Fumigating for Mosquitoes in Nicaragua
Mosquito fumigation is a major concern in Nicaragua. Mosquitoes are prevalent because the entire country is covered in tropical rain forest and tropical diseases tend to be pretty nasty; malaria is only one of many things that mosquitoes tend to carry and while it is probably the worst it is not the most common. Mosquito-born diseases are no laughing matter. So in this area they tend to take the eradication of mosquitoes very seriously. (It should be noted, too, that the infamous Mosquito Coast is partially in Nicaragua.)
After last week's adventure in getting fumigated while in the house and without any warning, today we were paying attention, saw the fumigation spraying up in clouds from the courtyards of the neighbours right behind us and were listening for the sound of the leaf blowers. When the fumigation team got to our front door Dominica had already hustled the kids upstairs into a front room and sealed themselves off with nothing but street facing open air and I let the fumigation guy into the house for the full treatment. We have had many mosquitoes and have figured out that we have not been getting the fumigation that we should have been getting and we really wanted to have this done.
It is, of course, everyone's responsibility to help with mosquito removal. It only takes one house with standing water to have mosquitoes breed there. It is critical that as a community we all work together to eradicate them to protect everyone.
Getting to watch them fumigate the house was intense. The fumigator started at the back of the house by the pool and worked his way forward. I ran into the dining room, grabbed my phone and filmed what I could. Rapidly the house filled up with the mosquito poison, to the point where I could not even see through the house. The house went instantly from sunny to dark. I was only able to breath to keep filming by holding the phone behind me while I pushed my face out of the front door's grating to get what fresh air that I could from outside of the house.
It got so dark in the house that I could not see the open doors or even my own feet. At one point I tried to run from the garage door to the front door which are along the same wall and only twenty feet apart at most and I could not find either door or the floor even with what should have been broad daylight coming through the open doors! It was very intense. I have no idea how these crews do this all day long. It is really impressive the lengths that the city goes to to keep the mosquitoes under control.
It took at least twenty minutes before I could venture back into the house and nearly at hour before it was starting to get back to normal. We got to watch the crews go down the street blowing fumigation through the drainage pipes, into the storm drains and in the houses. Houses that had had it done were "smoking" for a really long time after being treated.
This is definitely one of those unique Central American experiences.