Everybody Hates Mosquitoes

It’s summer and mankind’s #1 adversary is at it again.  The pesky mosquito, the welt raising, disease spreading, winged insect that has killed more people since the beginning of time than any other cause of death.
Yes, the mosquito is humanity’s worst enemy.  It brings disease, death, discomfort no matter where they dwell.  They’re the bane of existence to just about every other animal as well.  A swarm of mosquitoes can drain a cow of over 9 pints of blood in less than a week, crippling the animal and in many cases killing it.  Humans are somewhat more protected as we live in dwellings and have come up with numerous ways of repelling the pests and eradicating their breeding sources.
It’s been a battle that predates recorded history, and nature as well as our minds have worked together to stem off the horrid affects of their bites.
Mosquitoes are a pest in two ways.  First, they drain the body of blood and cause an antihistamine reaction in the body thus raising the itchy welts that can disfigure a person.
Next, they carry a number of diseases in their intestines that can turn into debilitating or deadly.  These pathogens can either directly cause illness or compromise the immune system leading to other diseases taking hold.
Malaria is the big killer.  It kills tens of millions of people each year but recent breakthroughs in vaccines may have finally put this killer in check.  The key to all this is prevention, or pest control.  Mosquito control consists of hitting the source where the creatures breed, like standing water.  Tactics include draining standing pools of water like old discarded tires, or anything where a pool of water can be collected but not noticed.  Next is spraying down insecticide.  This tactic is tricky as whatever kills the mosquitoes can be toxic at some levels to humans and other life forms.
Bats are the mosquito’s primary predator.  A single bat can eat several times its weight in mosquitoes in just one night.  Without bats, there would probably be no mankind, and the extinction of several other mammals, birds, and even reptiles.  It’s the female mosquito that does the biting and blood drinking and it’s rumored that people who have Sickle Cell, actually have an adaptation by nature to combat malaria from mosquito bites.
Overall, every home, community, must be on the lookout for mosquito breeding sources.  Clean them up, run the buggers out of town.  We can’t wipe them all out but we can perform mosquito pest control at some levels effectively.

Image credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim