The itchy and scratchy dance…

8
Sep
2009

It has been many years since I lived in New York in the summertime. And while I grew up in the midwest that has a similar climate, I somehow forgot all about the mosquitoes. It just seemed to me that at least in the city itself (if not Fire Island and the like), that they would not exist here, driven away by some combination of pollution and technology. One of the most amazing things about living in San Francisco and Los Angeles has to be the never mentioned, rarely appreciated lack of mosquitoes. Alas here they are everywhere, and I spend a fair portion of my day scratching myself. Mostly forearms, followed by legs around the knees and lower back-fat. There are a huge number of variables that go into what makes a person tasty to a mosquito it seems. What you have been eating; What perfumes or deodorants you wear; Your innate pheromones;  The type of mosquito; Whether it is day, dusk or night; How much or little the people around you are being attacked; Whether you have been naughty or nice.

Of all the creatures on this earth, I can discern no reason for being in the mosquito other than to gives us an appreciation of their absence. Other pests (bees come to mind) are vitally important to our well being on this planet, and we exist in delicate balance with them. Not so the mosquito. Can anyone tell me how we would be at any sort of disadvantage if they all died out tomorrow? It seems that all we would lose is a raft of horrible diseases like malaria and dengue, and perhaps a small dose of gallows humor while camping in the woods…