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<An entry for the Real Hitchhiker’s Guide>

The Earth, although mostly harmless, is infested in places with some very irritating life-forms (excluding humans). As an alien visitor you can choose to avoid these places, but if you absolutely have to see them, here are a few tips about mosquito-hunting.

The irritation level caused by mosquitoes is determined by a number of factors. If you’re unable to hear high frequency sounds and have a blood chemistry based on copper in stead of iron, you will have no trouble at all with mosquitoes. In fact, you can stop reading this right now and go enjoy the interesting experiences these places have to offer (such as being eaten by alligators.)

Right, if you’re still here you’ve got a problem. Mosquitoes are tiny flying insects that attempt to drive you crazy by emitting a high-pitched whine. They also sting and drink the blood of certain organisms. You can use various types of poison to kill or discourage them, but mostly those still leave you with a period of listening to that maddening whine. The most immediate method is to manually squash the mosquito. This is not easy.

First you have to locate it, and the only way is by ear. You have to triangulate its position based on that irritating sound. When you’ve located it, NEVER take your eyes off it, you’ll just lose it if you do. If this means walking backwards and falling over your suitcases, so be it.

Also, do not try to catch it with your hand. In my experience this is extremely likely to fail, and you’ll lose the mosquito while checking your hand to see if you’d caught it.

The best way is to have a (medium to hard) pillow ready, for best accuracy and squashing effectiveness. Follow your mosquito around until it is close to a level, solid surface (such as a wall or ceiling) and then throw the pillow at it with enough force to squash the mosquito without damage to the wall or ceiling.

If you’re lucky this will leave the mosquito stuck on the surface as a trophy of your victory. Otherwise, you’ll have to locate it and try again.

Anyway, this provides a lot of excitement in some very boring places, unless of course, you like being eaten by alligators.