Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why Eradicating Mosquitoes Isn't A Bad Idea

Let's face it, summer's been here for a while now and those mosquitoes aren't going anywhere soon. Don't we ever have fantastic days at the park with friends, you hang out, you play games, you talk about ethics, and on your way home, you find seven swollen red mosquito bites on your legs. As pus and plasma slowly flows out of the bite, we find ourselves resenting the day we were born!

"My life is ruined forever!"

Even though you may not feel the same way, we have to admit, it wouldn't be that bad if mosquitoes suddenly disappeared. Why? I'll tell you.

If you think about it, you're not alone on this earth. While you may be annoyed that a puny mosquito bit you during recess, people in other poorer countries may live in homes infested with mosquitoes, some may even sit around the streets homeless, swatting mosquitoes buzzing around their heads.

The fact is, mosquitoes can easily transmit diseases with a simple bite. They can carry various disease causing viruses or parasites that will be injected into your bloodstream every time they take a drink. Guess how many people become infected by mosquito related infections and diseases such as Malaria and West Nile Virus? Over seven hundred million people around the world. These transmitted diseases sometimes result in death due to inability to pay for basic medication and protection; and by sometimes, I meant over 2 million people worldwide.

Is two million lives worth having mosquitoes around?

"But we love you?"

But wait, what about biodiversity right? What if mosquitoes turn out to have some crazy cancer curing magic in their DNA or something like that? Don't they play a important role in the ecosystem?

Actually, some scientist have agreed that complete eradication of mosquitoes would not seriously harm the ecosystem. Although like any other animal, it may have an impact on the ecosystem in one way or another. However, even though they pay a part in pollination and as food for certain animals, other animals can easily substitute for the harmful mosquito.

But hold your horses, we don't even need to track down every single mosquito on earth and swat it with a newspaper. Only certain types of mosquitoes drink human blood and thanks to the 3,500 species of mosquitoes in existence, it wouldn't be such a big lost to the total species, we don't need to kill every single one of them.

We can simply remove the grape jam doughnuts and just eat the strawberry jam ones.

What about food-wise? Let's pretend that we get rid of the blood suckers, would it harm the little bugs and frogs? Would they sit around looking innocent and hungry and stare at us with their innocent eyes? No. In nature, animals don't just eat one single food and throw everything else aside. If you were a bear, would you go outside and hunt day and night for a couple mosquitoes to eat or go to the lake and grab a fresh salmon out of the water? Clearly, the amount of energy per mosquito wouldn't cause most animals to go hungry overnight. Also, if we only destroyed only the "harmful" portion of the species, the important larvae that provide food for rudimentary life forms will continue without problems. We can simply take out the troublemakers and keep the goodie-two-shoes.

Mosquitoes literally kill millions of people yearly, so they're not exactly loved and well thought about. Put one and two together, and we'll have a good ol' mosquito genocide. Sadly, completely eradicating such a large population is not a very feasible thing. Finding/Producing a way to specifically kill only a specific species, leaving the others alone isn't as easy as counting one-two-three.

Or is it?