Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopicts, beginni...

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Bats and snakes and mosquitoes, oh my!

I was relaxing on my patio last evening as the sun’s glow gradually disappeared. The local bats were out and about, moving almost too quickly to see, chasing insects of which we have many. It is a pleasure to watch nature in action, in balance, undisturbed by the actions of man or woman.

The national news had reported earlier in the evening that the tiger mosquito from Southeast Asia has been found in Southern California in the community of El Monte, not far from where my son lives in Ventura. The tiger mosquito already infests the southeastern part of the US. The mosquito carries diseases that we associate with third world countries and unlike our native mosquitoes, is active during the day, rather than at night. Thus mosquitoes’ natural enemies in the US are nocturnal like my local bats. Nothing to stop the tiger mosquito except spraying.

I think that it is ironic that the US is becoming a host for third world diseases at the same time that our economic policies are creating a third world sort of income inequality among our wage earners and the very wealthy. A few billionaires and millions struggling to feed themselves.

Also in the recent news were GOP efforts to block administration efforts to restrict the importation into the US of large African and South American snakes, anacondas and pythons. The GOP claims that restricting snake imports will cause a few job losses. I think that public safety is a more important consideration.

Snakes already in the US have escaped to nature or been released by their pet owners when the reptiles became too large or expensive to keep. Large foreign snakes are becoming a threat to human life in South Florida. I shudder to think what the threat may become if we continue importing and releasing additional snakes.

If you examine a map of the US in 50 or 100 years in the future indicating projected ocean levels, one fact jumps out at you, most of Florida is under water. The current residents of Florida will be compelled to move north. Not only the people, but the wildlife will migrate north. I would hate to be a resident of North Florida or South Georgia when the snakes and alligators move into the neighborhood. Talk about declining property values as well as the threat to human life. And why will this happen? So that a few animal importers can make a few dollars.

Please see The Revenge of Gaia