There’s little love for mosquitoes out there. Let’s face it, the blood-sucking, skin irritating, disease infested insects don’t exactly scream ‘love me’. But if you had the chance to get rid of them once and for all, would you do it? Even if it meant wiping out an entire species? Due to the recent Zika virus epidemic, that is exactly what some scientists are suggesting: the deliberate extinction of mosquitoes through genetic modification.
Now this seems a little extreme. I mean yes mosquitoes are the most deadly living organisms on the planet and yes they are responsible for the deaths of more than half of the entire human population ever to have lived (sorry about that! At least you can’t say we’re not effective!). But to simply put an end to their existence just seems sort of, harsh doesn’t it? Of course, scientists aren’t suggesting a mosquito free world; that would just be impossible to achieve. But they have discovered a way to genetically modify the males of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito species, essentially making them infertile, which would eventually result in their extinction.
But should mankind really interfere with nature?
It must be devastating for a mother to hear her child has an incurable condition like Microcephaly, which will affect them for the rest of their life. We Mosquito’s also love our children more than anything. But does that really give the human species the right to play god and completely wipe out another? Mankind might view the ectoparasites as useless, but don’t forget, Mosquitoes are around 200 million years their senior (we must be doing something right!). They also act as a food source for animals further up the food chain.
Humans are no strangers to meddling with our environment and have caused the extinction of a number of species before but it’s very rare that humans will intentionally try to eliminate a species. The issue could be the subject of a serious ethical debate; protect ourselves and kill off the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, or find other ways to fight back while preserving the ecosystem. Is there even a right answer? And which species could be next?
One thing’s for sure, as mosquito’s we’re definitely not useless and we are quite loveable once you get to know us, but spare a thought for the little guys on the brink of extinction. If it were up to you, what would you do?
As Mosquito’s we have equal amounts of love for all species or target groups, and hope you’ll give us a chance and look at our positive intentions and the great things we can achieve together. Because when we make, you grow…