Mosquitoes are the most dangerous creatures on the earth. They kill hundreds of thousands of people each year, which is more than any other animal on the planet, although I am sure that they are rivaled by humans. With the advent of Zika, there are many people shrugging and asking about what would happen if we humans simply killed all of the mosquitoes in the world. Well, of course there would be some serious problems that would go along with this plan, and it probably could not happen anyway.
Mosquitoes do play an important ecological role that contributes to life on this planet. But just how important of a role is under some dispute. Some scientists say that getting rid of all mosquitoes would not result in ecological catastrophe. Other experts insist that we would be making tremendous problems for ourselves if we exterminated all of the planet’s skeeters.
One reason why killing all mosquitoes would be a bad idea is because many other animals, such as birds, rely on mosquitoes for food. And by taking away the food source of many different animals, we could cause problems that we cannot even predict, but there would certainly be a ripple effect that humans would be a part of. A better idea perhaps would be to focus only on the species of mosquitoes that cause disease, such as aegypti, and leave all the other mosquitoes alone. And then there is the idea to genetically alter the aegypti so that their genes can no longer carry deadly diseases around. Even this last, and most sensible solution, has its critics, so it may be a while before we live in a world with no insect-borne disease.
Do you think that killing all of the virus-causing mosquitoes is worth the risk to our ecosystem if the best result would be hundreds of thousands of lives saved a year?