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Mosquitoes: Why we can’t wipe the killers out!

We’ve touched on the subject before about why we just can’t completely eradicate mosquitoes. The idea of just completely getting rid of these disease spreading critters in their entirety is one that many of us are in favor of, however, there are many reasons why it’s not that simple.

Dear Science: Why can’t we just get rid of all the mosquitoes?

Getting rid of all mosquitoes would be pretty nonsensical: You might only care to notice the species that bite you, but that’s just 200 or so out of 3,000 varieties of mosquito, which inhabit every continent except for Antarctica. Even those biting species are largely harmless, and only certain species are even capable of carrying deadly illnesses.

So there’s a bit of science as to why we can’t just wipe these killers out…because not all of them are killers.

So is the answer to just reduce the population, not take them out entirely? There are a lot of ethical issues when it comes to genetically engineering or modifying mosquitoes. Recently, certain areas of Florida have been under process as the go-ahead was given to release GMO mosquitoes to help in the fight against Zika.

Genetically modified mosquitoes can fight spread of the Zika virus

On a recent Tuesday afternoon, protesters gathered at the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board to oppose a potential solution to Florida’s Zika outbreak. While an overwhelming 79 percent of Americans support government-funded efforts to kill the mosquitoes responsible for spreading Zika, this small but vocal minority has taken issue with the proposed solution: genetic modification.

It’s a delicate subject. Is it the right thing to do to make our world safer? For now, why not take your own steps to implement mosquito prevention. After all, prevention is better than cure.

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