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What Are Good Are Mosquitoes?

Children are so perceptive! They say the smartest things. I was telling some children about how everything is sacred and needs to be respected. One of them raised his eyebrows and said, “What good are mosquitoes?” Awesome question!

I can see why people might not like them. They were attacking me just this morning on my walk by the water. They bite. Mosquitoes spread sickness and death through diseases like malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, filariasis, tularemia, dirofilariasis, Japanese encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Ross River fever, and Barmah Forest fever. They can even make animals sick. So what good do they do?

Well, everything is part of the wheel of life. In the animist world, everything serves a purpose. Even the annoying mosquito.

What Good Are Mosquitoes?

In nature, everything feeds upon something. Mosquitoes lay lots of eggs that many aquatic animals and insects need to survive. Mosquitoes are also eaten by other animals like bats, fish, dragonflies, and birds. In fact, a single bat can eat 1,200 mosquito sized insects per hour!

Some mosquitoes eat dead insects that drown in the water and help to keep natural waters clean. Mosquito larvae feed on waste products and making nutrients, like nitrogen, available for plants that live in the water.

We know mosquitoes as blood sucking varmints, but only the females need blood to get protein necessary to lay eggs. Otherwise they eat nectar. Isn’t that a surprise? So they act as pollinators so that plants flourish – especially water plants where mosquitoes live. Without them, there would be less aquatic life.

Mosquito Spirit Animals?

Generally speaking, animals from the insect kingdom don’t serve as spirit animals. There are a few exceptions, but mosquitoes are typically not among them. Perhaps this is because most traditions with folktales about mosquitoes focus on how annoying they are.

However, if you have a mosquito for a spirit animal, consider its qualities. It filters water and makes it clean, so perhaps it is giving you the ability to transform things and make them clean. Mosquito is a pollinator, so perhaps it brings life wherever it goes. Mosquito also bites and destroys things that are much larger that it is, so it could be that it gives you the gift of surprise by being underestimated.

So, the next time you ask yourself what good are mosquitoes, pause. Think about whether you want to kill them, get a bat house, or plant some herbs to repel them. Sure, they are pesky, but they serve a purpose too.

Posted in animal lore, animism, spirit animals, spirituality, stories.