August 2020

Selected from: One Minute Mysteries: 65 More Short Mysteries You Solve With Science!


Don't Let the Bugs Bite

“Man, these mosquitoes are eating me alive," Franklin complained, slapping at his arms and legs.

The neighborhood kids were playing volleyball in Franklin's back yard. His parents had recently bought the net and set it up, but it was hard to stay out in the yard because of the mosquitoes. They would even bite people wearing mosquito repellent.

"Dad! Can you do something about these bugs?" Franklin called to his father, who was reading a book inside their screened-in porch.

Franklin's father came out to the yard and lit citronella torches that were along the edge of the yard. There was a bucket of water next to each one.

"What are these buckets for?" Landon asked. Landon was new to the neighborhood and had never been to Franklin's house before.

"We put them here in case a torch falls, so nothing catches on fire. We just fill them at the beginning of the spring and leave them here all summer. If they get a little low on water we just add some more."

"I hope this works," Franklin's father added as the torches started smoking. "Otherwise, we might have to hire one of those companies to spray the yard."

"Can I suggest something else?" Landon asked.


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