The Star-Herald

Bug Guts – On being skeeter bait

For the budding scientists out there, find a way to recover the samplings of blood that mosquitoes and black flies take from us. 

This is the time that our friends and colleagues at the Red Cross clamor for more blood. There are many reasons for this. People on vacation, summer travel and family obligations are among the most well known. In Maine and The County, we raise mosquitoes to be pretty independent. You are just as likely to find Mama Mosquito at Walmart buying cartloads of barbecue sauce as you are to see Papa Skeeter out fishing for dinner on the river. 

Troopers and wardens have many stories of skeeters passing them on motorbikes while flipping birds all over the place. That will earn a few slaps. We even make a competitive sport of the mosquito slap. The idea is to see how many skeeters one can slap on friends before they go splat on the pavement. It’s almost as exciting as tennis, and really exciting in the pews of various churches during communion services. 

Best way to win the effort: take the Good Book, close it and bring the whole ensemble down on the head of the non-believing bug. Count the number of casualties and compare. The preacher will appreciate it. Done correctly, this becomes the rhythm line for the choir. This may be why it is considered a Good Book. Saving “soles” from the ravages of bites and chomps of skeeters is a full-time profession. 

Next time you see one hovering around that state trooper, spare him the burden of being bitten yet again by bringing the blood fiends to heel. Slap away. Do keep the defense attorney’s 800 number handy for explanations. 

A mosquito draws a certain amount of blood. Based on the total number of mosquitoes killed, this would make a great source for the Red Cross to get new donors. Ten skeeters to an ounce of blood and a few hundred smashed skeeters will make a pint. Even better is to open milking parlors where skeeters could be relieved of their collection and released to gather more. We can minimize the milking equipment and money can be made by raising them for the industrial collection of blood products needed by the world. 

It is time to open a new revenue stream for County farms. The Red Cross could get the donations that help us all. The heart swells with pride very time a skeeter gives its drop of blood to save a life. It is an itch to scratch.

Orpheus Allison is a photojournalist living in The County who graduated from UMPI and earned a master of liberal arts degree from the University of North Carolina. He began his journalism career at WAGM television later working in many different areas of the US. After 20 years of television he changed careers and taught in China and Korea.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.