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.