An America Without Mosquito Control

  • More human/public health issues from mosquito-borne diseases
    • Malaria – As late as 1934 there were 125,566 cases in the US. Without mosquito control, malaria might reestablish from tourism and immigration.
    • Yellow fever – summer outbreaks in coastal cities along Gulf Coast and Atlantic seaboard north to Boston, into upper Mississippi River valley throughout the 19th century. 
    • Dengue fever – current problems in southern Florida and along Texas border; extensive outbreak in Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the Caribbean.  
    • Chikungunya virus – outbreaks throughout Caribbean and northern South America; imported cases in several states. Potential for emergence and spread in southern tier of states.
    • Encephalitis viruses – Over 36,000 cases from 1999-2014; almost 16,000 cases of neuroinvasive disease causing permanent disability; over 1,500 fatalities.
    • Rift Valley Fever and Chikungunya virus are currently spreading to Europe and elsewhere. Species of mosquitoes that transmit these diseases are commonly found in the United States.   
  • A lower quality-of-life due to annoyance caused by sheer numbers of mosquitoes
    • Documented cases of caribou in Alaska being asphyxiated from inhalation of mosquitoes.
    • Native Americans historically moving from lowland areas on the eastern seaboard to inland mountains to escape mosquitoes.
    • A female mosquito can produce over 400 million progeny in a single season even if only 25% of each generation survives.
    • Traps set in the outskirts of the Everglades and barrier islands have recorded nightly catches in pounds. One pound of mosquitoes = 1,095,440 mosquitoes.  Landing rates of over 100/min are commonly recorded in salt marshes and areas bordering rice fields prior to control operations and 500/minute in the Everglades..  
    • Parents having to console a 6-year-old’s attempts to fall asleep when the he has 30 fresh mosquito bites from playing in the backyard for 15 minutes earlier this evening. 
    • People having to stay indoors on glorious, warm, balmy evenings; constantly lathering up with sticky repellents; or wearing long-sleeves and long pants during hot weather. 
  • Increased impact on domestic animals and wildlife 
    • Horses: over 25,000 horses dead from Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), Western Equine Encephalitis, and West Nile virus (WNV) 2000-2007
    • Dogs: canine heartworm transmitted by Culex mosquitoes
    • Large birds (Bald eagles, ostriches, emus, etc.) and zoo species killed by EEE and WNV 
    • Endangered species: EEE killed 7 of 39 whooping cranes in Maryland in 1984.
    • WNV impacts on endangered species and avian niches in ecosystems: Florida Scrub-Jay, California Condor, Whooping Cranes and various raptor species.
    • WNV killed more than 300 alligators in zoos since 2000
  • Devastating economic problems and negative impact on local economies 
    • Tourist destinations are in some of the nation’s worst mosquito habitat along coastlines and in state/national parks.
    • Outdoor recreation (hiking, camping, etc.) usually occurs in prime mosquito habitat. The diaries of Lewis and Clarke have numerous references to the excruciating problems mosquitoes caused in pristine wilderness habitat.
    • Reduced attendance at outdoor events such ball games, car races, picnics, fireworks displays, reunions, concerts, parades, graduation or wedding ceremonies, drive-in movies, etc. as unchecked mosquito numbers make these activities increasingly uncomfortable. 
    • Higher beef and dairy prices.  Studies show that the annoyance of large mosquito populations significantly lower beef production and dairy output.  
    • Development of prime real estate in many areas will be inhibited – without mosquito control many people would not be living where they presently do!
    • Equity and land values would plummet in many areas if modern-day mosquito control were to disappear.