Unfortunately, mosquitoes are abundant on this planet, as there exists more than 3,500 species discovered so far. Considering that malaria alone kills more than one million people per year, it would seem that eradicating all mosquitoes from the planet would be a good thing, right?
While the mosquito is, in fact, the deadliest animal in the world, eradicating every species that exists would be considered overkill by most experts. Of the more than 3,500 hundred mosquito species that exist, only around 200 hundred transmit disease to humans, and not all species require tropical locations with wet and humid conditions in order to thrive. In fact, mosquitoes have adapted to just about every type of habitat in the world during the course of their 100 million years of existence. As a result of their adaptability, they have coevolved with many other animal species, making the insects essential components in most of earth’s ecosystems. Despite this, some researchers have good reason to believe that eradicating some mosquito species from particular regions may not be a bad idea.
Experts have traditionally claimed that eradicating even one single mosquito species could have a dramatic effect on their native ecosystem, as mosquitoes provide numerous animals with food, and many species are active pollinators of a variety of different plant species. However, a few researchers believe that the ecological necessity of mosquitoes is often overstated, as the ecosystem has the ability to recover from an animal group’s extinction.
It is likely that the void left by the sudden absence of mosquitoes would quickly be filled by other existing organisms, and most forms of life would continue to thrive despite their loss. For example, in a region of western Africa, scientists have already shown that not a single native animal species in the region would suffer on account of the complete loss of the native malaria-carrying mosquito species known as An. gambiae. One notable medical entomologist, Carlos Brisola Marcondes, even claimed that humanity would benefit tremendously from a total eradication of all mosquito species. Perhaps humankind can do without bloodsucking and disease-carrying airborne creatures after all.
Do you believe that mosquitoes will be absent in the future world?