Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | September 15, 2021

Me vs Mosquito

(3 Minute Read. 15Sep2021)

Mosquito Drilling for Blood

Mosquito Drilling for Blood

Recently I learned of a new weapon in my continual battle against an outdoor terrorist.

I have loved to camp since I was a child. But one of camping’s negatives is the mosquito.

Sometimes the Mosquito is called the Insect from Hell. It’s hard to argue with this description when mosquitoes are after you for a sumptuous sanguinary feast. I hate it when swarms of mosquitoes try to carry me off.

Over 3500 mosquito species exist worldwide with more being found all the time. The U.S. hosts 176 species of mosquitoes. Texas is the state with the most mosquito species with 85, and West Virginia has the fewest with 26. Florida has 80, New York 70, Michigan 60, and California 53.

In the 1880s New Jersey earned the sobriquet The Mosquito State. This resulted from mosquitoes spawned in New Jersey’s marshes plaguing New York.

Mosquito lifespans range from a week to several months depending on the species. However, most of those that try to bite me experience shorter-than-normal lifespans. But some of the little divebombers still get through my slapping hands and flailing arms to bite me.

Mosquito is Spanish (mosca + ito) for little fly. Mosquitoes have six legs, and like flies they have two wings. But unlike flies, mosquito wings have scales — quite complex wing structures for such small insects. How did that happen? Did Someone design the intricate wings?

What about the mosquito’s six legs? How do the six legs coordinate so that they don’t interfere with each other, or interfere with the wings? Did Someone design the nervous system to synchronize all of those parts and functions?

What about the mosquito’s complex yet minuscule proboscis? A saliva tube and a separate sucking tube are surrounded by two sharp mandibles and two serrated scalpels. These six pieces are sheathed in the tiny proboscis which is inserted only a few millimeters into the skin to find a capillary. The mosquito pumps saliva down one tube before sucking blood up through the other tube. A mosquito can suck three times its weight in blood. Did Someone design this complex organ for the mosquito?

Mosquito saliva contains an anti-coagulant to prevent blood from clotting which would clog the mosquito’s proboscis. The saliva also contains a blood vessel dilator. Mosquito saliva also contains an anesthetic that serves as a local numbing agent. Once the mild painkiller wears off, the remaining saliva under the skin causes the characteristic skin welt and itchiness. Did Someone design the mosquito’s saliva and the biological machinery for making it?

MosquitoBiting

Only female mosquitoes bite and suck blood. She uses blood proteins to produce her eggs. The male does not bite or suck blood.

Feeding preferences of female mosquitoes include people with type O blood, heavy breathers, people with lots of skin bacteria, people with high body heat, and pregnant women.

Mosquitoes have organs for smelling and heat sensing on their hairy antennae and on their three pairs of legs. Exhaled carbon dioxide, body heat, movement, and perspiration attract mosquitoes. Mosquito eyes, which almost fill the head, take infrared images of body heat. Did Someone design these sensing organs for the mosquito?

Dark clothing attracts mosquitoes, because it holds more heat than light colored clothing. Strenuous physical exertion is a risk factor when mosquitoes may be present. Increased movement and panting, perspiration, and elevated body temperature all make you a mosquito magnet.

The manner in which the Great Creator equipped the mosquito to hunt and procure blood is beyond impressive! All the equipment has to be finally tuned and coordinated. Each function must be operational from the beginning for the mosquito to survive. Partial or gradual development, as imagined in an evolutionary process, would never work and would be fatal to mosquitoes.

WW2 Uncle Sam Mosquito Poster

World War II Uncle Sam Poster
Identifies Two Enemies – Mosquitoes & Japan
A gun-packing Uncle Sam clenches
Japan’s General Tojo in one hand and
a giant malaria mosquito in the other.
1944 poster by military artist Frank Mack.

In addition to causing vexatious and itchy skin irritation from their saliva, mosquitoes also transmit serious diseases like malaria, West Nile virus, yellow fever, dengue fever, encephalitis, hepatitis, and filariasis (the main cause of elephantiasis). Mosquitoes also transmit canine heartworm through biting dogs.

Because of these menaces, the tiny mosquito is considered one of the deadliest creatures in the world. Three million people die from mosquito-transmitted malaria annually. This is one of the conjectured causes of the death of Alexander the Great in Nebuchadnezzar’s palace in Babylon in 323 B.C.

During World War II, malaria killed over 60,000 U.S. troops in the South Pacific and Africa. In May 1943 General Douglas MacArthur said, “This will be a long war if for every division I have facing the enemy, I must count on a second division in hospital with malaria, and a third division convalescing from this debilitating disease!”

Evolutionary biologists place the evolutionary origin of mosquitoes in the Jurassic Period and say they are 210 million years old. The oldest mosquito fossils we have are supposedly 79 million years old. But these fossils look like today’s mosquitos!

Why has there been no evolution in 79 million years? Why haven’t mosquitoes evolved to the size of eagles to terrorize our planet?

The answer is that the Great Creator made life to reproduce according to kind. He built in variation to enable continuation of life kinds as environments change. But kinds cannot change beyond limits the Great Creator set.

Secondly, the Great Creator made mosquitoes only 6,000 years ago, not 79 million years ago. There has been no time for them to evolve, even if this were a possibility.

Sweet Fern

Sweet Fern, a Mosquito Repellent

Recently I learned of a natural mosquito deterrent — sweet fern. And I found some growing wild nearby. Here is a picture of a large clump of sweet fern near our campsite.

Sweet fern (Comptonia peregrina) is not really a fern, although it looks like one. It is a small shrub with a sweet smell. Its scent deters mosquitoes. You can crumple the leaves and rub them on yourself or hang sprigs nearby. Or you can toss it into your campfire, and the smoke keeps mosquitos away.

Sweet fern is one of many plants that repel mosquitoes, but since it is native to the USA and widespread across the eastern half of the country, it is often easy to find near campgrounds. It grows in dry sandy soil, often near pine trees.

Look for it the next time you go camping to keep the mosquitoes away.

Questions to Ponder

1. In your experience, what works best to repel mosquitoes?
2. Why do you think God created mosquitoes?
(For my thoughts on this, read Were Mosquitoes in the Garden of Eden?)

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday September 15, 2021 A.D.

“Ah Lord GOD! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee.” (Jeremiah 32:17)

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Responses

  1. Good stuff. Amazing.

    Like

  2. That’s amazing info. And the 64,000 dollar question. Why, God, are mosquitos part of our lives. They are so annoying.

    Like


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