Mosquitoes Part 1

Mosquito 1


Many people think that the mosquito-borne disease malaria is cordoned-off in Africa. Ain’t necessarily so. We get this from Public Broadcasting:

“For the men leading the Panama Canal project in 1904, challenges of building the canal were exacerbated by the infectious diseases that ran rampant in the hot, wet Panamanian climate. By 1906, more than 85% of the canal workers had been hospitalized. The threat of yellow fever created panic and made the site undesirable and feared by employees. Malaria was no better — someone who fell ill usually required a stay in the hospital, and recovery did not ensure immunity. During the course of canal construction, tens of thousands of workers fell ill with yellow fever or malaria.”

Fortunately, here in the U.S. we got that problem under control. But wait. There’s now another menace that arose in the latter years of the 20th century. West Nile Virus. One step forward, one step back.


This latest problem finds its way into your bloodstream when the blood suckers stick their needle-like snout into your skin. Everyone’s gotta eat. Mosquitoes are no exception. Like vampires, they suck your blood. While they’re feeding, they cleverly pump a blood thinner into your system. That stuff is what causes the itch. It also leads to West Nile Virus, malaria, yellow fever and a host of other human-unfriendly junk.

It all boils down to sharing one person’s fluid with another unsuspecting victim.

The World’s Deadliest Critter

No kidding. Mosquitoes have caused more deaths than every war, anywhere, combined.

Here in America, NBC News reported in May:

“West Nile virus killed 286 people in the United States last year, making it the deadliest year yet for the virus, the federal government reported on Monday.”

“Texas was especially hard hit by the virus, which is carried by mosquitoes and which only arrived in the United States in 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.”

“A total of 5,674 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 286 deaths, were reported to CDC from 48 states (excluding Alaska and Hawaii),” the CDC said in a statement.”

And it increases every year.


No way you’re going to walk around wrapped in cellophane every time you go outside. That’s a cure that’s worse than the disease. We do have some suggestions for mosquito control and prevention in Alabama:

  • Purchase some safe repellent. By that we mean, spray a little on a small portion of your body. No rash? Buy it.
  • As the sun rises and sets, those are prime times for getting bit. Going outside? Wear pants and long sleeved shirts.
  • These parasites like body smells and certain perfumes. Not only that, they’re attracted to what we exhale — carbon dioxide. If your feet are stinky, you’re basically inviting them to party on your body. Stay clean, dial-back on the fragrances and it will help hold off the onslaught. Don’t stop breathing. No need to wear a surgical mask. Merely stay as pure as freshly fallen snow by showering regularly.
  • Dump any standing water from all things in your yard. Regularly empty and refill your birdbaths. Tires that are out back should likewise be drained. It only takes a tablespoon of water for a mosquito to reproduce.

Scratching an itch from a mosquito bite is bad enough. Being laid-up for weeks with some exotic disease can mess-up an entire summer. Maybe an entire life.

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Image Source: manisharambles