You know, I hate mosquitoes (mozzies, skeeters, and my latest, mozzers). I’m terribly allergic to them and sometimes their bites result in lumps the size of goose eggs under my skin, hot enough to melt ice cubes rapidly. It’s an asymmetric hatred though; boy do they LOVE me. Must be something in the way I smell, but no matter my diet I am always the first to get bitten.
However, when a paper came out a couple of years ago saying that mosquitoes serve no ecological role, I was infuriated. What a naive perspective. Just because we don’t always know their role does not mean they don’t have one. Can you imagine the consequences of eradicating mosquitoes? Neither can I…we know far too little about the structure of ecosystems and the fragility of their food webs to make a claim like that.
I make an effort to understand things that I fear. I spent time studying the life cycle of mosquitoes, learning about the horrible whining drone, the females that bite, the eggs that depend on the blood.
And I try to appreciate the beauty in all things (even the deadliest disease vector known to man). For mosquitoes, it is difficult for me to dissociate their physical appearance from the itching lumpy mess I become in summer, but there are some species that are quite beautiful, even to me. So I’m sitting here trying not to scratch and trying quite hard to appreciate mozzers.