As I type this, I swat a mosquito away from my arm. By the way, did you know that there is a day for mosquitoes? That’s right, World Mosquito Day falls on August 20 every year. Now, this day is not to celebrate mosquitoes, but to commemorate the day Sir Ronald Ross discovered that female mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans.
Technology to the rescue:
Living in India, we cannot avoid mosquitoes. This brings me to a very useful innovation – the mosquito bat! Almost all houses in urban and suburban India have one in their homes. And that reminds me about 2 funny incidents.
My husband was playing Pictionary with my then 3-year-old. His word was “tennis ball”. He drew the ball, but she couldn’t quite figure it out. So, he drew a tennis racquet next to it, and her first response was mosquito! Hahaha!!!
And when my 2-year-old niece was given her first bat and ball set, she immediately started pressing the bat onto the walls and furniture claiming that she’s catching mosquitoes with it. LOL!
The mosquito bat has become so common that little kids identify a bat more with a mosquito rather than a ball 😄! I’m reminded of this meme that came around.
Now, this invention also serves as a stress buster. Oh, the joy of zapping a few mosquitoes after a long day! Many evenings, I see my neighbor, armed with a bat, standing out in his balcony, where there’s no shortage of mosquitoes! The sounds are similar to that of festive crackers, though at a way more tolerable decibel.
Jokes apart, the reason why I love this invention is that it is a SAFE tool against mosquitoes. (Unless curiosity gets the better of you, and you touch the live wires to see what it feels like. It’s a mild shock – yes, I admit to having done that🙄). Most other methods of protection like repellents, sprays, coils, and creams result in us inhaling/absorbing some of the poison.
I personally hate mosquitoes as they seem to have an affinity for my blood. Even if there is a gathering of people, I would inevitably be the first choice for all the mosquitoes in the area! And apart from the itching rash, the bigger reason to hate them is that they transmit deadly diseases like malaria, Zika, chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, filariasis, etc.
All it takes is one bite from a disease-carrying mosquito to bring you down. As a young girl, I wondered why HIV is not transmitted via mosquitoes. I later learnt, to my relief, that the HIV virus does not survive in the gut of a mosquito.
Researchers are studying the impact of eliminating certain disease-spreading species of mosquitoes from the ecosystem. There are also ongoing studies on genetically modified mosquitoes and its impact on the environment.
FACT: It takes less than a week for mosquito eggs to mature into blood sucking adults
FACT: Mosquitoes cannot develop without water
At an individual level, we can also take steps to control the mosquito population in our vicinity. This World Mosquito Day, let us pledge to eliminate any stagnant water within our properties, as they serve as mosquito breeding grounds.
To successfully control the mosquito menace, India requires co-operation from every citizen.
Till then, keep zappin’ them mosquitoes!
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