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What Good Are Mosquitoes?

We realized that rolling up our pants while filming in the mangrove swamps was bad idea. It was mosquito heaven!

 

We’ve all felt the itchy prick of a mosquito bite, and we’re all-too-familiar with the irritating red welt that we scratch at for days.  Female mosquitoes feed on blood, and it seems like humans are often the main course.  They can transmit diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and West Nile virus.

So why not try and eradicate them?

Two words: food chain.  They’re really important players in our ecosystem.  Mosquitoes are a food source for birds, amphibians, reptiles and other insects.  Male mosquitoes are often plant pollinators, and there are certain orchid species that are only pollinated by them.  Larval mosquitoes are aquatic and a staple in the diet of different species of fish.

We know they can suck (get it?), but we rely on them to maintain a healthy balance in the food chain.  Species loss in the lower ranks of the food chain can cause significant problems in populations of larger fauna.

Despite all this, we realize it’s no fun being bitten by mosquitoes.  Don’t worry – there are some ways to keep mosquitoes from biting us as we’re at the family barbeque.  Check out our Bug Bytes podcast to learn about the different ways to keep the mosquitoes at bay!

Listen to Buzz Off! here:

 

Join the discussion

  1. Relax. I'm an Entomologist

    All due respect. You’re wrong 🙂

    http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100721/full/466432a.html

    A hiccup. That’s it. Kill em all.

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