Do We Really Need Mosquitoes
We’ve got a lot to look forward to with summer on the way. Fun in the sun, great weather, a robust growing season… And clouds upon clouds of Florida mosquitoes. While Florida’s tropical climate allows mosquitoes to live all year round, we do have a season for them. They tend to thrive in the months of March through September when temperature and weather support them the best. As the number one killer of humans in all the animal kingdoms, it might be great if they were gone.
Or would it? There is a fierce debate about whether or not eliminating mosquitoes would be a good thing. In this article, let’s go over some of the pros and cons scientists are discussing.
Why Should We Get Rid of Mosquitoes?
Around the world, there are over 3,500 species of mosquito, and only a few of them transmit disease. However, those diseases are very widespread and dangerous. For as long as mosquitoes have been around – Over 46 million years – Only some have become dangerous to humans.
But, as mentioned, they are very dangerous. They kill over a million people per year and nearly 400 million contract diseases from them annually. The quality of life in poorer nations plagued by them could dramatically improve. If that isn’t a good enough reason to get rid of them, how about the annoying, itchy spots they leave behind? If you asked people if we should get rid of mosquitoes, you can bet most people would say yes.
But should we?
Potential Downsides of Killing All the Mosquitoes
It’s been said that several animals rely on mosquitoes as a source of food. This is true! There are even some that are adapted specifically to eat them, like the mosquitofish. Without mosquitoes, these animals would have to find other sources of food. Some may not be able to. Mosquitoes also eat the larvae of other insects. Without this population control, we can’t know that a worse situation wouldn’t develop.
Additionally, only female mosquitoes bite. The males eat nectar and pollen, serving as essential pollinators. Without their services, some plant species may become unable to reproduce. The current method of destroying mosquito populations is also potentially dangerous.
Right now, experiments are being carried out with genetically modified male mosquitoes. The males have altered genes that ensure their children will be unable to grow correctly and will die before adulthood. This could be risky, as once the modified populations are released, they can’t be removed from the wild. It’s unclear what effects this could have. This method is also expensive. It takes millions upon millions of modified mosquitoes to make a dent in populations.
How to Control Pests on Your Property
Even though we might not be able to eradicate them all easily right now, if we could, it might not be a great idea. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t reduce their numbers around you. Tipping over water containers, spraying your lawn, and other options help keep them in check.
If you’re interested in learning more about mosquitoes and other pests, take a look at our website. If you’re interested in learning how we can cut down on their numbers on your property, give us a call. We’d be happy to help.