When Jesus lived on Earth, He healed many people. Often, He rebuked sickness. People are stewards of God’s world. We are also agents (people who act on someone else’s behalf) of His mercy. Fighting disease is part of their job . . . so controlling mosquitos is part of their job too.
Before now, people tried many ways of stopping mosquito-spread diseases. They found new ways to kill the bugs. They invented tricks to keep skeeters from biting humans. But this new Wolbachia method could replace old disease-carrying mosquito populations with harmless ones.
First, scientists injected Wolbachia into mosquito embryos. They used microscopic glass needles. Now the World Mosquito Program runs a factory in Colombia. Workers there breed 30 million Wolbachia-carrying mosquitos each week.
Factory workers use dried mosquito eggs from different parts of the world. They place the dried eggs in water with powdered food. Once they hatch, they breed with the “mother colony.” A constant buzz fills the room full of insects in cube-shaped cages made of mosquito nets.
Caretakers ensure the bugs have the best diet. Males get sugared water. Females bite into pouches of human blood kept at 97 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Got a mosquito bite? A female is to blame. Only girl mosquitos eat blood.
- You’re more likely to get a mosquito bite on a night with a full Moon. Mosquitos use moonlight to find their victims.
- Chemicals on human skin attract mosquitos. Some people have more of these chemicals than others.
- Mosquitos lay up to 100 eggs at a time in still water. Those teeny eggs may grow up in less than a week. To avoid raising mosquitos in your backyard, dump out standing water regularly.
- Some mosquitos can drink their weight in blood during a meal.