Take a bite out of me and die (a lengthy, torturous, inexplicably aware death). Okay, only that last part was bitter, wishful thinking.
Apparently, scientists are trying to find a molecule that will scramble mosquito metabolisms into hanging onto toxins after biting us, ensuring their swift demise. They're just a step away from developing the next weapon in the 'safe insecticide' arsenal (which naturally has to be an oxymoron, because we all know that Skin So Soft and its worthless ilk is just a red flag-waving tease for the everlasting run of the mosquitoes we've got in these parts, and I'm pretty sure that we were supposed to be able to frolic in fields of DDT with nary a concern, but c'mon, don't you ever want to go camping again?!). The hitch is that for this plan to work, someone's got to get bitten.
You might end up taking one for the team in the form of an itchy bite (or West Nile, malaria or dengue fever, depending on where you live) but you'd be doing your part to redeem summer. And in this swampy region, no matter how much DEET, herbal aromatics or smoke coil you invest in, any reduction in the number of bites is bound to be an improvement. Take that, Asian tiger 'I spit at your traditional dusk feeding times' freakishly workaholic mosquitoes.
"The whole community would essentially become one big mosquito trap," [the researcher] said. Over time, mosquito populations and disease rates would both decline. "It would be a group effort that in the long run could have a huge impact." Science Daily, 1/18/07
Zippity doo dah! There's hope for hammocks!
In perhaps related news, research shows that aggression is rewarded by dopamine in the brain, the same motivator as for sex, food, and drugs. Celebrity Death Match between giant mosquito and a Roomba-riding, barbecue-tong wielding grillmeister, anyone?
photographer Jim Gathany