If you get beyond the terribly sad cover story in this week’s New York Magazine, you’ll find that there’s also quite a long article about mosquitoes inside. Basically, after this winter’s, well, lack of winter, some folks are wonder whether we’re in for a serious plague of winged irritants this summer. “Out for Blood” is also slyly funny in way that you absolutely do not expect an article about mosquitoes to be.
Here’s author Robert Sullivan on the New York City sewer system:
If God, say, were to ask humans to create a system with which to breed mosquitoes, a sewer system relying on catch basins to filter debris might be it. God did not ask us to do that, but we did it anyway.
On global warming and its effect on mosquitoes:
we can say that if mosquitoes could read, they would be inclined to like the news about global warming.
Quoting a scientist on the dietary preferences of the Culex pipiens, the “gray rat” of mosquitoes:
“It’s like steak or a hot dog—if you take the steak away, people will take the hot dog,” says Dickson Despommier, professor emeritus of public health at Columbia and co-host of the podcasts “This Week in Virology” and “This Week in Parasitism.” “For the Culex pipiens, we are the hot dog.”
Really getting inside the mind of the subject:
If I am a male mosquito, I eat nectar. I am attracted to individual females by the sound of their wings—a nice wing sound makes me crazy for mosquito sex.
On the health departments apparent nonchalance on the 2012 mosquito question:
What does the health department say about the upcoming summer? Nothing. Maybe they don’t want to panic people. Maybe they’re not that worried. They just won’t say.