Many people would agree that mosquitoes are among the worst and most annoying creatures on Earth. They kill nearly one million people every year, they carry deadly diseases like Malaria and the Zika Virus, and they can create a very itchy and annoying experience for many people. Speaking as someone who is allergic to mosquitoes, I’ve hated these little creatures more than most for a good portion of my life. However, now that I have done a little research on these tiny bugs, I have much less disdain for them. They are more important to this world than we realize.
Before we can judge mosquitoes fairly, we need to observe them with an open mind. Mosquitoes have been here for more than 200 million years, and they have been a very important part of the ecosystem for a longer time than humans. There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes, and less than one hundred of these bite humans, and even less are known to transmit deadly diseases. Most mosquitoes survive on nectar or animals such as snakes, frogs, and birds, but still, we group them all together and have a great hatred for them. Many people want to eradicate all mosquitoes, and nobody really knows what kind of consequences that would have on the environment. Some scientists are working on ways to eliminate only the species that are harmful to the human race, but still, this could affect our environment in potentially devastating ways.
While these little bugs are most commonly known as being one of the most deadly species on the planet, they also serve our environment in many ways and are a vital part of the food chain. Mosquitoes and their larvae are a food source for many birds, bats, dragonflies, fish, and other small species. Most people don’t realize that they also offer some pollination for flowers around the world. These critters also filter chemicals for plant life to thrive, positively affect caribou herding paths in the tundra, and they may be a part of a cure for one of the world’s most pressing ailments: cardiovascular disease. That’s right! Some scientists have found that mosquito saliva may be useful in treating the No.1 worldwide killer of humans.
All species of plants and animals have their place in nature. Mosquitoes are no exception. They, like any other species, are a vital part of the environment and the food chain. They may be an irritating and harmful species for humans, but they help a lot of other species. When put in perspective, the human race has been responsible for eliminating thousands of species by destroying their habitats, so who are we to judge another species for killing us? With mosquito season right around the corner, we all need to keep in mind that they have just as much claim (if not more) to this world and the environment as we do. When it comes to mosquitoes, we need to realize that they are an ancient species that helps many of the animals we harm on a daily basis (inadvertently or otherwise). This summer, when you find one of these little insects feeding on your blood, keep in mind that they are helping to increase your immunity to their species. Also, if you continue to loathe them, know that even if you are bitten by one and never see it, it will be dead in no more than 6 months (if the human race doesn’t destroy all of them by then). I hope you now have a newfound respect for these little bugs.