Originally published January 31 2015
Super mosquitoes with insecticide resistance discovered in Mali
by L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
(NaturalNews) It started with chemicals like Agent Orange. When modern man bought into the idea of chemical warfare, he truly believed that he could poison his enemies and the environment to death and not face the repercussions. 19 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed over 4.5 million acres in Vietnam as a way to defoliate the region and give American soldiers the upper hand in the jungle. Years later, returning US service personnel came back with tumors, birth defects, psychological problems and cancer. Agent Orange was a haunting preview of what chemicals would do to the world.
A similar chemical approach is used for eradicating pests from the natural world. Chemicals like DDT were created in the laboratory and were used heavily for many years as pesticides against mosquitoes. Since these organochlorides are easily dissolved in fats or oils, they store readily in the tissues of animals and humans. Once inside the body, DDT disrupts cellular processes, causing liver cancer, neurological dysfunction and reproductive harm. Using DDT to eradicate disease-carrying mosquitoes only exacerbates widespread disease among the entire human race, since DDT lasts for several decades and bio-accumulates its way to the top of the food chain.
In the farming fields, another method of chemical warfare was engineered to take out pests like the western corn rootworm. This pest feeds on corn and causes crop loss. To eradicate this pest, two strains of corn were spliced with different genes from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis: Cry3Bb1 and mCry3A. This splice gives the corn crops pesticidal properties; the corn is synthetically engineered to produce its own insecticide. However, the rootworms are now becoming increasingly resistant to this synthetic technology, and it's causing more harm than good.
In the medicine world, antibiotics were created to kill bacteria on the spot. While this might be important in an absolute life or death scenario, the widespread use of these antibiotics has caused superbugs to evolve, creating bacteria strains that are more powerful and more deadly than ever before.
Using chemical warfare to kill people, insects or disease is short-sighted and doesn't consider the consequences. As a long-term strategy, these chemical warfare methods are flagrantly ignorant and reap more widespread harm in the end.
Malaria-carrying super mosquito discovered in Mali as chemical insecticides failFor the first time, scientists in Mali are discovering a class of super mosquitoes never seen before in nature. They have linked the super mosquitoes and their evolution to the widespread use of pyrethroids insecticides, which are typically used to treat mosquito nets in Africa. While the threat of malaria is dire, and while chemical insecticides may have helped keep the disease at bay by warding off mosquitoes, the approach is only causing increased resistance.
"Growing resistance has been observed for some time," said lead researcher and medical entomologist Gregory Lanzaro from the University of California, Davis. "Recently it has reached a level at some localities in Africa where it is resulting in the failure of the nets to provide meaningful control, and it is my opinion that this will increase."
The new super mosquito is very capable of carrying malaria. It is the result of interbreeding between two existing species of mosquito, both of which are striving to survive.
Man-made changes to the mosquitoes' natural environment are altering their evolution, breaking down the "reproductive isolation" that exists between two malaria-carrying mosquito species. This is causing a hybrid species of mosquito to develop. The gene-swapping technique is known as "adaptive introgression" and it's the insecticide-treated nets that are speeding up the interbreeding. Malaria-carrying Anopheles gambiae is now mating with another marlaria-carrying species called Anopholes coluzzi, and the adaptive offspring may be harder to stop than their predecessors.
We must return to nature for answers and balanceThe only effective long-term strategy for fighting pests and disease is to use the protective powers already existing and naturally evolving in nature.
Chemicals speed up the evolutionary process, forcing pests and disease to build increased resistance, but nature's solutions, on the other hand, contain a myriad of pest-deterring compounds and disease-fighting intelligence that work in balance.
That's why raw honey is far more effective as an antibacterial than prescription antibiotics.
That's why essential oils like lemon eucalyptus and citronella are far more effective long-term strategies for ridding mosquitoes.
In short, pests and disease build resistance to man-made chemicals. (Chemicals can only be effective for the general moment they were created in the evolutionary process). They won't work forever.
Pests and disease are kept at bay more effectively by natural deterrents because both have existed in balance in nature throughout the entire evolutionary process.
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