Mosquito: The Story of Man's Deadliest Foe

Registered by quietorchid of Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on 2/12/2015
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by quietorchid from Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on Thursday, February 12, 2015
More the story of 'Mosquito: Nightmarish Vector". This is a close look at efforts to limit the impact mosquitoes have had upon human activitiy. The authors are an entomologist and a journalist. A vrery good pairing when it works as well as it did here.

I was delighted by the depth of information conveyed here; from the recognition of insect transmission of disease to the effect of Carson's Silent Spring on Malaria Eradication efforts. The focus is clearly on Malaria, a significant and re-emerging health threat. Part natural history, part disease history, and part social engineering (encourage a middle class in developing nations, as that leads to better houses and screens), the book is a nice and well written discussion of the importance of controlling a vector for many diseases.

The book ends in the early 2000s, just as West Nile Virus was colonizing the United States. Fascinating reading, and it makes me glad I finally got the courage to talk to my neighbor and provide him with goldfish every year for his home made rainbarrels as an acceptable mosquito control effort. The label on the book comes from my garden, where I swat at mosquitoes all summer long.

Fly far little book!

Journal Entry 2 by quietorchid at Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on Saturday, February 14, 2015

Released 6 yrs ago (2/14/2015 UTC) at Saint Paul, Minnesota USA


Put in the Medicine Chest V Bookbox.

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Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, June 28, 2015
I'm claiming this from the Medicine Chest bookbox. Looks like just the sort of book I enjoy - and maybe I'll learn something about those pesky mosquitoes!

Later: Lots of good (and often scary) information here, making me wonder at times how any warm-blooded creatures have survived at all in mosquito-prone regions. I appreciated the author's focus on the intricacy of the creatures' life-cycles and behaviors, and I did get motivated to double-check my property for stray bits of garden equipment that might hold standing water - though as I live near a brook with its own associated and protected wetlands, some population of mosquitoes is only to be expected.

I feel rather guilty fussing about the occasional mosquito bite, though. When I read about the swarms that coat walls, weaken livestock, and spread plagues in many parts of the world even today, an itchy bump or two seems a small price to pay. And my reading has included accounts of expeditions to equatorial Africa and to the Arctic circle, all of which have been plagued by swarms of mosquitoes. Seems Antarctica is the only continent free of them, and I'm not even sure about that, at least regarding the coastal areas nearest to other continents.

The book touches on many plagues for which mosquitoes were a prime vector, including the devastating yellow fever epidemic in Philadelpha in 1793 (which I'd read about recently in Fever 1793). And I was interested in the whole DDT question - if used in an appropriate and responsible manner it could be very effective against mosquitoes without doing the kind of ecological damage that caused its ban, but it's so difficult to persuade people that "more" is not always "better" with regard to pesticides that it could be very dangerous to let the genie out of the bottle again.

I had known about the impact of mosquito-borne illness on the construction of the Panama Canal, but this book provided a lot more detail on that too. And in general I found myself with a new respect for those whining little pests!

The section on "Living With Mosquitoes" includes lots of good advice re what works and what doesn't, both for minimizing mosquito habitat and for protecting against bites. And then there's the delightful "What Did I Just Swat?" chapter, providing a field guide for different mosquito species - though as the author mentions somewhere, this isn't very useful if the subject has been squashed beyond identification {wry grin}.

[For more "nature is scary", see Parasite Rex.]

Journal Entry 4 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, July 26, 2015

Released 5 yrs ago (7/27/2015 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA


I'm sending this to BCer Lizzy-stardust in the UK, as a thank-you for Eat Him If You Like. Enjoy!

*** Released as part of the 2015 Keep Them Moving release challenge. ***

Journal Entry 5 by Lizzy-stardust at Salford, Greater Manchester United Kingdom on Saturday, August 01, 2015
I received this in today's post! Thank you soooo much! I hope you enjoy Eat Him if You Like as much I look forward to reading this!!"

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