Ask any average person on the street and I’m sure they won’t be able to find a negative in this scenario. No more itchy bug bites, no more need for smelly bug repellent, no swatting and buzzing around our heads… this is a no-brainer, right? And we didn’t even mention the end of many deadly mosquito-borne diseases! Malaria alone killed an estimated 429,000 people in 2015. Bill Gates calls the mosquito the “deadliest animal in the world” according to an article in USA Today. But what would the true effects be? We have to ask the scientists.
What do the experts say?
A scientific conversation would not be a conversation without more than one side. It seems pretty clear that none of them believe the mosquito has any positive qualities in and of itself. “I have no problem letting them go,” says Professor Steve Lindsay, public health entomologist at the University of Durham. Professor Hilary Ranson, head of vector biology at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, tells The Guardian she keeps them alive to try to kill them, so she’s not very sentimental.
What Purpose Do Mosquitoes Serve?
However, they are both quick to point out that the total annihilation of all species as A: impossible and B: not worth the effort. They point out that only 200 or so of the 3,000 species of mosquitoes on the planet actually bite us. For them, it seems more appropriate to focus on the few that truly cause disease. There are arguments even still concerning eradicating the species. There would be effects on the ecosystem, though no one is sure of how great. There are many birds, fish, and other small animals that feed on mosquitoes, however, Dina Fonseca, professor of entomology at Rutgers University, tells NPR that “she doesn’t know of any species that is completely dependent on a particular mosquito.” That same article notes that the U. N. Convention on Biological Diversity tells us that up to 150 animal species are lost daily. So the question seems to be, which carries more weight? Keeping the species alive for the sake of preserving nature, or permanently ridding the planet of the most dangerous vector for human disease?
Focus on Mosquito-Borne Disease Elimination
In the same report on NPR, Bruce A. Hay, a professor at the Division of Biology and Biological engineering at Caltech, and Jorge Rey, a professor at Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, weigh in. Hay points out the concerns involved with eliminating a species simply because we are able to and Rey reminds us that we aren’t fully aware of the complete impact. But in the end both see the removal of the mosquito as the elimination of powerful diseases. Rey states, “Eliminating the disease is priority one. Despite the consequences, it still has to be priority one.”
Today’s Best Mosquito Control
Regardless of scientific opinion, wiping out mosquitoes on the entire planet is a few years out of reach, to say the least. Until then it is up to us to keep them at bay in Southeastern Massachusetts. Follow our 5Ts of Mosquito control. Our own attempts to keep them from breeding in our yards reaches out into our communities so be sure to share the vital information with friends and neighbors. And at Mosquito Squad of Southeastern Massachusetts, our effective and affordable mosquito barrier sprays will eliminate 85-90% of existing mosquitoes around your home. Call us today to schedule your first treatment!