Friday, May 25, 2012

Mosquito feeding (eyeweed on flick/flickr)

Robert Sullivan, author of The Thoreau You Don't Know: What the Prophet of Environmentalism Really Meant, says the warm winter may make for a bumper crop of mosquitoes, and the diseases they carry.


Robert Sullivan

Comments [32]


Glad to see that so many WNYC listeners realize that a "4-inch mosquito" is actually a non-biting crane fly! Another thing people should think about is how the destruction of many bird species (mostly from habitat loss,especially during migration) and bats (from a virulent fungus)are making the mosquito explosion even worse--these are the natural predators that control mosquito populations. That's why concerns like "biodiversity" matter; they're not just pet peeves of environmentalists.

May. 25 2012 11:16 AM
RJ from prospect hts

I've found it helpful in the past to spray any kind of natural antimosquito spray on screens and fire escapes, the former to ward them off and the latter to (hopefully) prevent breeding. I work late at night, when they seem more active, and those tactics have worked in the past. Don't know obviously how they'll work in a busier season~).

Haven't seen a lemon eucalyptus spray, though I'd love to!

May. 25 2012 11:05 AM
Ellen from Long Island

What about the fact that bats are dying out from white nose disease? They eat huge amounts of insects. Isn't that one of the reasons we have so many more insect bites to deal with?

May. 25 2012 11:04 AM
g in staten island from staten island

The "giant mosquitio" the caller was speaking about could be a "crane fly". Doesn't bite humans.

May. 25 2012 11:02 AM
RJ from prospect hts

The best anti-mosquito substance I've used is lemon eucalyptus, which I've only found in a tube sold at REI.

May. 25 2012 11:00 AM

Crane fly, not mosquito, not dragonfly aka mosquito hawk .

So frightening that people think they "know" the difference.

May. 25 2012 10:58 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Nah, Brian. Horror-movie mosquitoes would be 4 *feet* long (at least!), not 4 inches...& they'd drain a victim's blood in 1 bite. You wouldn't even need to worry about diseases.

May. 25 2012 10:57 AM
Chris Shankar from Rockland County, NY

That giant mosquito the caller from East Orange, NJ, was concerned about may be an Ichneumon Wasp. I used to work at a County Extension office and got calls about these occasionally. They are harmless to humans.

May. 25 2012 10:57 AM
Alex from Brooklyn NY

a must see clip

May. 25 2012 10:57 AM
Alan from NJ

crane flies are what Shelly was referring to.

May. 25 2012 10:56 AM
David from Fairfield

The Mosquitos in Southern Connecticut are so large that you can read the "Sikorsky" logo on their torsos.

May. 25 2012 10:56 AM
Yan from UWS

hey you city kids,
4" mosquitoes are called "crane flies", and are totally harmless.
kind of weird your guest doesn't know that.

May. 25 2012 10:56 AM
james from brooklyn

I've been woken up several times recently including last night by mosquitoes buzzing in my ear. I've never had mosquitoes in my brooklyn bedroom before. The windows are screened and there's no standing water. EEK!

May. 25 2012 10:56 AM
John A.

4 inch mosquito-shaped insects are definitely not mosquitoes. Cruel of nature to create so many species, but so.

May. 25 2012 10:55 AM
Allison from brooklyn

4 inch mosquitoes are actually crane flies

May. 25 2012 10:55 AM

How can a homeowner control skeeters??

May. 25 2012 10:54 AM
Trish from NYC

THose 4-inch "mosquitoes" in West Orange are actually Crane Flies, not mosquitoes. They are harmless, not sure if they eat actual mosquitoes or not.

May. 25 2012 10:54 AM

crane flies are what shelly is speaking of.

May. 25 2012 10:54 AM
John from NJ

The four inch mosquito the woman called about was a male. I've hear they don't bite. If it is what I'm thinking of they seem more like 2 inch to me, leg to leg if stretched.

May. 25 2012 10:54 AM
Erica P from NJ )in exilium)

Re: West Orange caller:

Did the guest mean crane fly instead of dragon fly?

May. 25 2012 10:54 AM

Are some people more susceptible to bites? Is it a chemical attraction?

May. 25 2012 10:54 AM
Ken from NJ

HEY -- that large mosquito is a mosquito hawk -- it isn't a mosquito at all.
Yes, their larvae eats mosquito larvae.
I have seen a lot of mosquitos in my Brooklyn backyard. However, for some reason, I haven't been bitten -- not even once. I haven't seen as many mosquitos at my weekend home in northwest New jersey.
Maybe my blood pressure medications are repelling them.

May. 25 2012 10:54 AM
RENZO Spirit Buffalo from NYC

what is the best mosquito repellant? the one you apply on you? the one you plug? the one you burn?
i live in on the upper west side by the river


May. 25 2012 10:54 AM
Palisades from Westchester County

What about those of us who are "mosquito magnets"? Do we really have an inherent scent or body chemistry that attracts them? And is there anything we can do about it?
I regularly have more bites than my friends & family, and my reaction is bigger to them, and the bites last for a week or two!

May. 25 2012 10:52 AM
Nina from East Village

It's going to be mosquito hell. I've already been bitten up like it's August. Crazy itching. Ugh.

May. 25 2012 10:51 AM
Rey from New York

Should mosquitoes be eradicated? Or is the purposeful extinction of a species fundamentally unethical? What would it do to the food chain?

May. 25 2012 10:51 AM
Bob Bachler from NYC

I live on the 22 Floor and getting more mosquitos in my apt. How high up can mosquitos fly?

May. 25 2012 10:51 AM
Karen from Brooklyn, NY

I'm in Brooklyn and have not seen more mosquitoes and our backyard is normally a nightmare. I read the article in New York Magazine and am worried but hopeful.

May. 25 2012 10:51 AM
Nina Goldman from Upper West Side

People think I am crazy and say it is too cold but my apartment gets infested in October and November. A couple come out only at night during that time. They are determined and bite like crazy. This has happened for the past four years.

May. 25 2012 10:51 AM
susan from Manhattan

For the first time in 12 years, mosquitoes have entered my 11th floor apartment! The other night I got 3 our 4 bites on each ankle!! Now, I have a tendency to get bitten more than other people, but I've never experienced anything like this.

May. 25 2012 10:51 AM
L from Brooklyn

We live in Brooklyn and had so many mosquitoes last year that we couldn't enjoy the backyard. Our son would be surrounded in minutes. Can you recommend a mosquito repellent for children? Does garlic oil work?

May. 25 2012 10:49 AM

I went camping last weekend with a bottle of 98.1% DEET spray, and didn't get a single bite. Of course, I might end up with cancer/nerve damage down the road, but I guess that's better than West Nile now?

May. 25 2012 10:45 AM

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