Mosquito eradication

Up for Debate: Should We Eradicate All Mosquitoes from the World?
May 13, 2016 – 05:56 am

We’ve all felt it before: that dreadful red bump marking you as the victim of a pesky mosquito, accompanied by an itch that won’t let you forget it’s there. At some point, between applying extra-strength anti-itch cream and drawing circles around the bump with your finger, you wish it would just go away. And now, we have the technology to wipe out the bites for good.

Researchers from around the world are raising genetically modified mosquitoes in their “mosquito factories” in order to release them into the wild and decimate the wild populations (though their methods of modification differ). One researcher, Professor Andrea Cristiani of Imperial College in London, is creating GM mosquitoes that would only be able to produce male offspring, which would annihilate the local population in just a few generations. But even if we could, should we kill an entire species?

According to the World Health Organization, a child dies every minute from malaria.

In America and most developed countries, mosquitoes may be irritating, but pose little threat to public health. Ridding the world of them so we won’t be itchy seems like an extreme measure. But in developing nations, mosquitoes bring pain, misery, and death in the form of the tiny parasite Plasmodium. According to the World Health Organization, a child dies every minute from malaria. If we eradicated mosquitoes, we could save 207 million people a year from suffering and possible death—numbers that make some wonder if the world would be better without the pest.

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