Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Towns have set up teams to fight the infestation - but everybody seems to agree that the tiger mosquito is here to stay.
Tigers have also invaded America's southern states.
Surfing the internet, I came across the website of an American town that, by a judicious campaign of civic spraying and public mobilization, has completely eliminated the pest.
I had this in mind when, last week, our local team of tiger hunters arrived on my front door step.
The man and woman, very friendly, wandered round my garden for half an hour explaining that standing water of any kind - and even damp grass - is enough for the mosquitoes to breed.
'So what's the town doing to eliminate them?' I asked.
They gave exagerrated, Italian shrugs. 'There's very little we can do,' they replied.
So I mentioned the town I had read about where the tiger mosquito has been eliminated.
'Oh, but that's America,' they told me, 'it would never work in Italy.'
'But why ever not?' I asked.
'Oh because we're not well enough organised,' they said, as though Italy was some banana republic that could only dream about north American efficiency.
Seeing the confusion on my face, they added that as in the matter of paying taxes, or observing road signs, Italians never do anything they are told to - it would be enough for the government to order everyone to spray their gardens for most people to decide to do nothing of the kind.
Their ancestors must be spinning in their graves.
posted by Sydney on 6/15/2004 07:39:00 AM 0 comments