Why did God make mosquitoes? My son was eight years old when he asked that question. Having just spent a week at a riverside camp, he informed me that on his right leg alone he’d counted 61 bites. Could there be a plausible explanation for the inclusion of the mosquito in the natural world? They carry diseases like malaria and the West Nile virus.
A Talmud reflection on Genesis 2:1 states “the living God did not create a single thing without a purpose.” Just what might that purpose be for the mosquito?
Apparently in their larva stage mosquitoes provide food for fish and frogs. The fully formed adults are an important source of nutrients for dragon flies, bats and birds. Like bees, mosquitoes help pollinate flowers and fruit.
Is it possible mosquitoes build character? As we contend with the biting pests do we become stronger people? I once attended an outdoor production of Hamlet on a humid summer evening with about a hundred other people and several million mosquitoes. Ophelia’s funeral was staged in an open field as the sun was setting. I was amazed during that scene at the self-discipline of the cast. While the audience swatted away, the actors appeared completely oblivious to the clouds of insects we could clearly see swirling up around them from the long grass. I imagine that never again in their theatrical career did any obstacle seem insurmountable to those actors. After all they had survived performing Hamlet, while legions of annoying creatures flew in their faces and feasted on their blood. Perhaps mosquitoes help strengthen our ability to put mind over matter.
The city of Winnipeg began fogging for mosquitoes last night. One benefit of mosquitoes is the valuable and thought-provoking dialogue they inspire between urban residents over the pros and cons of fogging with chemicals as an effective means of pest control. Every summer hundreds of homeowners in cities request exemption from various insect management programs because they are concerned about possible hazards to their own health and that of the environment. As stewards of the earth, we are called to weigh both chemical and more natural options carefully. Mosquitoes force people to think seriously about how they will wisely use their power over other living things. At the Winnipeg Folk Festival apparently they release thousands of dragon flies as a natural way to control the mosquito population.
The writer C. S. Lewis once commented during a discussion on the possible immortality of animal souls that “ a heaven for mosquitoes and a hell for humans could be conveniently combined.” Was he right or can we find ways to peacefully coexist with the irritating insects? Why does our world include mosquitoes?
Other posts about animals…….