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Battling the - ZZZZ. Smack! -- mosquitoes

By A Treasure Coast essay by Paul Janensch


Fort Pierce, FL – ZZZZ. Smack! Until the 1850s, the stretch of Florida from above Cape Canaveral to below Jupiter Inlet was designated as Mosquito County. Good name. Mosquitoes were so numerous and so bothersome along the coast, that people begged to be buried in the sand up to their chins - or so I've read. They can still be pesky. Especially in the summer after lots of rain, and especially at dawn or dusk. I spray repellant on my exposed skin every day, but some mosquitoes still manage to make their way up my shorts or under my polo shirt to bite me. The word "mosquito" comes from the Spanish for "little fly." To feed, they use long stingers that poke out from the front of their heads. The males drink nectar from plants. It's the females that suck the blood from animals to develop their eggs. Mosquito larvae grow in shallow water. So get rid of it from plastic kiddy pools, tarps, bird baths, upside-down garbage can lids and the like. I once thought that every living thing played a useful role in nature. But some scientists say eradicating mosquitoes would not harm the ecosystem one bit. ZZZZ. Smack! So take THAT, Ms. Mosquito. For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.

Paul Janensch was a newspaper editor and taught journalism at Quinnipiac University.