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Mosquitoes Beginning To Ignore DEET Repellent

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the we're-doomed dept.

Science 232

Copper Nikus writes "An article at the BBC makes a shocking claim about mosquitoes. It appears some individual insects in the wild have developed the ability to ignore the very popular DEET repellent after a first exposure. From the article: 'To investigate why this might be happening, the researchers attached electrodes to the insects' antenna. Dr Logan explained: "We were able to record the response of the receptors on the antenna to Deet, and what we found was the mosquitoes were no longer as sensitive to the chemical, so they weren't picking it up as well. "There is something about being exposed to the chemical that first time that changes their olfactory system - changes their sense of smell - and their ability to smell Deet, which makes it less effective."'"

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232 comments

Umm, yeah (5, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42975997)

Yeah, it's called evolution.

Re:Umm, yeah (-1, Troll)

zoid.com (311775) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976115)

Umm, yeah it's called we are running out of money so let's releas a report so we can secure more funding...

Re:Umm, yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976161)

Are you really that cynical about the world?

Re:Umm, yeah (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976229)

He probably is. Cynicism gets you modded up on Slashdot.

Re:Umm, yeah (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976231)

Are you always so fallacious in your reasoning?

Re:Umm, yeah (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976213)

you shut your devil whore mouth

Re:Umm, yeah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976971)

Yeah, you will blow Darwin in Hell!

Re:Umm, yeah (5, Funny)

countach (534280) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976285)

I must be evolving too, because I can't smell my aftershave as much when I've got used to it.

Re:Umm, yeah (1)

operagost (62405) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976529)

This is a good point. Humans' sense of smell has "fatigue", which is why you eventually stop noticing a smell in a room, and why you notice your house smells like the cat until you go away for a few days. If mosquitoes have suddenly evolved this, that's news. But the phenomenon isn't.

Re:Umm, yeah (5, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976625)

There is a difference.

This is more like a human losing sensitivity to skunk or ammonia smells for the rest of their life... after smelling them once.

It is really more akin to some humans who have unhealthy very bad digestive systems until they get a stomach parasite infection.. once.

Then they are fine the rest of their lives.

How is this insightful? (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976293)

The original article was insightful, it enlightened us to a new evolution taking place. This is just a snarky restatement without any added, and in fact far less, information.

The article straight off says mosquitoes are evolving, and talks about the research as to in the mechanism that is changing.

Re:How is this insightful? (3, Informative)

Doubting Sapien (2448658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976791)

I would go so far as to even say GP is wrong. The article describes how experiments show the mosquito's olfactory system appears to loose sensitivity to DEET after the first exposure. There is no supporting evidence that conclusively points to this being due to evolutionary change. A more appropriate characterization is simply that the insect's nervous system is being down-regulated in responsiveness to this particular chemical. In other words, the mosquito adapts by learning to ignore some noxious gunk in order to get a blood meal. If such is the case, the insect is simply showing that it can be conditioned with the right stimuli. This is neural-plasticity, not evolution.

Re:Umm, yeah (0, Flamebait)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976333)

Except that doesn't seem to be the mechanism here. In this case, it's the same individual which has a lowered sensitivity to DEET after a single application.

But, you know, don't let that stop this thread turning into another Evil Religion Suppresses Science flame-fest.

Re:Umm, yeah (5, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976391)

Except that doesn't seem to be the mechanism here

Really?

Dr Logan said it was vital to understand both these permanent genetic and temporary olfactory changes that were taking place.

He said: "Mosquitoes are very good at evolving very very quickly."

So there are genetic chsnges being attributed to this along with the scientist saying mosquitos are good at evolving quickly. Yeah, clearly it's not evolution. *rolls eyes*

But, you know, don't let that stop this thread turning into another Evil Religion Suppresses Science flame-fest.

Funny, no one was doing that. Defensive much?

Re:Umm, yeah (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42977031)

Not sure whether there is a mechanism or not. It's not so clear.

For evolutionary pressure to be present, there should be an advantage (may be rather minor) to mosquitoes that can bite people wearing DEET repellent over other mosquitoes.

Humans are not their only prey - if we were, all mosquitoes would be resistant to DEET by now.

Mosquitoes draw blood from many other warm-blooded animals, they live in many places where humans never set foot. I have no idea what ratio humans have in that diet, however I think humans could be a really convenient blood source for mosquitoes as we don't have a thick fur covering most of our skin.

Re:Umm, yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976825)

Yeah, it's called evolution.

Nonono, actually there obviously is an older bearded gentleman in a shining white robe Intelligently Designing this feature...

Re:Umm, yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976873)

Yeah, it's called evolution.

Actually its not evolution. Evolution is a change in the biologi over generations [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution]. This is a mutation since its a change in the biologi due to exposure

Re:Umm, yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976923)

False. This is habituation. Individuals do not evolve.

Next step? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976001)

Oh great, the next step is anyone with DEET gets swarmed by these little bastards. Think about it, once they learn it's not that bad, where else do they smell DEET but fresh blood sources?

Re:Next step? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976057)

Daisy daisy [wikipedia.org] give me your answer, do

Re:Next step? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42977081)

Wrong gender. Only females bite.

But DEET and DDT are the miracle cure! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976005)

They'd save billions of people's lives if only the evil environmentalists hadn't caused them to be universally banned!

Yes, sure, they would be brown people, and that's bad, but damnit, we need to blame the Left for more things that didn't happen, like the Sinking of Atlantis and the Invasion of the Decepticons.

Re:But DEET and DDT are the miracle cure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976067)

Yes, and I am sure that the people of central Vietnam would agree with you...

Re:But DEET and DDT are the miracle cure! (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976279)

DDT is still used regularly in the 2nd and 3rd world.

Simplez (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976009)

Extract the smell of RMS's feet. Nothing will survive that.

DEET to begin bankruptcy filings (-1, Offtopic)

Sigvatr (1207234) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976013)

"The mosquitoes are takin' our jerbs."

Re:DEET to begin bankruptcy filings (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976127)

THEY TUK YUR JERRB!

evolution (1)

simoncpu was here (1601629) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976017)

I wish humanity was still subjected to evolutionary pressure, like these mosquitoes, that would drive gross human evolution. Right now, our species would no longer improve unless we use genetic engineering.

Re:evolution (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976133)

Do you believe humanity is at some sort of evolutionary dead end? Why do you think that humans are no longer evolving?

Re:evolution (2, Interesting)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976149)

Because we have a warning label on every item that could possibly cause injury no matter how obvious. We have tech that will insure the genetically weak will continue to breed. We have governments that cradle and encourage the simple minded to be more so.

Without genetic engineering we are doomed at our current rate of evolution.

Re:evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976177)

Well then help us out by culling yourself from the gene pool first.

Re:evolution (3, Insightful)

Gordo_1 (256312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976527)

What makes you think that our rightful genetic destiny must be toward smarter and smarter human beings? We may have reached a point where evolutionarily, we're already as smart as we're likely ever to get due to pressures that you nor I can completely comprehend. What we're starting to understand is that evolution proceeds in fits and starts and many dead ends toward a somewhat unpredictable concept of 'fittest'.

Re:evolution (2)

Molochi (555357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976561)

Maybe making stupid people more stupid is a good thing. Seemed to work for the Morlocks and Eloi.

Re:evolution (2)

peppepz (1311345) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976605)

As some economists often do, you're assuming that evolution leads to the survival of the best. It doesn't, it leads to the survival of the fittest. For instance, physically strong people who are very stupid but also very prolific might prove to be more successfull from an evolutionary standpoint than very intelligent individuals with a weak constitution who leave scarce or no offspring.

Re:evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976623)

There was a time when, how did you call it?, genetically week were sterilized by the state. mentally ill incarcerated in concentration camps: it was called nazi-Germany.

Re:evolution (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976725)

Actually, humans are continuing to evolve. Only the selective pressures are different.

The traits that are now selected for are those that are suited for our human-altered world in which dangerous things have warning labels, not those traits that used to be wonderful 20,000 years ago on the savannah, but that's the whole point.

Similarly, those who you call "genetically weak" aren't. They might have been were genetically weak on the savannah when your support group consisted of 20 uneducated protohumans, but in a world filled with medicine and technology, they are perfectly fine, and better adapted than some schmuck who puts all his energy into making powerful immune systems to destroy smallpox viruses and guinea worms that no longer exist.

Re:evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42977001)

Than nations who have not got those labels will go forward.

Re:evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976241)

We work hard to protect the weak, clueless, sick, stupid, unfit, broken and defective from dying out. We goto great lengths for the 'all life is sacred' thing and we give them full advantage to pass on these defective traits again and again.

We are not at a dead end. But we have GREATLY slowed human evolution. But time is largely irrevelant to evolution. It will keep trying blindly on a timescale we can't even imagine.

Perhaps our protection of the useless will someday benefit evolution in some bizarre way that turns out to be 'better' for us as a species and not just as a social conformity that makes us feel good.
But i don't think it will.

The genepool might be better off with a good dose of chlorine.

Re:evolution (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976267)

The genepool might be better off with a good dose of chlorine.

But that won't include you, though, right?

Re:evolution (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976951)

Protecting the weak is more important than optimizing the gene pool.

Re:evolution (2, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976481)

I'll bite. Because we can adapt our environment to us instead of the other way around. Because we can protect and allow the"weaker"* members of our species to propagate. These two factors mitigate against "survival of the fittest".

* There is no judgement implied by in the term weaker.

Re:evolution (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976633)

It's worse than that. Our reproductive fitness is dropping rapidly.

We increasingly need a lot of assistance in order to procreate.

Every time someone uses fertility procedures to make a baby, that baby is very likely to have fertility problems.

Male sperm counts have dropped by 95% since 1900. However some of this is probably due to false estrogens from oil based pesticides so it might clear up whenever we stop using them.

Re:evolution (0)

QQBoss (2527196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976737)

Male sperm counts have dropped by 95% since 1900. However some of this is probably due to false estrogens from oil based pesticides so it might clear up whenever we stop using them.

[citation needed] because the world population would crash if that 95% was important... or perhaps it never happened (at least not to that extent, for sure)
http://www.babyhopes.com/blog/debunking-male-fertility-myths-decline-in-sperm-count/ [babyhopes.com]

Re:evolution (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976909)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2012/dec/05/sperm-count-fall-is-it-real [guardian.co.uk]

Sharpe said that whether or not the French study settled the debate over falling sperm counts, it was *unquestionable* that across northern Europe, *one in five, and perhaps more*, young men has a sperm count low enough to impair their fertility. That matters more today than 30 years ago, when women were having children at a younger age.

http://www.malehealthcenter.com/c_fertility.html [malehealthcenter.com]
Over the past 30 years, fertility among married couples in the U.S. has dropped dramatically. During the '60s, between 7 and 8 percent of couples reported problems conceiving; today that number has risen to between 25 and 30 percent.

No single cause can explain this decline, but it appears that average sperm counts have been falling over the past couple of decades. Again, medical science can't say exactly why sperm counts might be dropping, but we do know a number of things that can affect them:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/28/sperm-study-declining-quality_n_1837200.html [huffingtonpost.com]
This article provides some support for your position.
Some areas are experiencing declines in sperm count and quality but others are not.

As the article says...

  So why care about the muddy picture, if babies are still being born? So far, there has been no global shortage of babies â" but in 30 percent of the cases of infertility, there is a male factor, said Wendie Robbins, a professor at the UCLA School of Nursing. Male infertility is suspected in about 70 percent of cases in Israel.

"Many times, there is just no cause that people can find for infertility," she said, adding that she was surprised how interested the men in a new study of hers were about increasing their fertility. "People underestimate how much men are interested in optimizing the possibilities for their offspring." (Robbins and colleagues recently found in a study partially funded by the California Walnut Commission that eating walnuts may boost sperm quality.)

Deonandan says there are two reasons why the sperm situation should be taken seriously. "If the decline is real, then an essential aspect of the human animal is being changed very rapidly in only a few generations," he told LiveScience.

Re:evolution (2)

v1 (525388) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976207)

but you have to consider, is genetic engineering the next step in the evolution... of evolution?

It's like tools. Tools are an upgrade to evolution - you can improve your fitness without waiting for a generation and random chance. AND you can pass those beneficial 'traits" on to others to benefit from immediately.

Genetic engineering has the same potential as tools, for rapid adaptation and improvement. It's faster and far less random than natural evolution.

Re:evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976245)

Why can't 'genetic engineering' be a natural progression of evolution. It's just another trait, here the ability to use engineering, to improve the chance of survival. Or do you really wish we were more subject to evolution and the suffering that would entail?

Re:evolution (1)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976259)

The immensely salty, sugary, and fatty diet of Americans is going a long way towards your goal. What evolution would do over centuries, Kraft, General Foods, Purina, Pillsbury, Mars, Coca Cola, et al are doing in mere decades. Maybe they'll come up with a mosquito repellent version of Velveeta or Cocoa Puffs.

Re:evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976289)

Purina is cat food, but it would probably be healthier than the human foods you mentioned.

Re:evolution (5, Interesting)

jbeaupre (752124) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976437)

There was a sci-fi short story in Analog years ago that involved human evolution an junk food. The plot involved people getting mysteriously ill, even dying. Epidemiologists linked it to eating healthy. They discovered that humans had evolved to use caramel coloring as an essential vitamin. Eliminating it from your diet was as dangerous as eliminating vitamin C.

I think about that story every time I see caramel coloring listed as an ingredient in food.

Re:evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976315)

I wish humanity was still subjected to evolutionary pressure, like these mosquitoes, that would drive gross human evolution. Right now, our species would no longer improve...

Do you want to say that we, as species, aren't dumb enough for our environment?

Re:evolution (3, Informative)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42977037)

Interestingly, not so long ago I read about evolution in humans, and how that is actually speeding up currently.

And that makes total sense to me, considering the huge changes we made to our environment over the past couple hundred years. Urbanisation, industrialisation - it requires different skills than farming.

It's the will of God! (4, Funny)

sv_libertarian (1317837) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976021)

This only proves that the ways and will of God is ineffable. To even suggest it's evolution in action is blasphemy.

Re:It's the will of God! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976299)

This only proves that the ways and will of God is ineffable. To even suggest it's evolution in action is blasphemy.

Not sure about ineffable, but my wife is uneffable.

Re:It's the will of God! (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976377)

This only proves that the ways and will of God is ineffable. To even suggest it's evolution in action is blasphemy.

Hold on now, I have uncontestable proof that God has eff'ed me over many times.
Or is that claim considered blasphemy as well?

Re:It's the will of God! (5, Funny)

rrhal (88665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976475)

Hold on now, I have uncontestable proof that God has eff'ed me over many times.

Mary, don't exaggerate; it was just the one time.

Red Nose! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976027)

PETA should take up the cause against DDT because mosquito's noses are being burned therefore are less able to hunt for food.

Re:Red Nose! (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976599)

The People for the Eating of Tastey Animals oppose DEET because it makes mosquitos taste funny when fried in lard.

More blood on Rachel Carson's hards (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976031)

I remember in school learning that her fight to ban DDT had killed over fifty million people. How many millions more have died since? Is the ban now responsible for killing more people than Mao, Stalin, and Hitler combined?

Re: More blood on Rachel Carson's hards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976103)

So wrong on so many levels.
Not even funny.

Lurk moar.

Re:More blood on Rachel Carson's hards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976167)

So while you were at school, did you learn how Jesus fought Dinosaurs with an AK-47 while riding on the back of a Unicorn?

Re:More blood on Rachel Carson's hards (5, Informative)

Shompol (1690084) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976183)

Quite interesting how political agendas make their way to school.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Carson#Criticisms_of_environmentalism_and_DDT_restrictions [wikipedia.org]

John Quiggin and Tim Lambert have written that "the most striking feature of the claim against Carson is the ease with which it can be refuted." DDT was never banned for anti-malarial use,[85] (its ban for agricultural use in the United States in 1972 did not apply outside the US or to anti-malaria spraying;[86] the international treaty that banned most uses of DDT and other organochlorine pesticides — the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants — included an exemption for DDT for the use of malaria control until affordable substitutes could be found.[79]) Mass outdoor spraying of DDT was abandoned in poor countries subject to malaria, such as Sri Lanka, in the 1970s and 1980s, not because of government prohibitions, but because the DDT had lost its ability to kill the mosquitoes.[79] (Because of insects very short breeding cycle and large number of offspring, the most resistant insects that survive and pass on their genetic traits to their offspring replace the pesticide-slain insects relatively rapidly. Agricultural spraying of pesticides produces resistance to the pesticide in seven to ten years.[87])

Re:More blood on Rachel Carson's hards (1, Flamebait)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976227)

By "school" he really meant "what Rush Limbaugh told me".

Re:More blood on Rachel Carson's hards (1)

rochrist (844809) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976415)

Careful, we don't want any actual facts to get in the way of spittle flecked rant.

Re:More blood on Rachel Carson's hards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976859)

I wonder how much the mosquito lobby has spent relative to other special interest groups.

Any documented instance... (1)

sylvandb (308927) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976099)

Any documented instance of mosquitoes ignoring DDT?

Re:Any documented instance... (5, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976117)

sure, tons of evidence. dead mosquitoes ignore everything.

Re: Any documented instance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976147)

Yes. Many. Since the early 70s DDT doesn't work properly anylonger. Mosquitos became resistant.

Re: Any documented instance... (2)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976253)

Isn't "ignore" a bit casual a term to use here,too? It's not like random mosquitoes are going "Hey! This nasty stuff - I'm going to ignore it! See that cabbage leaf? Nom Nom Nom muthafucka!"

Re: Any documented instance... (2)

Molochi (555357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976685)

Actualy, because we stopped using it indiscriminately on crops, road ditches, and everydamn thing you could hit with a nozzle, it has become more effective today. But if we go back to using it indiscriminately the problem will resurface more quickly than if we just use it to spray mosquito nets. If DEET is losing its effectiveness, it just proves the point that shit evolves.

Its just like using Ampicillin for every biotic infection. You have to pick your battle.

What we really need to do is figure out what makes my stepdad immune to mosquitos. Freaky dude never gets bit and he lived in Florida for 10 years.

Re:Any documented instance... (1)

Shompol (1690084) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976199)

Funny that you ask, I just posted it in the thread above.

Mass outdoor spraying of DDT was abandoned in poor countries subject to malaria, such as Sri Lanka, in the 1970s and 1980s, not because of government prohibitions, but because the DDT had lost its ability to kill the mosquitoes.[79]

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Carson#Criticisms_of_environmentalism_and_DDT_restrictions)

Bow down (2)

Oyjord (810904) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976121)

I will be the first one to bow down to our mosquito overlords.

Re:Bow down (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976339)

Why? You can't afford a mosquito net?

Re:Bow down (5, Interesting)

bobstreo (1320787) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976375)

I think it will take longer for them to become resistant to the lasers:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosquito_laser [wikipedia.org]

Re:Bow down (1)

burning-toast (925667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976449)

Now this is the sort of thing I actually come to read slashdot for (geeky, previously unknown technologies to me, which do generally useful things in unanticipated ways). Thanks for the link!

- Toast

Re:Bow down (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976767)

All right, Dr. Evil, it's time to stop posting.

Nature (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976185)

Just because you don't believe in it. Does not make evolution go away.
Here we have yet another example of a lifeform that lives on a fast enough timescale for us to directly observe evolution in action.

And it too will be ignored by the insane. Or called that intelligent design crap.

Thats the funny thing about beliefs... they have little to do with facts and reality. I wish we could evolve away from that. Maybe someday....

Mosquito Extinction Campaign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976191)

Mosquitoes serve no real purpose in the ecosystem and the world would be better off without these quasi-parasitical creatures. I think there needs to be a worldwide effort to drive mosquitoes to extinction in the wild (kind of like what happened to smallpox in the last century). As an added bonus, we would greatly reduce the incidence of malaria because IIRC mosquitoes are the only vector used for infection.

Re:Mosquito Extinction Campaign (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976251)

They serve a great purpose. Population control. Killing them off will mean either further out of control population growth in poor countries or something worse coming along to replace them. It is very short-sighted to think you can wipe out a whole species without causing unforseen, and usually negative, side effects.

Re:Mosquito Extinction Campaign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976311)

That's what birth control is for. We don't need mosquitoes to kill people with malaria when there are ways to keep people from being born in the first place. We got rid of smallpox decades ago. The elapsed time has allowed for countless microorganism generations and nothing worse has replaced smallpox yet. That's not saying it won't happen eventually (in which case it would likely have been inevitable anyway), but there hasn't been a shortage of opportunity so far.

Re:Mosquito Extinction Campaign (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976445)

That's what birth control is for.

You mean the stuff widely demonized throughout Africa?

The elapsed time has allowed for countless microorganism generations and nothing worse has replaced smallpox yet.

Ignoring things like HIV? Funny, because some research [latimes.com] shows that the eradication of smallpox may have helped bring about the current HIV pandemic.

Re:Mosquito Extinction Campaign (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976525)

In the West, where we have so much food available 24/7 that the #1 problem is being fat, we have fertility rates that are at or just below replacement.
In parts of Africa where famine/starvation are endemic, population growth continues to consume all advances in GDP and prevent escape from poverty.

How, in light of these two well-known facts, can anyone still believe Malthus' "any improvement in living standards will just result in more poors consuming it all" bullshit?

Re:Mosquito Extinction Campaign (2, Informative)

aXis100 (690904) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976287)

Their larvae are a food source to many aquatic animals.

Re:Mosquito Extinction Campaign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976389)

True, but couldn't those animals just eat something else when all the mosquito larvae are gone?

Re:Mosquito Extinction Campaign (3, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976451)

Maybe but maybe not. And if those creatures die off too it will continue to ripple. This is why your idea is majorly naive and short-sighted.

Patent "Natural Selection" (4, Funny)

Press2ToContinue (2424598) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976211)

Then charge the mosquitoes a license fee to evolve.

That should stop them.

Mosquitoes: Ignore DEET, Just Say Phuket (1)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976235)

You know how it is... something becomes trendy or goes viral and then the hipsters are all like "that is so yesterday". Mosquitoes from Thailand started the "Ignore DEET, Just Say Phuket" meme after the press got all up in arms about how popular DEET has become with human partiers:

http://www.ttrweekly.com/site/2012/09/phi-phi-home-to-deadly-cocktails/ [ttrweekly.com]

http://phuketwan.com/tourism/phi-phis-killer-cocktail-buckets-time-health-officials-explain-death-riddle-16598/ [phuketwan.com]

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2012/08/31/montreal-sisters-die-thailand-insecticide.html [www.cbc.ca]

http://www.phuketgazette.net/phuket_news/2012/DEET-in-lethal-party-cocktail-killed-Canadian-sisters-Autopsy-16811.html [phuketgazette.net]

Shocked! (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976321)

I am truly "shock[ed]", no one could of ever predicted this completely unique adaptation.

Re:Shocked! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976413)

Next up: mosquitoes become resist to high voltages.

Evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976347)

Nature will ALWAYS evolve it's way around obstacles!

Re:Evolution (2)

burning-toast (925667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976531)

Nature will ALWAYS evolve it's way around obstacles!

Except when it doesn't and the death of the entire species is the result.

Remember kids, above all, Nature doesn't make decisions or judgments. It just simply is.

If your species is under pressure and specific members randomly mutate in beneficial ways in time, your species might survive.

(Un)Fortunately for us (generally disadvantaged) humans; the traits we do have help substantially in this: language, knowledge, technology, and the ability to harvest energy for purposes other than simply feeding our bodies (which I'll generally term as "Leverage"). I say unfortunate because we don't have perfect control of this and tend to use these abilities to reduce pressure of one sort and increase pressures of other sorts at the same time inadvertently.

We could still lose a fight against natural pressures if we don't lose a fight against pressures we induce on ourselves first (which some would argue to be natural pressures just the same). The death of our entire species is not off the table (though it would be fairly difficult with how prolific we are).

Nature won't save your bacon any more than it has it "out for you" in the first place.

- Toast

I, for one, welcome or new deet ingoring overlords (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976483)

And I'm sure the person sitting next to me is tastier...

Use the mosquito's natural drives against it (4, Interesting)

Beeftopia (1846720) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976515)

There's a device I've used with some success that works ONLY against bloodsuckers. It's called a "Mosquito Magnet" [mosquitomagnet.com] .

Mosquitoes are attracted to things with blood. They apparently track their food by warmth, exhaled carbon dioxide, and a few other chemicals. This devices emits warmth, carbon dioxide and a few other chemicals in an attractant. The device is quite sensitive though. I've placed a battery driven model outside, under a small wooden table, to protect it from the elements. It definitely captures mosquitoes but sometimes it makes a difference, sometimes it doesn't. Mine is 5 years old. Last year it was... eh. Not as dramatic as year 1. I need to get it serviced this year I suppose.

Anyhoo, focusing on something like the mosquito's natural drives to attract them to a trap might be the Next Big Thing. Note that bug zappers don't attract mosquitos.

Pest management basics (3, Interesting)

future assassin (639396) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976609)

Don't use the same chemicals too often as small insects adapt to it quite fast. Just ask weed growers how well their toxic miticides don't work on spider mites anymore. I bet the weed you're smoking has Avid, Floramite, Monitor, Forbid or othe rnasties on it as some are resorting to using them at WAY more potent mixes and past the residual time of the chemical.

Re:Pest management basics (1)

dryeo (100693) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976965)

It's not just weed. Way too many people think that if a certain dosage is called for, then it is better to double or quadruple it. When it comes to pesticides it is quite important to follow the directions including stopping well before harvest.

Solution to the mosquito problem (1)

rossdee (243626) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976655)

When i walked home from work the other day, I didn't notice a single mosquito.
My conclusion is that they don't like certain environmental factors.

The temperature was about 242 Kelvin

So if we can keep the place cool, we won't have to worry.

The Role of Mosquitoes in Nature (1)

ixarux (1652631) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976713)

...... is still not understood by most. And I think we are stuck in an odd place here.

Insects evolution is faster than animals like dodos. We can't walk around beating them with a club till they go extinct. Mosquito nets used to be the most effective form of protection, until now. The mosquitoes are getting smaller. And adapting to chemicals is an inevitability. Too many of them reproducing at very high rates. Making them infertile seems to be best way around this all.

But more importantly, we still have absolutely no clue what role the mosquitoes play in ecological niches. Will their extinction lead to irreversible changes that affect the very fabric of nature? Humans vs. mosquitoes - who is more important to nature. Does anyone want to answer that question? Does the increase in human population directly correlate with the increase in mosquito population? We are their food after-all ....

Re:The Role of Mosquitoes in Nature (0)

oldhack (1037484) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976769)

Don't be stupid. Mosquitoes, like humans, have no "roles".

Re:The Role of Mosquitoes in Nature (1)

dryeo (100693) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976981)

Lots of things eat mosquito, especially their larvae. The mails live on nectar so they may also be pollinators.

Live near a mangrove... (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | about a year and a half ago | (#42976845)

As someone with the pleasure of living near mangroves (Brisbane Australia) I can attest to the relatively ineffective deterrence offered by common DEET-based repellents (

Thank god shark repellent still works! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42976889)

Thank god shark repellent still works! http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/82773565/

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