How Can We Get Rid of Mosquitoes?

Having a mosquito infestation is never fun. They are not only annoying, but they carry disease. They can transmit yellow fever, Zika, dengue fever, and malaria. These diseases kill hundreds of thousands of people every year.

Scientists are now studying ways to rid the world of mosquitoes. If successful, eradicating the insects would eliminate the burden on public health systems. This would improve the quality of life in countries where mosquito-borne diseases are a problem.

The scientists are looking for ways to genetically modify mosquitoes. They could then kill off all of the female mosquitoes, and leave only the males to mate.

This is not the answer to our question, though. It would not be feasible for total world eradication. Rather, the scientists would target just a few dozen species in three genera.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the principal vector for yellow fever and Zika. It can also transmit dengue, chikungunya, and malaria. These diseases are preventable with vaccines.

Another approach to eradicating mosquitoes is to destroy all standing water. This includes pools, rain barrels, and buckets. You can also treat non-drinking water containers with larvicides.

Using essential oils is another way to eliminate mosquitoes. You can make your own repellent by blending a few drops of essential oil with a cup of water. However, essential oils are not as effective as traditional pesticides.

It would be difficult to wipe out mosquitoes entirely, especially in the United States. There are more than 3,500 named species of mosquitoes in the world. They all share the same basic habitat preferences.