Here’s the thing about mosquitoes. They suck. In fact, given that they get access to our bloodstream, inject us with saliva and leave us scratching and itching from head to toe can only mean one thing: They should be hunted down and obliterated beyond recognition. Right? And then, just for good measure, the remains should be torched and doused with a lethal acidic solution, and afterward, any winged creature related to or even resembling the cursed pests should be permanently wiped off the face of the earth, never to be seen or heard from again. How about it? A seek-and-destroy mission unlike any other.
But here’s the thing: Maybe, just maybe, we’re the ones who are the blood-sucking parasites. Ever think about that?
After all, swat a mosquito and does it not bleed? Maybe it has feelings too? If we knew for sure, we’d probably be much more merciful. Even if we found one infiltrating our ear on a hot and humid summer day while baiting a fishing hook near the reeds of one of Michigan’s great lakes, let’s say. We might actually think twice before launching a finger at it like a land-to-air missile.
If we knew they had feelings, maybe we wouldn’t be so hasty to arbitrarily squish down the hapless things. Because we might actually hear them cry out or something. You know—a twisted, cartoonish version of a human sigh, starting out high and loud and quickly fading to a whisper as the bugger’s life is snuffed out. That would serve us right. To have to live with that moment for the rest of our lives.
But sympathy? For a mosquito? Are we serious?
Someone needs to stand up for these flying miscreants. If you really need a reason other than they "may" have feelings, here’s one of many: In the Arctic (yes, the least likely of places you’d think you’d find mosquitoes), birds depend on them as a food source. And food sources aren’t exactly abundant in the Arctic.
Like orchids? Many of them are pollinated by mosquitoes. Bye-bye mosquitoes, bye-bye orchids. So, go ahead, annihilate the species.
Monster moviemakers have reminded us time and again not to play God. They could have a point. Mess with the ecosystem and we just might give rise to something even more sinister. A bigger, meaner, stronger, insecticide-resistant, blood-sucking “vampirisect” comes to mind.
And getting back to our original point, what if mosquitoes really do have feelings? We don’t know if they do, but we don’t know if they don’t, either. Given the chance that they do, wouldn’t wielding our evolutionary might by rendering all the mosquitoes in the world dead make us an even worse blood-sucking monster?
Those little midges who meet with the fickle finger of fate on hot summer days while stopping for a quick drink surely would agree.
The opinions expressed here are those of the authors. Agree? Disagree?