Mosquito mystery

Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I have some bad news: The mosquitoes are gone, or at least there are a lot fewer of them than I remember as a child.

Sounds crazy right? Wait. I remember clouds of mosquitoes, and I also remember spraying myself with bug repellent each summer, usually the good stuff, with Deet. But why mosquitoes and trees? Well, the connection is simple, but easy to overlook. We poison the mosquitoes, which are a main food source for small frogs and toads, as well as many types of small birds and some spiders. These things all eat spruce bark beetles.

The small amounts of poison, say one-one hundredth of a gram per mosquito adds up in the bellies of these animals. Say a frog eats 100 mosquitoes, that's 1 gram of poison in its system.

I wonder if this has been looked at by Fish and Game.

We should live and let live. You can't take one piece out of Alaska's beautiful scenery without jumbling up the rest of it. Besides, mosquitoes don't bite me anymore. I bite back.

Nathan Carlson


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