By A Staff Reporter Kathmandu, July 1: “Buzz buzz, zap zap” sounds emanated from a house in Satdobato early Monday morning. It sounded like the popping of corns or the crumpling of a sheet of aluminium foil. Upon closer inspection though, it turned out to be a racket – a mosquito racket to be exact. Homeowner Shekhar Awale was swinging it around, going behind the curtains and under the bed, electrocuting every mosquito in sight. He described it as a fun and productive activity he engaged in thrice a day; morning, afternoon and evening. “This racket is in quite the trend these days,” he said, giving the example of his three neighbours who each own one. A shopkeeper down his street owned two, one for the shop and one for his home. He said that he swung it around every time he saw those little blood-sucking insects flying about. This reporter has seen such rackets being used in homes, offices and other establishments across the Kathmandu Valley, including places like Bhotahiti, Thamel, Kantipath, Satdobato, Khumaltar, Mangalbazaar, Lagankhel and Pulchowk, to name a few. This observation is supported by Kumar Sunar, who sells these rackets in the footpaths of Tangal, Lalitpur. “I set up shop on the roads of Lalitpur and Kathmandu and I have found a huge demand for this racket everywhere,” he said. He sells each racket for Rs 350 and while he hesitated to reveal his exact earnings, he said that he has not faced a loss in this business. Tejendra Shrestha, who sells these rackets in his toy and cosmetic store in Khya Kweba, Kathmandu, shares a similar experience. “I have been selling 10 to 15 mosquito rackets every day for the past month, each at Rs 350.” He keeps the rackets in his shop throughout the year, “But the demand peaks from April to August,” he said. Over the past few years though, the demand has been steadily increasing. “Maybe because the number of mosquitoes in Kathmandu has increased,” he reasoned, describing that he has witnessed the highest sales this year. “Since the middle of May, the rackets have been flying off the shelf.” As to why people are using the rackets more, Aware opined, “The mosquito repellent liquids and coils are highly potent and many people, especially children, can’t handle it. The rackets are a safer alternative.” “It is also fun to swing around and the kids really enjoy it,” he said.