MOSQUITOES - AN UNENDING BATTLE WITH TERRIFYING BLOOD SUCKERS

 


PHOTO BY JAZEEL JAZ IN UNSPLASH


When we were in primary school, we were thought that mosquitoes were prevalent or always present in areas containing bushes and stagnant waters. Well, I’ll take such teachings to be outdated because the mosquitoes of nowadays show no mercy. They don’t care whether you’ve got a stagnant water or bushes around your house. 


In Nigerian homes they’re just in every possible place you can think of; under the chairs in the sitting room, behind the wall clock, inside your shoes on your shoe rack, by your window side, waiting for the right time to strike which is always at night. Once, when I was younger, I had slept through the night without a shirt on, despite the warnings from my mother. And being a deep sleeper I didn’t feel any tiny movements or prickles on my fresh and warm body till the next morning. I woke up to see these creatures perching firmly on the wall beside me, bloated and looking larger than their normal sizes. It was only when I began scratching my bare body that I understood what had happened.


Some times I wonder how such creatures managed to come into existence. As small as they look, they’re big enough to deprive you of your joy of sleeping at night, until you give them their medicine; smacking them to death, or using chemicals on them.


As you grow older, you begin to understand that sleep is your uttermost priority at night, and there’s nothing better than having a comfortable and relaxing sleep at night. But these creatures have been designed to stop that from happening. Not only will they stop you from having a peaceful sleep; they would also want you to notice their presence and be awake while they torment you.


They don’t just suck your blood and leave. No! These devilish creatures will keep singing into your ears.

“Hey Brody bro, it’s ya starboy masquito here again tonight bro” 

And I keep asking;

“Can’t you irritating creatures just take the blood that you want and leave?!”


Sadly, the cycle continues until you decide that it’s enough.

“Oh man, I must buy a mosquito net”

Or 

“Oh man, I must spray my room with insecticide few hours before I go to bed”


In Nigeria, if you’ve got a power supply 24/7 and a standing or ceiling fan or any other source of artificial air, then you’re on the right track, because the short comings of these creatures is that they’re light in weight and can be carried easily by wind. Well, if you’ve also got a mosquito net, then your problem is solved too, only that it resurfaces again whenever there’s an opening in the net because these demons (who are always perching outside the net and cursing you for not being fair on them) will take the slightest opportunity and find their way into your comfort zone through any available opening.


But if you don’t have money to purchase a mosquito net at the moment, then you can settle with the insecticide daily routine.


When I was younger, we once had a mosquito net in our room, it was hung on four pins which were fixed into the ceiling. At night, we would draw down the net and spread it well so that we were secured comfortably under and inside it. In the morning, we would roll it up and leave it suspended in the air. 


This cycle continued till the net became old and weak; plus we were kids, so our sustaining of the net was not guaranteed because of how careless and rascally we were. Soon we brought down the net (thinking it was some form of hanging toy which could be played with) and that was when it dawned on us that mosquitoes really existed.


Well, my dad got us an insecticide and that was our saving grace. But after few months we understood the importance of sleeping under a net.


These creatures -as little as they are- posses some kind of intelligence. I’ll pick offence with anyone who calls a mosquito ‘a stupid or senseless creature’.

Friend, these creatures are highly brilliant. I’ll explain.


When we started using the insecticides, we would spray them round the room 2-3hrs before bed time. Within this period, the chemicals would circulate round the room, penetrating into holes and openings, and making the mosquitoes to forcefully inhale them. This weakened their fragile immune systems, and several minutes later they would drop dead on the floor. When it was almost bedtime, we would come in and open the windows to enable cross ventilation, and a safer/ chemical free, sleeping environment.


That night we would sleep peacefully with no noise or wailings in our ears till the next morning. Well after few months, these creatures had a meeting at our back, and then they came up with a new plan or I believed so.


“Oh man, these dudes want to wipe us out with their chemicals, what do we do?”

“Oh dude, We can just take cover and fool them”


And that’s what they did.

The next time we sprayed the insecticides, these creatures went into our shoes to take cover, some of them went under a pile of clothes lying on the floor, while some entered into the wardrobes and into the pockets of some of trousers which were hung there; to take cover. They were literally hiding in places where the sprayed chemical couldn’t penetrate, plus they had also learnt to build their immunities Incase they inhaled little portion of the chemicals mistakenly.


That night, we thought it was going to be sleep as usual, but by midnight these creatures resurfaced from no where.


And they’re like;

“Dudy Dudes, we’re back again for ya bloody blood”


And I’m like;

“How did the insecticide not kill you demons?”

SMACK! SMACK! I slap my hands against each other in frustration as I aim to end their miserable lives.


After that day, I understood that when it comes to dealing with mosquitoes, you just have to be constant and disciplined. You will always recieve a penalty or punishment whenever you don’t use a mosquito net or whenever you forget to spray the insecticide before bedtime.


Yesterday, I forgot to use an insecticide in my room and it was something else. A mosquito party. You know this feeling when the Security man whom you’re expecting to be on duty isn’t on duty. For whatever reason, he didn’t just come to work today, so you have a field day stealing and carting away with all you want or ever wish for. You even go the extra mile to invite family, friends and well wishers; 


“Come dine with me” you say “when the cat is away, the mice will play”


This was what it looked like last night. The number of mosquitoes I smacked to death was thrice the number I’d seen in the day time. I can bet they went to invite their whole tribe. 


“Hey guys, that Brody bro didn’t use the chemical tonight, let’s go feast on his bloody blood” 


Well, it’s not that I forgot to fleet the room, but the can of insecticide had finished and I needed to buy a new one, but for whatever reasons I didn’t just buy it immediately. It was weekend and the next time I’d leave the house to a place where I’d see it to buy, would be by the following week.


That night, while I was lying on my bed scrolling through my cellphone, preparing to have some sleep, a mosquitoe buzzed past my right ear.


And it’s like;

“Hey Brody bro, you can count on us tonight”


I shook my head in bitterness.

“I’m in big trouble” I muttered to myself.


I put on my torchlight and pointed it in the direction which the creature flew, but I saw nothing, nor did I hear any sound of it again. The room was quiet, and I tried to see if there were any traces of mosquitoes around. I could see none on the wall. I stood up and went to were my shoes were arranged. I kicked them all one by one, and I saw about three mosquitoes ready for the night.


“Hmmmm, not as bad as I thought, they’re just three” and I ended their lives. After washing my hands, I returned to the quiet room and lay on my bed. Then about three more, buzzed past my ear.


And they’re like…

“Hey Dudey dude, we are more than the sands of the sea”

 You see that’s the problem I have with mosquitoes. They just find a way to resurface even after you’re 100% sure that your room is free of mosquitoes. There always nowhere but everywhere.


I looked around in frustration; I sighted a mosquito net which lay by the corner of the wall. I wasn’t the owner, I’d been staying in the house now for a couple of weeks.

“Oh man has this really been here?” I asked myself wearily. 


I quickly rushed and picked it up, then I mounted it over my bed and went under it; the mosquito net was designed to stand and not to be hung. I smiled in triumph as I was almost done setting it up.


But then sometimes every disappointment isn’t always a blessing you know, it’s just that you’re not lucky that day. 


The mosquito net had two entrances sealed with a zip attached to each. I zipped up the entrance by the right and turned to zip up the one by my left only for me to discover that it was faulty. You know that situation when you try zipping up your school bag only to find out that the zip is faulty and your school is just wide open, after moving the zip from one side of the bag to the other.


After zipping it; it was still wide open and I knew that these evil creatures weren’t going to take any chances with me.

Well, I used two office pins to hold it down, side by side; so the office pins were literally helping me to seal the entrance of the net; they were doing the job of the zip.


But there were still little openings. I hissed and slept off. 

“I can’t come and kill myself”

————————————————————-

After scratching so much in my dreams, I woke up to discover that I’d been scratching my legs in reality. 


I put on my torchlight, and I saw a party.

You know that kind of party where everyone is playing and jumping about till the owner of the occasion arrives, and then the party comes to a halt, and everyone goes to sit down and take cover. That was the scenario. 


Mosquito get to party inside my net, and then I wake up to see them all lined up at various points inside my net. Not even outside or on top of the net; INSIDE, right above me, infact I can even reach out and grab them. Some are already bloated and intoxicated with my liquid.


And they’re like;

“Hey Brody bro, thanks for ya bloody blood”


And then out of anger I begin to smack and smack. 


I take a quick glance at my phone to check the time; it’s just 2am.


So here am I, by 2am in the early hours of the morning, smacking and smacking, slapping my hands against each other, hitting my hands against the walls and on the hard floor because of some tiny evil creatures, that believe they’re using me to play ‘HIDE-AND-SEEK’


I can bet the neighbors in the next apartment would be wondering if I’ve gone berserk.


I counted them; there were 15 creatures in all. After that, I washed my hands and returned to my bed to force my self to sleep. About three more mosquitoes buzzed past my ears again.

“Hey Brody bro, you in for a fight?”


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