The first morning I woke up in this house, I went downstairs, made myself a cup of coffee and wandered into the living room. I looked out the front windows and nearly dropped my coffee:
Masked men in coveralls with machines strapped to their backs were striding down the street shooting billowing clouds of smoke into lawns, car ports, every available space around the neighborhood.
I looked at one of the boys and asked, “Do you think that’s normal?”
Turns out it is normal. Sometimes twice a week normal. Sometimes every other week normal.
I saw it coming this morning. Out an upstairs window I could see the familiar fog of mosquito control swirling in the distance.
Mosquitos in Panama can (CAN is a very important word here) carry malaria, yellow fever, Dengue fever and the Zika virus, among other things. The control of mosquitos and the diseases they carry was one of the reasons the U.S. was successful at building the Panama Canal (The U.S. took the Cuban discovery of how these diseases were being transmitted and ran with it.).
I appreciate the mosquito control in my neighborhood. I’m not sure what it is doing to our health over time, but I like the mostly mosquito-free zone it creates.
I’m not always appreciative of the fact that the swells of smoke are shot into my front area just as the kids are leaving for school. I was relieved the spraying was a little earlier this morning, until I noticed the school bus was at the neighbor’s house picking up kids.
Reading up a little on mosquitos and Central America, I came across the fact that mosquitos in old-growth rainforest a much less likely to carry disease than mosquitos in disturbed forest settings.
Looking out my backdoor at my access to a portion of the rainforest, I’m thinking I’m not in the undisturbed area.