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(RadioLab) Audio If you could push a button and kill every mosquito on the planet would you? Yeah, me too. Get in line itchy   (radiolab.org) divider line 57
    More: Audio, conservation biologist, science writers, planets  
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1275 clicks; posted to Geek » on 14 Apr 2014 at 1:41 PM (22 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-14 01:47:20 PM
Won't somebody think of the frogs?
 
2014-04-14 01:49:45 PM
Absolutely I would. And I'd be fine with whatever domino effect it created.
 
2014-04-14 01:57:05 PM
Nope, but I would for deer flies.  Those can diaf.
 
2014-04-14 01:57:25 PM
My beta fish would eat them all until he popped.  He loves them.
 
2014-04-14 01:59:40 PM
You may not eradicate an endangered species.

img4.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-04-14 02:00:31 PM
If you want mosquitoes to not bite you, stop emitting carbon dioxide and sweating.
 
2014-04-14 02:01:17 PM
And wasps can go too.

evil bassages
 
2014-04-14 02:03:43 PM
No.  A lot of things eat mosquitoes for food.

Lower the number though, that I'd be fine with.
 
2014-04-14 02:04:29 PM

Ithaca_StLondon: And wasps can go too.

evil bassages


www.reactiongifs.com
 
2014-04-14 02:24:38 PM
Every spring I push a button and eliminate all the mosquitoes from my yard, and most of my neighbor's yard as well.

scheldeschorren.be
 
2014-04-14 02:25:15 PM
Nope, they help keep the human population in check
 
2014-04-14 02:25:49 PM
Mosquitos don't touch me. Haven't in years now.
 
2014-04-14 02:39:31 PM

meat0918: No.  A lot of things eat mosquitoes for food.



 They have such low body mass they're not even worth the energy expenditure and effort from a calorie standpoint.   On the Radiolab podcast they bring up that  there aren't really any animals that depend on mosquitos for nutrient purposes.
 
2014-04-14 02:43:24 PM

drjekel_mrhyde: Nope, they help keep the human population in check


God's little flying dirty syringes to spread disease and pestilence.    Now that's "intelligent design".
 
2014-04-14 02:55:56 PM

WinoRhino: Every spring I push a button and eliminate all the mosquitoes from my yard, and most of my neighbor's yard as well.

[scheldeschorren.be image 200x261]


These things have many bad reviews on Amazon.  Does yours actually work?
 
2014-04-14 03:01:10 PM

meat0918: No.  A lot of things eat mosquitoes for food.

Lower the number though, that I'd be fine with.


Mosquitoes are not native to North America. We can kill them ALL here.
 
2014-04-14 03:01:41 PM
No. I actually give a shiat about the ecosystem, and I'm certain that doing something so extreme would eventually lead to misery for humankind.
 
2014-04-14 03:03:11 PM
Yes, and I would also push a button and kill Rachel Carson to boot, but she's already dead.
 
2014-04-14 03:06:57 PM

InmanRoshi: meat0918: No.  A lot of things eat mosquitoes for food.


 They have such low body mass they're not even worth the energy expenditure and effort from a calorie standpoint.   On the Radiolab podcast they bring up that  there aren't really any animals that depend on mosquitos for nutrient purposes.


well if radiolab podcast said it then it must be true.

Dragonflys -- they eat mosquitoes in every stage of life. And fish. And other little larval bugs in the water. Male mosquitoes are pollinators.

Want to be mosquito free? Thick socks long pants with pajama pants underneath. A long sleeve shirt with a jacket or hoody overtop. Then a cap with a bug net on it and gloves. It sounds like overkill -- but if you are in really thick canadian muskeg and there is nothing else for them to eat....

You cant kill mosquitos. it cant be done. It would require getting rid of or treating all standing water on earth., Cover up and use bug spray if you can stand it. It always makes my lips feel a touch numb so a dont use it....
 
2014-04-14 03:11:45 PM

mikefinch: InmanRoshi: meat0918: No.  A lot of things eat mosquitoes for food.


 They have such low body mass they're not even worth the energy expenditure and effort from a calorie standpoint.   On the Radiolab podcast they bring up that  there aren't really any animals that depend on mosquitos for nutrient purposes.

well if radiolab podcast said it then it must be true.

Dragonflys -- they eat mosquitoes in every stage of life. And fish. And other little larval bugs in the water. Male mosquitoes are pollinators.

Want to be mosquito free? Thick socks long pants with pajama pants underneath. A long sleeve shirt with a jacket or hoody overtop. Then a cap with a bug net on it and gloves. It sounds like overkill -- but if you are in really thick canadian muskeg and there is nothing else for them to eat....

You cant kill mosquitos. it cant be done. It would require getting rid of or treating all standing water on earth., Cover up and use bug spray if you can stand it. It always makes my lips feel a touch numb so a dont use it....


We have the technology to lower their numbers.

Luddites kinda wet their pants at the notion though.
 
2014-04-14 03:15:57 PM
Mosquitoes, no. Head lice and other ticks, yes.

mikefinch: Cover up and use bug spray if you can stand it. It always makes my lips feel a touch numb so a dont use it....


Pick up a Thermacell. They work great. OK, they work great as long as there isn't to strong of a breeze or if you're hiking. If you're siting at a picnic table or the edge of a lake fishing, they keep the bugs away.
 
2014-04-14 03:20:02 PM
If I could push a button I'd kill everyone on the planet except for myself and the students and Madame Huxley's Home for Wayward Young Girls.
 
2014-04-14 03:20:21 PM

ChrisDe: Absolutely I would. And I'd be fine with whatever domino effect it created.


No offense, but I'm glad it isn't your call.
 
2014-04-14 03:26:26 PM

space1999: WinoRhino: Every spring I push a button and eliminate all the mosquitoes from my yard, and most of my neighbor's yard as well.

[scheldeschorren.be image 200x261]

These things have many bad reviews on Amazon.  Does yours actually work?


Yeah, they have HORRIBLE reviews in most places. But I have a theory as to why.
It worked for an entire summer and caught baskets of mosquitoes. We could sit on the deck in the middle of the yard on a hot, humid, summer night and not get touched. It was bliss.  The next year it failed to catch much of anything and we were getting bitten a lot. The difference, I found, was that my neighbors and I built a fence along the property as well as some other things that changed the wind patterns. The instructions discuss at length that wind patterns will affect it tremendously. So I had to find a new spot in the yard to place it to have the same effect it did before. Once I did that, it went back to working perfectly again.  I don't think a lot of people understand that part of it, and think it will simply "attract" mosquitoes, rather then "lure" them, which is a big difference.

Also, the monthly maintenance is important. I don't think people clean the lines every 3-4 weeks like they are supposed to.  Change the tank, clean the lines, empty the trap regularly, and find the right spot in relation to the air currents in your yard and it will work flawlessly for years.
 
2014-04-14 03:26:44 PM
I'd push it and then I'd push it again just to be sure. Okay, I'd probably keep tapping that button for a couple of hours straight while laughing maniacally.
 
2014-04-14 03:27:54 PM

WinoRhino: space1999: WinoRhino: Every spring I push a button and eliminate all the mosquitoes from my yard, and most of my neighbor's yard as well.

[scheldeschorren.be image 200x261]

These things have many bad reviews on Amazon.  Does yours actually work?

Yeah, they have HORRIBLE reviews in most places. But I have a theory as to why.
It worked for an entire summer and caught baskets of mosquitoes. We could sit on the deck in the middle of the yard on a hot, humid, summer night and not get touched. It was bliss.  The next year it failed to catch much of anything and we were getting bitten a lot. The difference, I found, was that my neighbors and I built a fence along the property as well as some other things that changed the wind patterns. The instructions discuss at length that wind patterns will affect it tremendously. So I had to find a new spot in the yard to place it to have the same effect it did before. Once I did that, it went back to working perfectly again.  I don't think a lot of people understand that part of it, and think it will simply "attract" mosquitoes, rather then "lure" them, which is a big difference.

Also, the monthly maintenance is important. I don't think people clean the lines every 3-4 weeks like they are supposed to.  Change the tank, clean the lines, empty the trap regularly, and find the right spot in relation to the air currents in your yard and it will work flawlessly for years.


Oh-- one more thing: You have to start it in early April to interrupt the breeding cycle for the season. If the mosquitoes are allowed to populate before you turn it on, it will never be able to keep up with the number of them out there.
 
2014-04-14 03:28:12 PM

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: Ithaca_StLondon: And wasps can go too.

evil bassages

[www.reactiongifs.com image 265x236]


You couldn't find a white boy to say that?
 
2014-04-14 03:29:45 PM

ReverendJynxed: Suckmaster Burstingfoam: Ithaca_StLondon: And wasps can go too.

evil bassages

[www.reactiongifs.com image 265x236]

You couldn't find a white boy to say that?


i.imgur.com
FIXT for me
 
2014-04-14 03:34:47 PM
If we are doing insane hypothetical questions, wouldn't it be easier if you pushed the button labeled "will make humans unappealing to mosquitoes"?
 
2014-04-14 03:38:39 PM

Nix Nightbird: No. I actually give a shiat about the ecosystem, and I'm certain that doing something so extreme would eventually lead to misery for humankind.


I give a shiat about being able to be outside without having to put a mixture of 30 different chemicals on my skin in order to not be considered "food" to the farking things. I'll press it once for you, too, if you're unwilling.
 
2014-04-14 03:44:00 PM
Screw you, human! How else am I supposed to get your tasty, tasty blood?

i.livescience.com

/"vampire" spider's favorite food is freshly blood-filled mosquitoes
 
2014-04-14 03:49:35 PM
As an unfortunate all you can eat buffet for every mosquito in whatever area I choose to occupy I say KILL EM ALL. Those little blood suckers cant get enough of me. Yet, my wife hardly ever gets a bite? hmmmm maybe they just want to tap the relatively giant keg that is my blood stream.

Going to get one of those propane mosquito zappers this year.
 
2014-04-14 03:52:59 PM

WinoRhino: Every spring I push a button and eliminate all the mosquitoes from my yard, and most of my neighbor's yard as well.

[scheldeschorren.be image 200x261]


Does that even work?
And how does it work for other bugs?
 
2014-04-14 04:01:08 PM
My mortal enemy... I would push the button many times for this scourge:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxicodendron_radicans
 
2014-04-14 04:30:10 PM

modulatemymetric: My mortal enemy... I would push the button many times for this scourge:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxicodendron_radicans


A friend in college moved a small tree from which poison ivy had been stripped prior to the move. To move it, he wrapped his arms around the trunk and gave a mighty heave. By evening he looked like The Creature from the Black Lagoon. He's my touchstone for bad reactions to poison ivy. Jeez, he looked bad and suffered for a week.
 
2014-04-14 04:32:40 PM

vudukungfu: WinoRhino: Every spring I push a button and eliminate all the mosquitoes from my yard, and most of my neighbor's yard as well.

[scheldeschorren.be image 200x261]

Does that even work?
And how does it work for other bugs?


It works great if you follow the instructions. I know that sounds like common sense but see my notes up-thread.

As for other bugs, no. This just imitates human breathing with CO2 and adds a chemical lure (octenol) so only mosquitoes are targeted. The key is to position it in a yard based on prevailing air flow so that the mosquitoes detect it before you. If you do that correctly, it's a dream come true.
 
2014-04-14 04:32:58 PM

yakmans_dad: ChrisDe: Absolutely I would. And I'd be fine with whatever domino effect it created.

No offense, but I'm glad it isn't your call.


I'm sure people thought it would be the end of times when the Pyrenean Ibex and Tasmanian Tiger disappeared. Things change. Life finds a way.
 
2014-04-14 04:33:42 PM

meat0918: No. A lot of things eat mosquitoes for food.


Nothing dines on mosquitos exclusively. Every insectivore can easily transition to eating other things.

The mosquito is not a vital part of any ecosystem. This is one we can actually aggressively eliminate with extreme prejudice and not have it be a net negative on any biosphere.
 
2014-04-14 04:37:53 PM

ChrisDe: yakmans_dad: ChrisDe: Absolutely I would. And I'd be fine with whatever domino effect it created.

No offense, but I'm glad it isn't your call.

I'm sure people thought it would be the end of times when the Pyrenean Ibex and Tasmanian Tiger disappeared. Things change. Life finds a way.


Not really. Life just is. And it isn't teleological. Pulling the plug on a food for other things is a terrible experiment. As Buckaroo said, "Don't tug on that. You never know what it might be attached to. "
 
2014-04-14 04:45:22 PM

WinoRhino: WinoRhino: space1999: WinoRhino: Every spring I push a button and eliminate all the mosquitoes from my yard, and most of my neighbor's yard as well.

[scheldeschorren.be image 200x261]

These things have many bad reviews on Amazon.  Does yours actually work?

Yeah, they have HORRIBLE reviews in most places. But I have a theory as to why.
It worked for an entire summer and caught baskets of mosquitoes. We could sit on the deck in the middle of the yard on a hot, humid, summer night and not get touched. It was bliss.  The next year it failed to catch much of anything and we were getting bitten a lot. The difference, I found, was that my neighbors and I built a fence along the property as well as some other things that changed the wind patterns. The instructions discuss at length that wind patterns will affect it tremendously. So I had to find a new spot in the yard to place it to have the same effect it did before. Once I did that, it went back to working perfectly again.  I don't think a lot of people understand that part of it, and think it will simply "attract" mosquitoes, rather then "lure" them, which is a big difference.

Also, the monthly maintenance is important. I don't think people clean the lines every 3-4 weeks like they are supposed to.  Change the tank, clean the lines, empty the trap regularly, and find the right spot in relation to the air currents in your yard and it will work flawlessly for years.

Oh-- one more thing: You have to start it in early April to interrupt the breeding cycle for the season. If the mosquitoes are allowed to populate before you turn it on, it will never be able to keep up with the number of them out there.


This does not help me in FL. Breeding is year round...
 
2014-04-14 05:05:40 PM
Of course. Any moral person would. Without the incredibly costs of malaria many impoverished places near the equator would be infinitely better off. Only a monster would condemn all those people to wallow in their cycle of death and sickness longer.

If some animals happen to go extinct because their only food source disappeared and they were unable to adapt, who cares? Thanks you for your time, your services are no longer needed, and you did a shiatty job of controlling mosquitoes. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.
 
2014-04-14 05:23:12 PM
Yes...

whatever eats them also eat other things, they'll make due.
 
2014-04-14 05:57:14 PM

InmanRoshi: meat0918: No.  A lot of things eat mosquitoes for food.


 They have such low body mass they're not even worth the energy expenditure and effort from a calorie standpoint.   On the Radiolab podcast they bring up that  there aren't really any animals that depend on mosquitos for nutrient purposes.


Bats
 
2014-04-14 06:12:10 PM
homerize.com

Mmm mmm! Sure are fun to scratch! Mmm! Satisfying!
 
2014-04-14 06:41:50 PM

imfallen_angel: Yes...

whatever eats them also eat other things, they'll make due.


Yup, it's like the Fark redesign.

They'll get over it.
 
2014-04-14 07:44:39 PM
Mosquitos? Probably not... Ticks and Bedbugs... yes. To the best of my knowledge, those two farking species don't even contribute to the food chain.

Bring back the DDT!
 
2014-04-14 08:13:54 PM
Mosquitos provide some valuable pollination iirc.

Also insects that mooch off animals provide alternate sources of food for insectivores. Those are probably useful.

I wish bats would populate my backyard though. I am quite nimby about insects that prey on me.
 
2014-04-14 08:17:38 PM
My solution is drinking enough I can't feel them.
 
2014-04-14 09:26:41 PM

WinoRhino: vudukungfu: WinoRhino: Every spring I push a button and eliminate all the mosquitoes from my yard, and most of my neighbor's yard as well.

[scheldeschorren.be image 200x261]

Does that even work?
And how does it work for other bugs?

It works great if you follow the instructions. I know that sounds like common sense but see my notes up-thread.

As for other bugs, no. This just imitates human breathing with CO2 and adds a chemical lure (octenol) so only mosquitoes are targeted. The key is to position it in a yard based on prevailing air flow so that the mosquitoes detect it before you. If you do that correctly, it's a dream come true.


So put it upwind and between your party and any standing water, or breeding grounds?
 
2014-04-14 10:08:14 PM
I support this. I'm pretty sure scientists have confirmed that  mosquitoes were one of the few species that could be removed without harming any ecosystems.

/quickly, do it while they're googling my claim!
 
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