x Can We Wipe Mosquitoes off the Face of the Earth?
Or Maybe the Question is: Should We?
Harry legged, needle nose, sucking our blood like a vampire with a face only a mother could love—yes it’s our arch enemy the mosquito. They’ve killed millions of people throughout history via dysentery, West Nile, chikungunya virus, dengue fever, yellow fever and malaria (WHO estimates that 665,000 died last year from malaria alone)—so why not eliminate them?
The reasons are many, but the bottom line is we probably need them. There are 3,500 species of mosquitoes and many of them are crucial in the world order of food links. For instance, in the arctic, an astronomical number of mosquitoes hatch and supply a wonderfully abundant food source for the migratory birds in that area that then fly south and become an integral part of the food chain in southern regions—and this occurs all over the world. Missing this link could cause a wide spread collapse of some or many of the worlds ecosystems. But we simply don’t know.
In another instance, the mosquitoes fierce attacks on caribou changes their migratory course which could have an impact on grazing in vast areas of the northern tundra, the consequences to the environment after eradicating mosquitoes in this area is unknown.
In the rain forest canopy many small pools of water in the pitcher plants hold dead juvenile mosquitoes that tiny crabs and dart frogs feed on. Another key animal is a species of bats (Vespadelus vulturnus) that are highly reliant on mosquitoes as a food source.
But providing food sources for certain key animals in the world is only one of the reasons we may need mosquitoes. They are also pollinators, although they do not have an extensive role in this particular occupation. But again, we simply do not know how extensive their role is in this part of world ecology. We might eradicate them and find out, but the consequences could be dire.
A More Intelligent Approach
It seems the mosquito, regardless of its deadly nature, is an insect we’ll just have to live with. But we don’t have to put up with its behavior. Make sure you and your family are protected by using non-toxic, DEET free natural mosquito repellents. Natural repellents generally use a combination of safe plant oils that mosquitoes hate but have a pleasant scent for people. There are other things you can do to protect your family, take a look here: 5 Things you must do to get rid of Insects