A Question for my Fellow Entomologists

What ecological service do mosquitoes provide?  Yes, there is one species that is a predator of other mosquitoes but if mosquitoes didn’t exist, what pest populations would flourish?  Besides humans that is.  I ask this because after spending a couple of hours outside in my garden I am now covered in mosquito bites and am itching like mad!  Argh!!!  Yes, I should have smothered myself in DEET or Picardin or something but that’s beside the point.  All I wanted to do was get some plants in the ground and tend my veggies and now I look like I have the Plague!!!

So I ask you…Mosquitoes: Why should I care?

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2 thoughts on “A Question for my Fellow Entomologists

  1. Their absence may not cause pest populations to increase , but their absence would completely disrupt the food chain. The animals that eat them would suffer; spider, bat, and dragonfly populations come to mind. Then the animals that eat those animals will suffer, and so on and so on. Without mosquitoes, the competition for their predators to catch other prey will diminish the predator species. It’s just bad news all the way around.

    • It’s interesting. The effect might not be as drastic as we would think (bats, spiders, etc). When I first asked this someone sent me this Nature article suggesting that though normally the loss of a single species or group would have dire consequences, with mosquitoes, it might not be that bad.

      Still, I think it’s an interesting question and gets at the idea of managing biodiversity, public health and a number of other topics of increasing importance.

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