December 8, 2021
Jane Monroe Arcata, California, US
Mosquitoes are a major food source for many bird and bat species, and larval mosquitoes are regularly eaten by various freshwater fish and aquatic insects such as backswimmers, larval dragonflies and diving beetles.
These mosquito consumers in turn provide food and other resources for other organisms. Bats, for example, play a critical role in the health of cave ecosystems; they also consume, and help control, many agricultural pests.
The eradication of mosquitoes might please humans in the short term, but would eventually damage many ecosystems due to a cascade of negative consequences as more and more species were affected. A better plan might be to eradicate the disease-causing parasites that use mosquitoes as a vector.
“The eradication of mosquitoes might please humans in the short term, but would eventually damage many ecosystems”
Jonathan Wallace Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
This is a variant of the “what is the point of…?” question that often gets posed about species we consider to be pests.
The eradication of mosquitoes would certainly have consequences. Firstly, there is the question of how the mosquitoes would be eradicated. Spraying pesticides is the most common method, and it is inevitable that non-target species are also affected.