Dear Future President,
There are many dangerous animals in the world that some humans choose, or are forced to interact with. A few examples are lions, bears, sharks, and tigers. However, the average person, especially in America, doesn't run into any of these animals very often, or even ever. What we don't realize, is that an animal even more dangerous than the ones I mentioned, comes into contact with humans almost daily. That animal is the mosquito. We should kill all mosquitos on the planet because they spread diseases, they have no large benefits or impact on the world, and because they are holding back humans from many areas and advancements.
According to Claire Bates of bbc.com, the mosquito is the most dangerous animal in the world, carrying diseases that kill one million people a year. The diseases they carry include Zika, yellow fever, dengue fever, and malaria. If we were to eliminate all mosquitoes from the earth, we could largely eliminate the spread of these diseases, saving millions of lives now and in the future. However, some people think this would be wrong because out of more than 3,600 mosquito species, only a few dozen transmit viruses and parasites that can sicken or kill humans (wsj.com). If we were to only kill the species that do spread diseases, the diseases would most likely just be spread to other species of mosquitos, which could potentially be bigger or more dangerous (bbc.com). One way that we could be able to get rid of all mosquitos was created by Oxitec, Ltc. They have developed what it calls a “self-limiting” Aedes aegypti mosquito, a male genetically modified to produce offspring that don’t survive or reproduce. About three million of these modified mosquitoes were released onto a site on the Cayman Islands between 2009 and 2010. Oxitec reported a 96% reduction in mosquitoes compared with nearby areas.
Another reason to wipe out mosquitoes is because they simply don't have a big positive impact on the world. In an article on theguardian.com, it says “We view these tiny ectoparasites as worthless, an evolutionary accident with no redeeming or adorable characteristics.” A positive about mosquitos is that they do feed other insects and animals, but like any other food source, if they disappeared, the animals will adapt and find new food to survive. They are also important pollinators (bbc.com), but there are still plenty of other insects to pollinate. Overall, the role of mosquito species as food and pollinators would quickly be filled by other insects. “We're not left with a wasteland every time a species vanishes,” said biologist Olivia Judson.
Overpopulation is a growing issue that I am learning about this year in my AP Human Geography class. I don't think we realize, but mosquitos are a part of that. As science writer David Quammen said, "Mosquitoes make tropical rainforests, for humans, virtually uninhabitable." If we could expand and live in rainforests that right now are filled with diseased mosquitoes, it could help slow down that growing risk of overpopulation. The only issue is how to do that. I already talked about how Oxitec is trying to stop mosquitos, but there are also many other people giving their research as well. The Eliminate Dengue program in Australia is using naturally occurring bacteria to try and stop mosquitoes from passing dengue fever between people. Also, scientists in the US have bred a genetically modified mosquito with a new gene in the laboratory that makes it resistant to the malaria parasite (bbc.com). If we combine the work of all of these programs, I believe we could actually get rid of mosquitos forever.
“We are playing an evolutionary game with mosquitoes, hopefully it's one we can get on top of over the next 10 to 15 years,” said Francis Hawkes from the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich. This whole study and statement is wrong. We may not have 10-15 years before the next disease carried by mosquitoes kills millions of people. Why wait that long experimenting when we can attempt to drown them out for good right now…