Bedtime Mosquito Battle — the war continues

*DISCLAIMER / WARNING: This post gets a little graphic, mainly as an expression of my complete and utter hatred for blood-sucking insects. I’m venting about mosquitoes. Read no further if you don’t want to know.

I refuse to admit defeat.

It’s mainly because my daughter vocally protests against her nightly visitors and pleads to sleep on the couch, even though I’ve explained that the damned things won’t randomly decide to leave her alone if she changes rooms. Her room does not belong to the mosquitoes!

But it is a fairly regular frustration. So I’ve decided to outline a basic set of the rules I have developed in the nightly battle against the whiney little scourge.


How to Kill a Mosquito (esp. at bedtime)

RULE No. 1:No fly swatters. There’s no use swatting at a mosquito. They’re too small and ephemeral, almost fairy-like in their deceptive daintiness, to be caught up by a mere fly swatter.



RULE No. 2: Move slowly. Very often, the slight structure of the mosquito allows it to glide on the drafts of air you make when you’re trying to SMASH IT AGAINST THE WALL WITH THE HEEL OF YOUR HAND TO SMOOSH IT INTO A PANCAKE.

So you end up waving helplessly at a damned near invisible thing, and if you’re visible to someone who doesn’t know the score, looking kind of stupid.



And then you lose track of it as it wisps away into the shadows, mocking you before it returns to dive-bombing your ears with its shrill, incoherent battle-cry.


Move slowly. Keep your eye on the target.

RULE No. 3: Become one with the mosquito. Yes, you heard me. You read that correctly. Understand the mosquito’s wants and needs. It wants blood. It wants to pierce your sweet, sweet flesh and pull draughts of your tasty, hot plasma into its gullet to nurture its demon seeds. (Demon’s seeds? Daemon seeds?)

So use that understanding. Call to the mosquito and let it scent your breath — they are attracted to our exhaled breath, after all. Hold out your palm and invite it to land and feast upon you. Be the bait, with all of the patience of the zen master.

And then . . . when it appears, tantalizingly within reach, wait. Remember that even the fastest strike can be foiled by the air currents between the fingers, giving the fucking bastard an escape route right through your digits when you least expect it.

No. Be calm. Only strike when you can see its shadow perfectly within your palm.


RULE No. 4: Kill it until it is DEAD. Obvious, of course. But what you MAY NOT REALIZE is that the mosquito is resilient and bendy. It compresses into the crevices of your hand, flattening against the pills of a blanket, using the minuscule gaps between the weave of cloth to save itself from the untimely end it so richly deserves. There is little worse than believing you have triumphed by snatching the little prick in mid-air and putting paid to it between your fingers and the heel of your hand, only to have it tra-la-la away when you open your hand again.

I swear, you can hear them laughing at times like that.

So when you KNOW it’s in your grasp, and you can feel its little wings grinding, forget the grossness and don’t be squeamish. Do what must be done. TEAR IT TO PIECES. MANGLE ITS BEADY LITTLE CORPSE, RENDING IT LIMB FROM LIMB AND SHOVING THAT PROBOSCIS WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE WHILE IT’S BLINDED BY SHARPENED FRAGMENTS OF ITS OWN WINGS.

RULE No. 5: Wash your hands. It’s basic hygiene, especially if you’ve killed one right after a fresh feed and the evidence of the bloodbath is all over your opposable thumb and what it’s attached to. Bloody fingerprints are unsightly on the walls, so better wash those too. In fact, just jet-wash the whole damned place, sprinkle it with salt and fresh herbs or holy water or whatever jingles your jangle, and declare the house cleared of the vermin scum.


And remember to plug any holes to the outside where the little jerks might be getting in. That helps, too.

Victory dances are allowed, as are triumphant sharings of the proof of the deed with family and friends. Bragging rights are permitted, of course. It’s important to keep up morale when you’re under siege.

Aaand that’s about it! Except that you’ll likely have to repeat the whole sequence every time you or your child or your significant other is irritated by those tiny assholes. So load up on whatever is going to keep you awake until the job is done.

Speaking of . . . my daughter hasn’t come downstairs to complain that there is a mosquito in her room for a good hour, now, and my son announced about 20 minutes ago that he’d killed one in his room. Dare I hope that we’re good for the night?



Inappropriate game for road trips: Roadkill Bingo!

. . . am seriously considering making one for the next long drive. So . . . Patent Pending, right?


Got my hard drive back at last! My files, oh, my files . . . how I missed you! Sadly, I cannot access the photos stashed inside, but my desktop probably wouldn’t be able to handle the load anyway. I’ll be able to get to them again, right? RIGHT?


I live in a house of a thousand corpses. Mosquito corpses. Stuck to the walls and ceiling.

I know. It’s gross.


I should make little tiny plaques documenting the date and time of each kill.

A watched pot never boils. A watched 9 year old never washes her plate. But you go and take a shower and suddenly she’s doing it . . . WHILE YOU ARE SHOWERING.

Two weeks ago I was looking for socks and bundling up in a sweater. Today my region had a heat warning and I went out in a sundress with sunscreen and a sunhat and I still got a bit burnt. #wtf but also #lovingit

The 9 year old started researching hotel prices and flight costs to Paris, France, for her future trip when she is 18, and recording them in a chart. This is the child who hates math. WHAT IS HAPPENING?

The teenager did a sink full of dishes this morning without complaining, in lieu of mowing the lawn because he was running out of time to do a chore before going to a friend’s house. I repeat: WHAT IS HAPPENING?

Oh. The Road Kill Bingo is already a thing. But we need a CANADIAN version, right? With porcupine, moose, goose, doughnut, Tim Horton’s cup . . .



And now, a poem . . . about MOSQUITOES!

I thought of this while I was driving to school today. My son, riding shotgun, refused to let me go further than the first two or three lines. The darned thing has been lurking in the back of my head all day, though. So here it is, just for you.

Where Do All of the Mosquitoes Go?

Where do all of the mosquitoes go

When the earth is frozen under mounds of snow?

Their high-pitched song and piercing whine

Silenced by the cold of winter time.

Do they sleep beneath blankets of white?

Or are tiny corpses all that remains of their fight?

While their eggs, suspended, wait for spring

Near the pools of standing water that melt will bring?

It’s only the females that bite and suck blood

Driven to nourish their coming brood.

Mother’s instinct winning over manners kind

(If insects had rules of etiquette to mind . . .)

Where do all of the mosquitoes go

When the frost descends and north winds blow?

Minuscule ethereal tormentors of the skin

At end of summer meet their reckoning

Flying slowly, lazily, to peaceful destruction

Seems unfair, having survived elimination

Should we envy the lives of these summer creatures

Spared having to endure winter’s features?

Fairy-like structures able to cause such pain

Thriving in humidity, heat, and rain

Irritating with attacks by proboscis

Still, mosquitoes have their uses.

Where do all the mosquitoes go?

Do the crows and ravens miss their flow?

Crunchy snacks for wily fowl and fish

Beware, mosquito, if you’re not quick!

Evening walks are far more pleasant

When you’re not racing their annoying chant

And why do they aim for ears and nose?

If it’s blood you want, don’t head for those!

What’s the point of targeting orifices

When it’s flesh that has the tastiest pieces?

I don’t miss your high-pitched hum

When icicles hang and I freeze my bum

I’d rather pile on layers of sweaters and socks

Tingling fingertips and toes numb as rocks

Than endure itchy bumps and calamine lotion

Bleeding and scabbing from mosquito devotion!

Where do all the mosquitoes go?

Wish they didn’t come back at all, you know.

But a world without them would suffer more

Hard to remember, must not ignore.

I’ll enjoy the mosquito-less months while they last

And kill them on sight when winter has passed

For they’re neither endangered nor hard to locate

— impossible to escape when they think I taste great —

And they flock out en masse when the sun starts to set

Settling on my skin as though I were their pet!

They bite me through jeans! Wiggle into my hair!

In unending numbers they seek me everywhere!

Miniature vampires, blood-sucking pests

Beloved by baby birds being fed in their nests

But not by me, and my obsession should stop

Since it’s winter, and “skeeters” there are not

But I have to wonder, and ponder, this January day,

When in four months or so the bugs come back to play,

As much as I hate those damnable insects,

Where did they come from? I have to respect

For even though I loathe and despise their very being

At least their presence indicates the cold’s ending.

–Tori L. Ridgewood, 1/13/15