Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" You've tried swatting them, you've tried screening them out, you've cursed and reviled them. I'm talking about the state bird of so many states -- the mosquito.
Who hasn't had a lovely summer evening ruined by these pesky pests?
I went hiking in a salt marsh once and got swarmed. But I was prepared with long sleeves, one of those screen hats, and long pants stuffed into boots. Still it was unnerving.
And now these little winged brutes carry Zika virus. It's really dangerous for pregnant women.
The other day I heard a motorized din. I looked across the street and saw a pest control service spraying the shrubs and lawn of one of those despicable McMansions. The sign on the truck said MOSQUITO/TICK PROTECTION.
This morning at 9:00 the same din sounded again, this time next door: MOSQUITO/TICK PROTECTION. I looked out the window, and there was a guy with no face mask, just showering the shrubs and house with pesticide.
I might have expected this from the pampered one percenters across the street, but I was pretty shocked to see my next-door neighbors, who have always shared my laissez-faire attitude about plant life, doing the same.
Readers, there is such a dearth of insect life in my yard now that I am beyond alarmed. My lawn is all-over speckled with clover flowers. Not a single bee. I have native wildflowers in full bloom in my micro-meadow. Not a single pollinator. No grasshoppers. No beetles. No June bugs and moths beating against the porch light when I sit outside. No little white butterflies.
Are there any benefits to mosquitoes and ticks? Only if you care about the food chain.
Putting aside their gastronomic choices, bats eat mosquitoes. The fewer mosquitoes, the fewer bats. Possums eat ticks. I know, I know, we could all do without possums. Or could we?
Many serious media outlets have written stern warnings about the catastrophic decline in the number of insects on our planet. This is a huge problem, my friends.
In my childhood long, long ago, the world teemed with bugs. I'm not just talking about the wilds of the mountains. I'm talking about ordinary suburban blocks like the one I live on. I can remember a time, even here in Haterfield, when a lawn full of clover had a pleasant number of bees on it.
Want to bet on the End Times? Encourage all your neighbors to get professional pest control companies to come and spray for mosquitoes. The shrubs in my neighbor's yard are now "protected" from mosquitoes, but they are also "protected" from every other kind of winged thing. I wouldn't trust the wild birds around that stuff. I wouldn't want Gamma Cat rubbing against it. And even though the guy spraying it wasn't masked, I don't want to sit outside with that poison so close to me.
A world without bugs is unsustainable. Our whole ecosystem will crash. Yes, the crawly blood-suckers are annoying and dangerous to the health ... but killing them off will be worse.
Please let me know if you still have an abundance of insects where you live. I am so very alarmed by the lack of them in my world. It's mid-June and I haven't even seen a firefly.
Gods ... I'm going to leave standing water on my property. Bats gotta eat.