Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mosquitoes, Who needs em'?

I've heard tell that the mosquitoes on Islesford can hover in a thirty-knot wind. I don't know if that is true or not, but what I do know is they are fierce. Where many places have mosquitoes for just a part of their summer, we have them for the entire season, and longer. I have seen them in late October.

I for one don't appreciate the buzzing around my head created by a couple of dozen skeeters. Their bite doesn't seem to bother me much, that can't be said for other islanders and so I count myself lucky.

My friend Paul remembers as a child watching a small plane going overhead spraying DDT over the island as a way to eradicate the bugs. Unfortunately it also eradicated all of the birds on the island. Today we have lots of birds species on the island, and some bats.

Mosquitoes, who needs em'? Well some of those birds probably eat them, the bats certainly feed on mosquitoes. Well, as much of a nuisance as they may be, we humans may need the lowly mosquito more than we think. I heard an interview a while back where the interviewee said that mosquitoes derive the majority of their nutrients from the nectar of plants, and while collecting that nectar they naturally spread the pollen from plant to plant just as the bee does. In fact the honey bees that we know to be common are not native to our continent and so it is theorized that mosquitoes historically were some of the major contributors to the pollination of native plants.

I have found some websites that support this. So the little ol' mosquito is an very important part of our ecosystem. I often think about this after I have swatted one of those buggers. Then I sometimes think, well the other three dozen or more that are buzzing around my head should be able to get the job done.

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