After my startling revelations about the absence of ants in Chad (since disputed by one learned authority – but only on FaceBook so it doesn’t count) I’d like to make some observations on Chadian mosquitoes.
- They Use Stealth Technology. Your common or garden African mosquito makes a high pitched whining noise. Many is the night I’ve lain awake, irritated by a sound like a mini dentist’s drill circling around my head. Vainly swatting at where I think it has landed and covering my ears with a pillow to drown out the rotten noise. Chadian mosquitoes, on the other hand, are more or less silent. The first sign that they have been anywhere near you is a very itchy bite. If they are not using some sort of stealth technology, they have all taken Trappist vows of silence.
- They have the itchiest bites in the known world. A silent mosquito may not wake you up by buzzing around your ears, but even the deepest sleeper would be woken by the crazed itching that set in once one of these beasts has taken a blood donation from you.
- They hunt in packs. I might have thought that mosquitoes were as rare as ants here until last night. I’d never seen (certainly not heard) or felt a mosquito here …. till just after I dropped off to sleep yesterday!!!! I woke up, driven wild by mad itching all over my hands, groped around for my glasses, switched the light on, sat up in bed and stared at the walls. After a few minutes, I spotted the culprit and with the experience of many years behind me, I gave it a swift backhand squash. I don’t know how many times the beast had bitten me, but the wall by my bed looked like a scene from a TV murder mystery when I squashed the mossie. Anyway, I settled back to sleep again, scratching a little, but satisfied with a job well done. Twenty minutes later, I woke up with bites all over my ankles and finally squashed the culprit who was resting on my trousers hanging near to my bed. I got about an hour’s sleep before the third insect set about liberating me of my hard produced red blood cells.
Today, there are no mosquitoes in my room, I think they’ve been impressed by the way I deal with them and have gone off to find a less resistant victim! For some reason, I feel very sleepy today.