If mosquitoes have nightmares, odds are Huang Yuyen will be making an appearance in them. Yuyen, a pig farmer from Taiwan, may soon find a place in the record books for killing the most winged-bloodsuckers in a month -- over 4 million of them, in fact. The insect slaughter was part of a contest held by a company that makes bug-catchers, which awarded Yuyen around $3,000 for her 3 lbs, 5 ounces worth of mosquito carcasses.According to the Liberty Times, Yuyen beat out 72 other mosquito-catching participants quite handily -- her closest competitor nabbed less than half of her estimated 4 million bugs. The contest was organized by Imbictus International, a manufacturer of 'environmentally friendly' mosquito-traps, which subdue the bloodsuckers without harmful chemicals.
To achieve this record, Yuyen managed to capture about 90 mosquitoes every minute for a month.
This isn't the first time mosquito hunting has been made a sport. Earlier this summer, folks in the town of Tartu, Estonia gathered for a contest to see how many of those pesky insects they could kill in 10 minutes -- though unlike Yuyen, many used their exposed skin as bait. In all, around 400 bugs were nabbed by the 38 participants.
While the death of 4 million mosquitoes will likely not have a significant impact on the insect's numbers in Taiwan, the sheer scale of the slaughter does raise some ethical questions among people who, you know, hold some reverence for living things. It's not to say that even the most devout animal-rights activist wouldn't take a smack at a mosquito given the opportunity, but killing millions of them for a contest may be a bit much to celebrate.
Still, it's no wonder why people would relish in the death of so many mosquitoes considering the human toll they've taken. Throughout the world, mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue and malaria continue to threaten communities, a problem expected to worsen as rising temps and increases in rainfall bolster the insect's numbers -- evidenced, perhaps, by the fact that one woman in Taiwan was able to catch over 4 million of them in a month.
No word yet on how Yuyen plans on spending her prize money, but I suspect bug-spray will be near the top of her list.