• Rebecca Watson wrote a new post, Insects are Disappearing! Here’s How We Stop It, on the site Skepchick 1 year, 3 months ago

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    Transcript:

    What would happen if all the mosquitos in the world suddenly disappeared? The loss of any species is generally considered a bad thing for […]

    • The surface area thing is for ‘irrigated crop area’. The area of rain-fed crops is a lot bigger.

      But I agree, lawns are useless, but I think the figure included things like football fields (I know, useless also), but you can’t play sports on fields that are dried out and with dead grass.

      They cite a paper on the insects of Puerto Rico, that also includes information on animals that eat insects, which are also in decline.

      https://www.pnas.org/content/115/44/E10397

    • Can we kill the mosquitos and keep the insects that don’t spread deadly diseases?

      Maybe kill bedbugs too. My neighbor had those, and I’ve been paranoid af about them ever since.

      • Bed Bugs aren’t so bad. They are crappy climbers, so if they can’t climb up onto your bed, you are ‘safe’. There are these things called ‘interceptors’, which are slippery plastic which they can climb into, but can’t climb out of.

        Bed bugs don’t spread any diseases (that are known of). They do use histamine as a pheromone to attract other bed bugs, and that is way allergenic, so if you suddenly get asthma, it could be bed bugs.

        Gene drive is the way to get rid of mosquitoes. Sterile insects was how they got rid of screw flies in the US. Mosquitoes are not hardy enough to use that technique.

        Gene drives are the way to go, but I would only use them on exotic species, so as not to kill off native species; but it is the exotic ones that spread most of the diseases.

      • Yes! And fleas! Somehow my two indoor cats got fleas and every time I’d go to my basement they’d jump on me. It took about three months to get rid of them with sprays, constant vacuuming, putting stuff on the cats, flea combs and it still took a while. And their bites are horrible. Worst itching I’ve ever had.

        Maybe ticks too.

    • Thank You Rebecca for this article as well as for the previous ones, that I’ve had a pleasure to read (or watch a video). I’m happy, that You are not just criticising the state of things, but also offering solutions. I’m missing this factor in the sceptical movement. It is easier to point out the problems and laugh on how poorly is it currently being handled. Much harder is to come with the solution. Thank You for a healthy mix of scepticism, humour and problem-solving attitude. Excuse my english please. I hope it’s still a bit better, than the one Your president tries to use. Tom Nosek, Prague, central Europe