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The Negative Buzz on Killing Mosquitoes
Traditionally, summer means spending more time outdoors, not only in the daytime, but also at night.
Going out to watch the sunset and to feel a cool and gentle breeze on our skin is a common practice
enjoyed by most everyone—especially those who live in humid climates where the added moisture in
the atmosphere makes the warm air very uncomfortable. But as everyone knows, it’s not just humans
that come out in the evening; insects love to do the same.
In many places, a chorus of slaps and swats help to mark their arrival as mosquitoes begin to buzz
around, like vampires, looking to bite into us and suck our blood. These winged creatures certainly
know how to make a pest of themselves. Over the years, dealing with these invaders has become a
major concern. Mosquitoes can carry diseases, like malaria which even today kills more than 600,000
people annually around the globe.
We humans have created many ways to protect ourselves from these and other insects so that we may
live comfortably in the areas where we choose. The use of pesticides, chemicals used to destroy pests,
has become commonplace. Their production has become big business since they are primarily used on
farms where many other insects can destroy crops.
Of course, very few people would feel guilty to squash these attacking, winged menaces. However,
some have even suggested we go further by just eradicating large mosquito populations by spraying
pesticides everywhere. While such an extreme action may sound like it would bring us much peace, it
may actually create the opposite effect.
We live in an ecosystem where we interact, directly or indirectly, with other species. Therefore, all our
actions affect the others. Some environmental researchers have suggested that the use of pesticides to
kill off large portions of one species may create, in the ones that survive over time, a resistance to the
chemical. When these survivors start to breed, their population will increase even stronger and larger. It
is similar to the problem with our taking too many antibiotics to kill germs. Some of the germs that
survive will become immune to the medication and grow into super germs that we will be unable to
protect ourselves from.
Another problem is that the more we kill off mosquitoes, the more we rob other species in the
ecosystem of their food source. The result is that those species which prey on mosquitoes may end up
feeding on other species—if not ourselves—which again may impact us negatively. Mosquitoes may be
hated, but in the long run, they may be easier to deal with than other insects that decide we are their
new targets. Furthermore, since some pesticides can also kill these predators of our most hated
bloodsuckers, it means that as their number decreases, the number of mosquitoes will also rise.
It is for this reason we try keeping mosquitoes away from us rather than just killing them outright.
Moreover, the more we spay pesticides into the atmosphere, the more we end up breathing in these
chemicals which are unhealthy for us, as well, especially when they up in the water and food we
consume. In this sense, our hatred of insects can backfire and, through our own efforts, we only end up
only harming ourselves.