Mosquitoes are the biggest killer than any other organism. Mosquitoes are responsible for 1 million plus human death worldwide. Moreover, they are the sole reason for pain and suffering to more than 100 million humans worldwide. It’s not only us who get affected by their bites; its target includes dogs, horses, cattle and other animals.
Brief history and tech-sensors
Mosquitoes started evolving on the planet more than 30million years ago. Since then it seems they are engaged in constant evolution by developing various sensors that help them to better achieve their target; to breed, to suck blood, to bite, etc.
Mosquitoes have their own tech-kit that helps them to achieve what they want such as
1. Heat sensors:
Mosquitoes have heat sensors which help them to locate mammals and birds which have hot blood. Once they get close up to a certain range their heat sensors gets activated which helps them to precisely locate their prey.
2. Chemical sensors:
Mosquitoes can detect lactic acid and carbon dioxide from some 100ft away. Birds and mammals do give off carbon dioxide as a part of respiratory process which is vital for living. Certain chemical in sweat has a particular smell which also attracts mosquitoes.
3. Visual sensors:
For mosquitoes anything moving is a target. May it be living or non-living it will try its hands on just in case if they can get something out of it. It has been found that they do get attracted towards dark colored clothes compared to light colored ones.
How mosquitoes spread diseases
Mosquitoes fall into the category of organisms that are called vectors. Now what exactly is a vector? They are organisms that transport parasites and pathogens from once infected body (animal or human) to another body causing serious diseases. The places between tropics and sub-tropics which lack some basic human facilities like safe drinking water, sanitation system, basic medical facilities etc are breeding ground for mosquitoes, parasites and pathogens. Of all infectious diseases vector-borne diseases accounts for an estimated 17% global burden. The most fastest spreading and deadly vector borne diseases is dengue (30fold increase in last 50years) and malaria (more than half million death in 2012) respectively.
More information about vector-borne diseases
1. Chagas disease aka American trypanosomiasis
Life-threatening condition transmitted through triatomine bugs, contaminated food, infected blood transfusion
Viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes
3. Congo-Crimean haemorrhagic fever
Severe illness caused by a number of viruses
Mosquito-borne infection that may cause lethal complications
Infection caused by drinking-water containing water fleas that have ingested Dracunculus larvae
6. Human African trypanosomiasis
Glossina-borne parasitic infection, fatal without prompt diagnosis and treatment
Infection is caused if bitten by female sandflies
8. Lymphatic filariasis
Infection occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquitoes
9. Lyme disease
Disease caused by infected ticks
Disease caused by a parasite plasmodium, transmitted via infected mosquitoes
Parasitic disease caused by the filarial worm onchocerca volvulus
Parasitic disease caused by trematode flatworms of the genus
13. Yellow fever
Viral disease transmitted via aedes mosquitoes
These are some of the diseases that are been spread by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are the most severe threat to humankind as they are the major cause of suffering and pain, loss to the world economy, and death. There are many debates going on around scientific world regarding eradication of mosquitoes for good. This may become a problem as many species of other living organisms depend directly on mosquitoes as food.
The other big question is what will take place of mosquitoes if they are ever vanished? If something more resilient, more severe many replace it then it will create a new challenges and threat to our existence. The best thing which we can do at this stage is to make ourselves ready to protect ourselves from mosquitoes.