Mosquito and Me

It is the year 2010 and 3 things are definitely set to rise in Nigeria: The sale of generators, the tension over our missing president (over 4 months now and counting), and the population of mosquitoes. Yes, these good-for-nothing insects have swarmed the earth since the time of the dinosaurs and specifically the anopheles mosquitoes have been responsible for carrying the deadly malaria parasite which kills thousands of africans up to this day. Well, I decided a few days ago (after a couple of extremely itchy and sore mosquito bites on my arms and legs) to get lethal.

I stopped by my local supermarket on my way back from work and roamed the isles looking for the most effective insect repellent (especially the triple action variety to suit my usual uninvited guests – mosquitoes, ants and cockroaches). My choices were: Mobil (I thought these guys specialized in oil exploration!); Rambo (just because it sounds lethal and has a red bandana on the letter ‘O’ doesn’t mean its a one-man one-can killing machine!) Raid (Now here’s something thats a proven hit but the smell is absolutely horrendous…think Nail Varnish Meets Burning Incense!); Baygon (Oh yeah baby! Effective with a clinical but bearable smell…this is definitely the bees knees. Time to cop me some mosquito heads).

I arrived my flat with a sinister grin as I walked up my flight of stairs. I walked through the corridor into my living room and proceeded to the mosquito zone; my bedroom. If Stanley Kubrick was still alive he would probably agree that my barging into the room (brandishing a trusted can of insecticide) was a Shining moment indeed as I blurted out ‘Heeeere’s Baygon!’. I shook the can a few times as instructed and sprayed every last inch of that room till the can was almost empty. And there was silence. The air was misty. Strangely enough I heard a tiny but distinct cough coming from under my bed so I pulled out a nearby torchlight and went on all fours. To my surprise I it was a mosquito…a dying mosquito.  But how was I able to hear it cough? Or did I just fly over the cuckoo’s nest???

Mosquito: ‘Is it not enough that you suffocate me with these poisonous fumes? (cough) (cough) and now you want to finish me off with a torchlight? What are you going to do? Blind me to death too? Look I don’t have much time left…but there is something you should know. There is a deadly toxin coursing through your veins. The antidote is in my belly but you have to extract it with a syringe before I die or else…game over!

Me: Er…isn’t that something you just made up after watching the SAW movie?

Mosquito: You got me! Good movie, isn’t it?

Me: Huh?… Tell me, what is your purpose on earth?

Mosquito: We were put on earth by God to control the population levels, I suppose. Do YOU know what your purpose on earth is?

Me: Hey, I’ll be asking the questions here. You spread diseases, leave itchy bites and hum in my ear while I’m asleep. Quite frankly, you suck!

Mosquito: You said it, Einstein. I suck…blood, that is. And fortunately for you mosquitoes can’t harbour the HIV virus. Your species would long have been wiped out. But there’s something else we’re planning…

Me: We? You mean the rest of you mosquitoes?

Mosquito: Aren’t you the smart one, eh!. We are many and we will soon descend on you all like a plague. There will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. There will be blood…

Me: That’s it. I’ve heard enough.

There I was being threatened by a sarcastic, little insect about a possible mosquitogeddon. I shook what was left in the can and drowned the mosquito in a pool of insecticide spray. It choked, and its abdomen stopped moving. I went to bed that night and a few hours later I could hear a humming in my ear again but this time it was audible and this is what I heard, to my horror

… ‘Weeee’re baaaack!’

Note to self:  Should have bought Rambo 🙁

~Prevention is better than cure

  • On arrival into Nigeria, you need to get hold of some anti-malarial drugs asap. Malaria can kill but drugs are available in our pharmacies to combat or prevent the attack of the mosquito-borne disease. There is also the option of having a Chloroquine injection administered to you in a hospital as a preventive measure. You would have to register with a hospital first in order to do this.
  • Don’t panic if you get bitten by a mosquito. At worst you are more than likely to just have a sore bite/rash since not all mosquitoes carry the malaria parasite (Follow this link for an animated tutorial). Use a bed net and spray your bedrooms with insecticide e.g. Baygon, Raid, etc as mosquitoes feed at night time.
  • There are also body creams available at local pharmacies that act as a mosquito-repellent. They usually have a pleasant smell and can compliment the use of insectide sprayed around the room.
  • Be wary about living close to stagnant water. This is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, especially lagoon areas. Make sure you only drink filtered water or bottled water (approved by National agency for Food and Drug administration  and control, NAFDAC).