Bangladesh may be famous for Bengal tigers, Asian elephants, and monkeys but the wildlife I most frequently encounter in Dhaka is the ragingly carnivorous mosquito.
Mosquitoes in Bangladesh are different than those back home in Canada. They look identical but behave differently. Mozzies back home will buzz your ears and generally you can find the offending insect, squash it with a decisive clap of the hands and proudly wipe the guck (or, God forbid, someone else’s blood) from your skilled palms. Bangladeshi mosquitoes however, are ninjas. You don’t hear them approaching, barely feel the attack and by the time you’ve realized you’ve been bitten, it’s far too late; the offending insect has silently escaped. I can occasionally be seen jumping around my apartment in an angry frenzy, muttering invented curses and occasionally screaming “die spawn of Satan” at the mosquitoes I cannot find.
To combat the relentless blood-sucking pursuit of the moshas, two primary tools are required.
#1. Mosquito Net.
Our trust, baby-blue mosquito net has been keeping us safe from dengue, malaria and Japanese encephalitis for the past two years. Although it gets dusty fairly quickly and possesses numerous small holes from my random, dream-stoked panics where I believe I’m being chased by a giant octopus or something, it keeps us safe from the mosquito-ninja menace. Without the net, Dani and I would look like small-pox victims.
#2. Mosquito Racquet
This is, while perhaps not essential, by far the most enjoyable component of the campaign to rid our apartment of mosquitoes. Our electric tennis racquet certainly adds a certain degree of entertainment to the hunt. The snap, crackle and pop of the racquet as it abruptly roasts a stray mosquito is one of the most satisfying sounds (and smells coincidentally… roasted mosquito flesh toasting on an electric grill…MMMMM) I’ve ever encountered.
Anyways, that’s all of the gory details on our effort to stay Dengue-free! Four months to go. Hopefully these measures will be adequate!