• Rebecca Watson wrote a new post, Insects are Disappearing! Here’s How We Stop It, on the site Skepchick 11 months ago

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    Transcript:

    What would happen if all the mosquitos in the world suddenly disappeared? The loss of any species is generally considered a bad thing for […]

    • The surface area thing is for ‘irrigated crop area’. The area of rain-fed crops is a lot bigger.

      But I agree, lawns are useless, but I think the figure included things like football fields (I know, useless also), but you can’t play sports on fields that are dried out and with dead grass.

      They cite a paper on the insects of Puerto Rico, that also includes information on animals that eat insects, which are also in decline.

      https://www.pnas.org/content/115/44/E10397

    • Can we kill the mosquitos and keep the insects that don’t spread deadly diseases?

      Maybe kill bedbugs too. My neighbor had those, and I’ve been paranoid af about them ever since.

      • Bed Bugs aren’t so bad. They are crappy climbers, so if they can’t climb up onto your bed, you are ‘safe’. There are these things called ‘interceptors’, which are slippery plastic which they can climb into, but can’t climb out of.

        Bed bugs don’t spread any diseases (that are known of). They do use histamine as a pheromone to attract other bed bugs, and that is way allergenic, so if you suddenly get asthma, it could be bed bugs.

        Gene drive is the way to get rid of mosquitoes. Sterile insects was how they got rid of screw flies in the US. Mosquitoes are not hardy enough to use that technique.

        Gene drives are the way to go, but I would only use them on exotic species, so as not to kill off native species; but it is the exotic ones that spread most of the diseases.

      • Yes! And fleas! Somehow my two indoor cats got fleas and every time I’d go to my basement they’d jump on me. It took about three months to get rid of them with sprays, constant vacuuming, putting stuff on the cats, flea combs and it still took a while. And their bites are horrible. Worst itching I’ve ever had.

        Maybe ticks too.