What is the point of them?


Invasion of mosquitoes into our home, over the last few days, has been wearing on my last nerve. Every single time our front door was opened, a parade of these annoying insects would file in. It was as if they were waiting patiently and scrambled to enter, for the few seconds the door remained opened. I was reminded of my childhood home where we had one of those bug zapping lanterns growing up. The purple lights and noise it made when the insects were getting obliviated, is etched in my memory.

In the absence of being able to put bug suits on my little grandchildren as they had a sleepover, Grandma perched on the edge of the bed with the broom nearby and flashlight on my cell phone. I would squish them, slap them, brush them down from the ceiling and onto the ground where I could step on them. It was during several hours of this process that I began to think – what is the point of them and why do they make me so angry?

I actually Googled “mosquito purpose” and learned that they are part of the food chain to feed bats, birds, frogs and fish, just to name a few. Apparently, thousands of living things depend of mosquitoes for food. I can’t say that this info made me feel any better, but I was sure happy to hear that they were created with the purpose of being eaten alive. I am; however, not pleased with the fact that they carry disease and that only the female mosquitoes take blood to make their eggs to produce more mosquitoes. At least they have a use, other than just to annoy us.

Now on to the angry part… I was angry that they were biting the babies and the babies didn’t even know to shoo them away. I was angry that my one grandson welted up, when bit. I was angry that we couldn’t sleep, as I attempted to quarantine all of us in one bedroom, with the door closed, while trying to protect ourselves, only to be a awake for hours finding them and killing them and the buzzing sound that followed.

I did get one whole hour of sleep that night and woke up to blood all over my pillow from being bitten. I felt absolutely awful from all of the bites that the babies got in their sleep. The poor little loves suffered because of these pests.

I began to think that I was grateful I wasn’t a monk. In Tibetan Buddhism apparently monks are taught that all killing is wrong and that karma is equal to the deed. If I was a monk and calculating the mosquito killing spree I went on, I would probably under a black cloud for at least the next several days. Add all of the swearing that I mumbled, under my breath and I am really in the nasty books.

All I know is that the whole situation tested my non-existent patience.
I guess my hate relationship with mosquitoes can be loosely compared to tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis or volcanic eruptions. These are all things in nature that can intersect with people. What is the point of all of the bad things that happen?

Maybe the answer is that these things all happen to be a part of nature and it is simply a natural consequence. The mosquitoes don’t have a plan to make us miserable; it is just what they do to reproduce. It isn’t really the mosquitoes fault that we have a house in the middle of the bush; they were here first. It isn’t their fault that they look for puddles or standing water to lay their eggs and that rain attracts them to get busy laying their eggs.

All I know is that it is up to us to keep puddles and water cleared as much as possible, near our doors. It is up to us to keep rain gutters clean, avoid dusk, dawn and shady areas where they are attracted, as they don’t like sun or dry heat. It is up to us to keep water out of buckets, flowerpots, BBQ covers, garbage cans or furniture with places for water to sit. It is up to us to keep bushes, trees and grass trimmed to avoid hiding places for mosquitoes.

I began to realize that the mosquitoes don’t plot their attack and have it in for us – even though it feels like it. Mosquitoes are people too and they have a job to do. Apparently they exist to feed other living species and do some baby making. When I really thought about it, it was actually our fault – the front door doesn’t have a screen. Even though we bought a new screen door to put in front of the steel entrance door, it was a custom jam and wouldn’t fit. That door is still sitting in our basement. Getting a different screen door has just remained on our “to do” list, for years.

In a sense, the mosquito problem boiled down to the fact that we didn’t take care of our property. With a screen, it would be more difficult for a slew of mosquitoes to enter. Therefore, in conclusion, it was our fault. All of this analyzing has make me feel even guiltier. I know now that our undone “to do” list is more of a priority now. I now have incentive to get it done, because of the grand babies.

I guess there was a point to them after all; to learn that every action or inaction has a consequence – good or bad. What we do, does matter. What we don’t do, does matter. At least some of the negative consequences may be eliminated when we take action on things needing attention. We will see if this new perspective helps me to sleep better tonight. Worse case scenario, I will be at attention all night with my broom and flashlight in hand. I saved a big bumble bee today and carried it outside today though; maybe Karma will show me some slack….

This week’s photo slideshow: Pointe Des Chenes After the Rain