From Entomology Today
December 8, 2021
“Mosquitoes are the best,” said no one ever. Adult females of most mosquito species require a blood meal from unwitting hosts to produce eggs. The hunt for blood and drive to reproduce can result in mosquitoes biting people, causing a variety of reactions ranging from nothing to itchy, red welts that leave their sufferer with an annoying reminder of the encounter. Unfortunately, sometimes these bites transmit microscopic invaders that cause terrible diseases in humans and animals such as West Nile, Zika, yellow fever, malaria, dengue, St. Louis encephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis, dog heartworm, and many more.
Mosquitoes and their associated diseases have impacted humanity throughout history. However, proof that mosquitoes could transmit pathogens and get people sick only occurred relatively recently, in the late 19th century. Until then, doctors and other public health practitioners attributed some mosquito-transmitted diseases to other causes such as miasma, or bad air.