 days, those eggs will have produced a whole new generation of flying mosquitoes.
My father used to joke that in the spring when he killed a mosquito, he was destroying a million more because that mosquito would never reproduce.
We all enjoyed the thought as we added millions to the never-to-be-born count.

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