The death toll is rising from diseases carried by mosquitoes. Scientists are at work on a radical idea – why not just eradicate them?
These pests kill more humans than any other animal. For more than a century, humans have used bed nets, screens and insecticides as weapons, but mosquitoes keep coming back. They are now carrying viruses like Zika and dengue to new parts of the world.
But wiping a species off the face of the earth says Gregory Kaebnick, a research scholar at the Hastings Center, is “an unfortunate thing to have to to, and humans shouldn’t force a species into extinction to meet their own preferences.” Source
Some scientists and foundations say total eradication isn’t necessary. One alternative strategy is to suppress the population of virus-carrying mosquitoes low enough that there are too few left to transmit pathogens from one person to another. That approach could be combined with traditional mosquito-control strategies such as spraying and bed nets.