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Here in the US, we humans tend to think we’re at the top of the food chain. Unless we’re staring down a bear, swimming with a gator or molesting a moose, we usually figure we’re going to come out on top of any “us vs. animal” scenario.
Well, guess what: Rats and mosquitoes don’t see it that way. That’s because they started kicking our butts before recorded history and haven’t let up yet. Between malaria and the plague alone, they’ve probably racked up a higher human body count than all the world’s wars combined. They’re even better at killing us than we are – and we invented the cruise missile.
That doesn’t even account for the annoyance factor. I don’t mind fishing next to a huge gator, but a swarm of mosquitoes has made me pack up my poles and flat out leave. My brother Steve has walked out of his way to avoid a big boar hog, but rats in the camp forced him to spend an entire night on freezing ground. (They also took his pocketknife and loose change, and gnawed the laces off his boots just for good measure.)
The fact is, most animals suffer when humans invade their territory. Rats and mosquitoes appreciate the company.
Just think about this for a second: In the past 100 years or so, we’ve put men on the moon, cured horrific diseases and developed weapons that can destroy the very planet we live on. You know what we haven’t done? We haven’t beaten rats and mosquitoes into submission. I’m not complaining about technology, but it looks like we could devote at least one or two of our best minds to that job.
And it’s not like we can’t do it. God knows we almost eradicated the buffalo, manatees are holding on by a thread, and the last few Florida panthers are going to be cruising for mates on South Beach pretty soon. And those are all critters we like. How hard can it be to help rats and mosquitoes earn a spot on the threatened list?
Over here on Florida’s western border, we’re trying to save the endangered Perdido Key beach mouse. Hey, I’m on board with that. However, in exchange for protecting their furry little butts, maybe we ought to press them for some intel about their cousins the rats. Find out their weaknesses, names of family members, etc. Stuff we can use against them.
Then again, maybe what we need for that job is a mole.
But mosquitoes? Forget the finesse. I say let’s go old school. We’ve got lots of things that can kill every human within a hundred yards. Somebody wake up the folks at General Dynamics or Lockheed Martin or Haliburton and see if they can spend, oh, say 10 minutes or so inventing a weaponized can of Raid or a Claymore mosquito mine.
What I don’t want is another wussy contraption like the Thermacell or a new “repellent.” My goal here isn’t to just make mosquitoes leave me alone. I want them to die. And die painfully, if that’s even possible in the insect world.
If that doesn’t work, our best hope might be to turn the two species against each other. We’ll pretend to broker peace deals, but secretly arm both sides. Let the fight go on for years, until they’re too weak to bother us anymore. And when the time is right, unleash the pent up fury of a thousand generations. It won’t be pretty, but it will be immensely satisfying. Our ancestors will smile down from above. Our progeny will sing our praises for centuries to come.
And once we’re done, we can work on a plan to put those uppity cockroaches back in their place as well.