Why Don’t We Just Kill All the Mosquitos?

Entomologists have some bad news for you.

Perennial trick question: What’s the deadliest animal on Earth? It’s not crocodiles or snakes, and certainly not sharks. Far and away, the creature most responsible for human death is the mosquito.

The World Health Organization estimates they cause several million deaths a year, and in the United States, the threat is growing, thanks to invasive species like the Asian tiger mosquito. Which leads to a question you’ve probably asked yourself: If mosquitoes are such a danger, why don’t we just kill them all?  

Put that to a mosquito researcher, and you’re likely to get a resigned sigh. They’ve heard this before. In the video above, they help explain the complicated science of the world’s most reviled insect. To begin: Only a handful of the world’s 3,000 mosquito species actually spread disease to humans.