Mosquito Season

Jun 4 2012 @ 10:22am

Is upon us. Why cities often get hit the hardest:

Between the metal grate you see on street corners and the pipe below that carries water from the grate into the sewer system is a peculiar structure called a catch basin—a chamber designed to catch debris before it clogs our pipes. At the bottom, each catch basin can hold a few feet of water, perfect for mosquito eggs to float in, with air warm enough to keep female mosquitoes alive throughout the winter. These creatures not only don’t mind water that is not exactly pure like a mountain stream; they prefer it.

The catch basin is one of those things we think help separate us from natural ecosystems, when in fact it only expands them. 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. We also went and created an entire landscape filled with cracks and crevices and ditches and underground chambers with hardly any mosquito predators in them.