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Mosquito Research Shows ‘Your Worst Enemy Could be Your Best Friend’

Mosquitoes

Asian tiger mosquitoes are being saved by the very predator that usually eats them — and how that helps protect humans from diseases like dengue fever.

| March 26, 2010

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Your worst enemy can sometimes also be your best friend, according to entomologists from the University of Florida and Illinois State University.

Their research has shown how one mosquito species is being saved by the very predator that usually eats it — and how that helps protect humans from diseases like dengue fever, according to a press release from the University of Florida.

In the 1980s the U.S. began importing a large number of used tires from Asia. Water that had collected in these tires carried the larvae and eggs of the Asian tiger mosquito, a pest with a voracious appetite known to carry disease.

This invasive mosquito is more aggressive in its search for food than the more docile native mosquitoes, and theoretically, should have driven the native species to near extinction as it spread, said Phil Lounibos, an entomologist with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

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