The Everglades National Park
FIU IDH 4007

Mosquito Fest

Sabrina Sosa
IDH 4007
Fall Semester 2004

   I felt a small tickle on my arm. It turned into a pinching itch. I looked at my vulnerable white arm to find a small black-striped mosquito harassing my clean flesh for the perfect spot to strike. At the speed of light it was already injecting my skin and by the time I looked, it had conquered my blood.

   Mosquitoes, mosquitoes, mosquitoes! Aaaahhhh! They can drive anyone crazy. Walking through the hammocks, not even the insect repellent will save you. I just don't get it. I'm sacrificing my skin by wearing insect repellant with deet (which melts plastic) and these salt water monsters still managed and dared to pinch and penetrate though my skin, sucking my blood out of me. One of my classmates told me a mosquito secret. She said if I pulled my skin, stretching it in opposite ways while a mosquito is biting me, it's stinger would get trapped in the skin and it would explode. I wondered how on Earth this was possible until she taught me that the mosquito would continue to draw blood as an attempt to get out. I trusted that she was correct because she works with the Everglades and she has done this herself.

   I was so amazed with this information that I couldn't wait to burst one of those little nuisances myself. It's weird because I don't ever kill insects. I don't have the heart to. I believe that just like humans they have their own lives and have the right to live. I don't even kill flies. I guess that is because they don't bite or physically pester me. Every once in a while I'll find a lizard roaming in my house. When I find myself in a situation like this, I'll open the nearest window or door and push or lead it out with a broom. Small lizards I actually catch with my bare hands. Besides, I'm happy they eat flies and lizards. I don't support or use bug spray (I think it's completely cruel).

   So, back to mosquitoes: Going through the Bid Cypress Swamp, Lynette and I were trying to let mosquitoes bite us so we would be able to pop them. We weren't fortunate though. I for one, couldn't deal with the fact that I was going to be left with a red bump, not to mention it would really bother me itching like crazy for a couple of days. I couldn't even handle letting them get near me and if they did, I would try to splat them by slapping them against my body. At times I looked a little ridiculous. It looked like I was just hitting myself. Lynette didn't succeed either. She was worse off than me by far. She let all of them bite her, but she couldn't get them stuck in her skin. She came near to it once. Her closest encounter was trapping one, but didn't give it enough time to suck enough blood for it to burst. She got all nervous and let go of her stretched skin too early.

   Everywhere we went, I got bitten. It was absolutely ridiculous. I would have enjoyed myself a lot more if it wasn't for those darn manic blood-suckers. The entire class even had to switch locations from the hammocks, where we were going to discuss Killing Mr. Watson, to the front of the education center, which was less polluted with mosquitoes.

   I find them intolerable, uncontrollable, obsessive, compulsive, annoying, and pointless (only the female ones because they are the ones that bite). A mosquito is worthless. It only serves as the food for spiders, frogs, lizards, and other insects, but those named above also have other sources of food. Think of it, we can live perfectly without these meaningless insects. I wish the female ones didn't exist or better yet, didn't bite. But if there aren't any females then they would be extinct because the males wouldn't be able to reproduce. I say let's get rid of them all! Even if we wanted that to happen, how would we make them disappear? I don't think that can happen, being that their eggs are so small and hard to reach in the water.

   I can't believe those blood-biting scavengers got to me. I had jeans on and repellent and they still bit me. I got six bites on the back of my right arm and three on my knuckles. On the back of my left arm I had four and my hand had three. Some bites were different shapes and some were smaller than others. I think I was also attacked by "no-see-um" sand flies.

   I felt so deceived (by the repellent). I felt so powerless. It was I against the mosquito and it beat me. Who would think that an insect that is so easily killed, so small, and so fragile had the control over humans? My bites look ridiculous. It's crazy because I didn't even get my arms in the water, so it couldn't have been that the repellent cream rubbed off.

   Even though they really bothered me, I am over it now. I have two more classes in the Everglades and as much as I hate the mosquitoes, it's still worth going to explore its wonderful ecosystem. I have enjoyed this class so much. It has brought an entire new experience to me. I have learned to appreciate nature in a different and more positive way. I see how every little living creature plays a big part in making the ecosystem (even the mosquitoes) and I take back what I said about their extinction. They do serve a purpose in the ecosystem. They pollinate many plants and serve as a big part of the food chain. We humans just have to deal with staying away from them. After all, we are the ones in their natural habitat.

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