May 24, 2021 – I’m a pretty rugged girl. I use a chain saw, for pete’s sake! But a persistent mosquito can turn me into a wimp … an irritable, whiny wimp.
And it’s a whine – not a buzz – that we hear, say insect scientists. They make that sound by beating their wings. And they are beating ferociously right now in the north woods of Camp Many Moons.
Aack! When I feel helpless about something, it always helps me to learn more about it. Turn off the emotional response and turn on the intellectual one! Here’s a few more facts about mosquitoes, which might also apply to the irritable people in our lives.
- They come in 3,000 species.
- They can live as long as three weeks.
- They are food for bats, birds, frogs and snakes.
- They’re attracted to us by the carbon dioxide we exhale.
Next time someone (or some group) irritates you, consider these lessons from mosquitoes:
- Don’t generalize. There is more variety in that group than you might think!
- Consider your options before responding because you might encounter them again.
- This person has value to somebody.
- When all else fails, hold your breath until they leave.
What about repellents? I don’t recommend them for people, because, well, there has to be a better way! Unlike mosquitoes, people have consciousness – and a conscience. (Yes, even those who don’t seem to have one. It’s just buried temporarily!) For mosquitoes, though … use whatever works. I’m trying the works, both “natural” and “chemical.” Sometimes I just stay indoors until the worst passes. And when one finds me indoors, too, I take careful aim before I swat.
Come to think of it, that one can apply to people too. A carefully-aimed swat can be effective. Human swats work best when tinged with humor or self-deprecation. Just don’t let it become a slap.