There’s no place on earth that seems to have escaped the mosquito aggression. Let’s be fair though, out of more than 3,500 mosquito species, only around a few hundred of them transmit diseases or bite humans.
Still, we’d argue they’re causing more itching than our stressful lives can handle. So, why do mosquitoes exist? Here’s what we found.
Why Do Mosquitoes Exist?
1. Mosquitoes Contribute to Our Food
Just because we get our food on a plate, doesn’t mean we can forget about its many contributors. Plants have contributed to our dishes at some point, whether we’re eating a salad or protein.
Taking a deeper look at the plant life cycle, we’ll notice the great service mosquitoes offer. Among other pollinators, like bees and flies, mosquitos are vital to the growth of plants across the globe, especially in swamps.
Pollination is crucial for the reproduction of many essential plants. Despite that, we often hear calls for saving bees rather than mosquitoes. Perhaps, it’s time we feel equally responsible toward mosquitoes for our food purposes.
2. Mosquitoes Create Beauty
Interestingly, mosquitoes weren’t known as pollinators until 1913. Turns out, male mosquitoes consume flower nectar for fueling their energetic flights. Female mosquitoes also drink nectar when not feeding on blood.
For example, if you’re among the fans of the blunt-leaf orchid, Platanthera obtusata, then you owe some gratitude to mosquitoes. Aedes commnis, a mosquito species, is an active pollinator of several stunning orchids in America’s northern regions.
Admittedly, the same mosquito species is causing much itching in Pennsylvania and New York state. At least, we can tolerate the pain when we’re reminded that mosquitos bring some beauty to life.
3. Mosquitos Are Tasty for Some
Mosquitoes are tasty, but certainly not for humans. Instead, mosquitoes serve as food for several animals, such as fish, birds, and frogs.
However, these natural mosquito predators can only effectively control the mosquito population in areas that are permanently wet, like ponds and canals.
These places are inhabited by a great variety and concentration of mosquito eaters, so you can’t expect a large population of mosquitoes there. Therefore, it should be no surprise to know that mosquitoes were smart enough to avoid laying their eggs there.
4. Mosquitoes Provide Carrier Services
Most of us are aware of mosquito-borne diseases, such as Malaria and West Nile Virus. In fact, not only do people fear mosquitoes because of their itchy bites, but rather because of what the mosquitoes inject into the body.
Lucky for the deadly bacteria and viruses, they get free flights through those mosquitoes, quickly spreading as plagues across geographical limits.
Interestingly, some scientists decided to fight fire with fire by injecting mosquitoes with counter microorganisms. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were infected with Wolbachia bacteria to hinder the growth of Zika, chikungunya, dengue, and yellow fever viruses.
5. Mosquitoes Are Caring Bedroom Mates
A study by French tech firm Withings has revealed that humans waste around 3.5 months of their lives snoozing their alarm clocks. In addition to 57% of Americans, 70% of Brits admitted they were regular snoozers.
With such a serious disciplinary issue, there’s room for mosquito intervention. Mosquitoes are experts at targeting sleepers, as they can sense body heat and special chemicals that are produced during sleep.
Unfortunately, the buzzing sound of mosquito wings can disturb a whole night’s sleep. Still, if you’re lucky, mosquitoes can wake you up right on time, before you miss the bus to work.
6. Mosquitoes Propel Human Innovation
The battle between people and mosquitoes has been around for decades. Up until today, people have never given up, despite several failed attempts.
Early attempts focused on chemical weapons against mosquitoes. However, some chemical innovations, like DDT, have proven to be equally harmful to people and the planet in general.
However, let’s appreciate other less disastrous mosquito battling attempts. These include day-to-day gadgets, like mosquito nets, repellent sprays, and electric insect killers.
7. To Entertain People
Speaking of electric killers, some people have learned how to derive pleasure from fighting mosquitos. If you’re positive enough, you can view mosquito beating as a stress relief exercise.
Even more, it’s a guilt-free exercise because you’re reducing the population of undesired mosquitoes. You can also heighten the fun by involving the kids in a record-breaking competition.
Additionally, some creatives have chosen to take mosquito fun to the next level with innovative mosquito swatters. Let’s not forget about the dozen games inspired by mosquito beating on our app stores.
8. To Make a Living for Scientists
Scientists need research jobs to pay the bills. That said, research, in turn, requires topics that matter to people. Since mosquitoes are behind considerable human pain, scientists have a great chance of making a living from related studies.
For years, several scientific institutions have studied the impact of mosquitoes and how to limit their damage. In 2015, a British company developed genetically-modified male mosquitoes with self-limiting genes.
Eventually, those genes are passed down to the offspring. Thus, the mosquito population should decrease over time.
9. For Contemplation
In the end, every living creature deserves some appreciation. If there’s one lesson to learn from mosquitoes, it would likely be their perseverance despite all our extinction attempts.
Besides, mosquitoes are known as the deadliest animals on earth. Surprisingly, they cause more human deaths than sharks, bears, and snakes.
Mosquitoes are equally fascinating on a micro-scale as well. Mosquito romance speaks of actions instead of words. When the lovers meet, they synchronize their wing beats to the same speed, which creates the same buzzing sound.
So, why do mosquitoes exist? Besides various unexpected benefits, there’s a good amount of energy trapped in those flying insects. As such, mosquitoes play a great role in the wild food chain.
Perhaps, the best lesson we can learn as humans is to make room for mosquito eaters in our urban settings. In other words, we may need more lively ponds around our neighborhoods.