Before going to bed each night, Andrew and I brace ourselves for The Hunt. With a bottle of Windex-like liquid and a box of Kleenex, we advance into the bedroom and begin a thorough study of the walls and ceiling of our bedroom. “There’s one!” we begin shouting, and The Hunt is on. “There’s one! It’s there! At the ceiling! It just flew towards me!” The tension is thick enough to cut with a knife. I scream, and scream, and Andrew blasts me in the face with Windex. “Did you get it?” There is desperation and pleading in my voice. “It fell,” Andrew says. “But I can’t find its body.”
Spot it, spray it, squash its writing carcass with a tissue. Lovely. This is our nightly ritual. Sometimes it lasts for just a few minutes; sometimes for an hour or more; sometimes it recurs, again and again, throughout the night. Last night, for example, Andrew engaged in The Hunt for about an hour at midnight, then again at 3:00am. What are we hunting, you might wonder—we’re hunting mosquitoes. Mosquitoes that somehow get into our apartment and bedroom, despite the fact that we have screens on all the windows, and, as far as I know, don’t have any squalid pools of stagnant water lying around.
For a while, we thought we had it under control. We bought a big floor fan and have it aimed directly at the bed—this seems to prevent the horrifying, A MOSQUITO IS GOING TO BURROW INTO MY EAR ANY SECOND buzzing that kept us awake night after night a couple of months ago. Now the mosquitoes generally stay away from our ears and concentrate on feasting on any bit of flesh that happens to be exposed.
These blood-suckers are fast, and for some reason furious, and I currently have about five bites on my right knee and calf. Andrew woke a couple of nights ago and flipped a light on, only to see one sucking at my neck like a tiny, flying vampire.
You might think this is simply annoying, but manageable. You’d be wrong. It’s like living inside a nightmare where mosquitoes are dive-bombing and biting you at every turn. It’s awful, and we don’t know how to stop it. The Hunt grows more and more tedious every night.
An aside: the thermometer on Andrew’s desk currently indicates that it’s 106 F outside. This is apparently prime mosquito weather. You’d think we lived in a swampy Southern state, not bone-dry Sacramento.