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What are the consequences of genetically altering ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes to control their populations?

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I have been thinking about this a lot lately, like let's say it works really really well... we already know they have released some genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida, to reduce the population number.

What if they did the same with ticks? I just read this article below, that says they can alter DNA of ticks now too... and ticks are a big problem... especially for deer of late if I recall correctly, and humans.



Now bring in dogs and cats, etc - fleas are the historic cause for many diseases coming from fleas. (to my knowledge we can't alter DNA of fleas yet... but it is probably around the corner?)

What if we simply got rid of all three of these? I know birds eat some of them, but honestly when I watch birds in nature, most of the time they get a worm from the ground. Are the worms reliant on any of these three creatures? Where at in the cycle of life do these 3 creatures come into play is what I suppose I am asking? I know bats eat some of them, but what eats bats? What is the cyclical effect of one species ending and another thriving?

Many species have died over the years, mainly due to human intervention, or due to climate shifts millions of years ago, etc... so why exactly do we need the tick/flea/mosquito to stick around? Thoughts?

I'm genuinely curious about this stuff, do you think scientists are making a mistake by controlling these populations, or not going far enough and no reason to keep them around?
 
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It's a valid question. Whether you believe in God, or just evolution, do we have the moral right to 'annihilate' a species we deem to be a nuisance? More, what if the stresses placed on the target species cause mutations to adapt to the very thing that is trying to eliminate it?

As for human causes of species death, yes, we're doing an awful lot of bad shit but nothing compared to the mass extinction events of the past. It's a sobering thought that our recorded history (cave painting aside) goes back only a few thousand years. And we know from the geological evidence that natural events play havok with life, all life, every few tens of thousands of years. Humans have the hubris to believe we are different, that we are special, but if we look at the very history from which he have come, we can see it is littered with disaster--most of it not of our doing. It should make us more careful with what we do in the present, value the world around us. But we do not.

Today I felt a tickle on my neck. Like a little wuss, I immediately raked my finger to my skin and threw the intruder to the ground. Saw that it was a tiny ladybug. Put it on a piece of paper, saw it moving and took it outside where I placed it on a leaf in the garden. Would have been quicker to squish it. But I don't like killing things I don't need to kill.

Not sure what I'm saying. Maybe just happy I value life. Even a bug's life. Though, to be fair, when I did remove a tick from my thigh a year back, I wasn't quite so empathic.
 
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Frogs, toads, and amphibians rely on insect populations, fish eat frogs, so do birds, everything as annoying as it is has a purpose. Maybe that purpose is to annoy us.

Genetically altering any species will have consequences, both direct and indirect (direct: eg. Monsanto seeds are genetically altered to contain pesticide at the genetic level so they don't need to spray crops, indirect: anything that ingests these altered crops grows tumors, your vegetables you buy at the store are probably grown with Monsanto seeds) we as humans have no respect at all for nature, we pollute and destroy our home planet on a scale so grand it may as well be our united global goal.
 
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Ethics are irrelevant, this is straight up dangerous for our own sake. These things are carriers for all sort of nasty diseases, who knows how altering their genetic material might end up impacting the viruses that they carry.
 
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Species aside, we eliminate small-pox, polio, etc.
 

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It's a valid question. Whether you believe in God, or just evolution, do we have the moral right to 'annihilate' a species we deem to be a nuisance? More, what if the stresses placed on the target species cause mutations to adapt to the very thing that is trying to eliminate it?

As for human causes of species death, yes, we're doing an awful lot of bad shit but nothing compared to the mass extinction events of the past. It's a sobering thought that our recorded history (cave painting aside) goes back only a few thousand years. And we know from the geological evidence that natural events play havok with life, all life, every few tens of thousands of years. Humans have the hubris to believe we are different, that we are special, but if we look at the very history from which he have come, we can see it is littered with disaster--most of it not of our doing. It should make us more careful with what we do in the present, value the world around us. But we do not.

Today I felt a tickle on my neck. Like a little wuss, I immediately raked my finger to my skin and threw the intruder to the ground. Saw that it was a tiny ladybug. Put it on a piece of paper, saw it moving and took it outside where I placed it on a leaf in the garden. Would have been quicker to squish it. But I don't like killing things I don't need to kill.

Not sure what I'm saying. Maybe just happy I value life. Even a bug's life. Though, to be fair, when I did remove a tick from my thigh a year back, I wasn't quite so empathic.
Their life spans are already short, lets not extend them or shorten them. They are pestilence to warm blood species but food for Amphibians, other Insects, reptiles.

Leave them alone, let nature remove them.

Ladybugs ofc are helpful.
 
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Species aside, we eliminate small-pox, polio, etc.
This is an interesting way to look at it, I have never thought of it before that way. Why do we value the life of flea over a virus or bacteria? Interesting. I need to contemplate this more.

Ethics are irrelevant, this is straight up dangerous for our own sake. These things are carriers for all sort of nasty diseases, who knows how altering their genetic material might end up impacting the viruses that they carry.
I mostly agree, humans playing God is probably not a smart idea due to our hubris and lack of full objectivity.

Frogs, toads, and amphibians rely on insect populations, fish eat frogs, so do birds, everything as annoying as it is has a purpose. Maybe that purpose is to annoy us.

Genetically altering any species will have consequences, both direct and indirect (direct: eg. Monsanto seeds are genetically altered to contain pesticide at the genetic level so they don't need to spray crops, indirect: anything that ingests these altered crops grows tumors, your vegetables you buy at the store are probably grown with Monsanto seeds) we as humans have no respect at all for nature, we pollute and destroy our home planet on a scale so grand it may as well be our united global goal.
Yeah Monsanto is quite... the list goes on and on for miles... truly a shame what we have done to the world as a species I agree.

My only counter argument would be, a lot of these populations, take mosquitoes for example, would not exist in Hawaii if it were not for human migration patterns that brought them there. That applies to fleas and other pests to some regions of the world... and humans got on just fine in Hawaii long before mosquitoes arrived... so how do we begin to think of this...

It's a valid question. Whether you believe in God, or just evolution, do we have the moral right to 'annihilate' a species we deem to be a nuisance? More, what if the stresses placed on the target species cause mutations to adapt to the very thing that is trying to eliminate it?

As for human causes of species death, yes, we're doing an awful lot of bad shit but nothing compared to the mass extinction events of the past. It's a sobering thought that our recorded history (cave painting aside) goes back only a few thousand years. And we know from the geological evidence that natural events play havok with life, all life, every few tens of thousands of years. Humans have the hubris to believe we are different, that we are special, but if we look at the very history from which he have come, we can see it is littered with disaster--most of it not of our doing. It should make us more careful with what we do in the present, value the world around us. But we do not.

Today I felt a tickle on my neck. Like a little wuss, I immediately raked my finger to my skin and threw the intruder to the ground. Saw that it was a tiny ladybug. Put it on a piece of paper, saw it moving and took it outside where I placed it on a leaf in the garden. Would have been quicker to squish it. But I don't like killing things I don't need to kill.

Not sure what I'm saying. Maybe just happy I value life. Even a bug's life. Though, to be fair, when I did remove a tick from my thigh a year back, I wasn't quite so empathic.

Same, I try to save lady bugs every time I can do so, no idea why we have this innate relationship with them... and yes I agree, fuck the tick, you would be real sad if you had lyme disease the rest of your life because of that tick. We 'annihilated' plenty of species that came before and no one seems to shed any tears over them and the world still keeps going on... definitely presents a weird ethical and moral dilemma... lol

Honestly no idea what is best here, also what if it is natural for the world to have ticks/fleas/mosquitoes, but what if their population has grown too large? We have deer hunting season when the deer grow too much in population, perhaps we should do the same with ticks/fleas/mosquitoes? Again I don't know if I agree with playing God in a lab with DNA is the right move to go, regardless, too late for that anyway, multiple locations on Earth now have releases genetically modified mosquitoes, so eh.
 
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This is an interesting way to look at it, I have never thought of it before that way. Why do we value the life of flea over a virus or bacteria? Interesting. I need to contemplate this more.


I mostly agree, humans playing God is probably not a smart idea due to our hubris and lack of full objectivity.


Yeah Monsanto is quite... the list goes on and on for miles... truly a shame what we have done to the world as a species I agree.

My only counter argument would be, a lot of these populations, take mosquitoes for example, would not exist in Hawaii if it were not for human migration patterns that brought them there. That applies to fleas and other pests to some regions of the world... and humans got on just fine in Hawaii long before mosquitoes arrived... so how do we begin to think of this...



Same, I try to save lady bugs every time I can do so, no idea why we have this innate relationship with them... and yes I agree, fuck the tick, you would be real sad if you had lyme disease the rest of your life because of that tick. We 'annihilated' plenty of species that came before and no one seems to shed any tears over them and the world still keeps going on... definitely presents a weird ethical and moral dilemma... lol

Honestly no idea what is best here, also what if it is natural for the world to have ticks/fleas/mosquitoes, but what if their population has grown too large? We have deer hunting season when the deer grow too much in population, perhaps we should do the same with ticks/fleas/mosquitoes? Again I don't know if I agree with playing God in a lab with DNA is the right move to go, regardless, too late for that anyway, multiple locations on Earth now have releases genetically modified mosquitoes, so eh.
We should not be Messing with things already programmed by God.
 
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We've already driven loads of species extinct which are not pests, we could probably do without mosquitoes. They are not a foundational food source for any species and what few calories they add will likely be accounted for by other insects. Not as convinced about ticks though as there's more meat on those bones. Carapaces. Whatever.
 
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I have been thinking about this a lot lately, like let's say it works really really well... we already know they have released some genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida, to reduce the population number.

What if they did the same with ticks? I just read this article below, that says they can alter DNA of ticks now too... and ticks are a big problem... especially for deer of late if I recall correctly, and humans.



Now bring in dogs and cats, etc - fleas are the historic cause for many diseases coming from fleas. (to my knowledge we can't alter DNA of fleas yet... but it is probably around the corner?)

What if we simply got rid of all three of these? I know birds eat some of them, but honestly when I watch birds in nature, most of the time they get a worm from the ground. Are the worms reliant on any of these three creatures? Where at in the cycle of life do these 3 creatures come into play is what I suppose I am asking? I know bats eat some of them, but what eats bats? What is the cyclical effect of one species ending and another thriving?

Many species have died over the years, mainly due to human intervention, or due to climate shifts millions of years ago, etc... so why exactly do we need the tick/flea/mosquito to stick around? Thoughts?

I'm genuinely curious about this stuff, do you think scientists are making a mistake by controlling these populations, or not going far enough and no reason to keep them around?
Killing off wildlife hasn't often worked out well for the environment they're in or the food chain they're part of.

Or us in the end, this and many other area's of science truly baffle me with their ignorance, and short sighted views.

And they're are many cases of scientists putting their word ,life and everything on science that ends up killing millions of innocent people, think lead IN fuel for no knock motoring, a fully retarded idea from the off, ,, just for money.

And I work in science, I'm fine with science, just not over egging what you know, which is what.

Do you think that tribe on the island never visited by outsider's think they haven't got an understanding of the whole universe from they're perspective.

That's science to me too, the tribesmen who knows it all on his deluded little island.
 
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That's just it, we don't know (all of) the consequences.

For example, at some point the Chinese killed off the sparrows, because they were feeding on their crops. Soon after, they were presented with the "gift" of out-of-control locusts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Pests_campaign
 
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ticks are a parasite, literally, and are rampant in my area in Central NY. I just pulled one off my leg yesterday (this is never a fun time removing them, there is a reason there is a saying "dug in like a tick") and I've been fortunate that I haven't had any lyme disease complications from previous bites. There used to be a belief if they were on you for X time you would be infected and we would sorta freak out not knowing how long the tick was on you and go get some like nuclear bomb equivalent of antibiotics (I think it is doxycycline) to make sure you don't develop lyme. Now it's more understood you could get infected at any point in time it is attached to you, so things more important to watch out for is if you develop odd rashes at the bite area, the bulls eye rash is the worst and sure sign you got something from it for example. It's always a challenge keeping the dogs and cats tick free too but they get medicine for this and does work for the most part but we put bandanas on them that are sprayed down with permethrin (needs to be diluted) so they wear them outside as an extra layer of tick protection. me and my dad make a SHIT TON of "tick tubes" and just got done making 175 new ones this year to be put at both our homes and our camp. spray permethrin (again should be diluted) on some material like pillow stuffing or anything that critters like mice might use and put that sprayed down material into an old toilet paper tube. distribute them all over where critters could access them, in your basement, sheds, perimeter and tree lines of your property etc. so the mice and other critters grab this material and take it back to their nests and places of travel and therefore kills the ticks before they can really populate. ticks form in those areas more because the stupid critter like mice sure have a hard time removing them so they thrive in areas where there are plenty of "hosts" for them to attach too....like a mouse nest. I am an avid deer hunter too and have seen some really ticked up. It's a bad situation all around. I'm actually going to start spraying a set of pants and shirt and shoes I always wear out doing yard work with permethrin which not only keeps away the ticks but the 'skeeters and black flies etc that drive you nuts in this area. the effect doesn't last forever so it's good to do it say every few weeks or so or after you wash said clothes

rant to say if we can do something to rid the world of ticks, then WONDERFUL! literal parasite, I have a hard time believing there would be any sort of a butterfly effect ridding the world of a parasite, as if ticks somehow help maintain some delicate balance in the ecosystem or certain species etc.

keeping chickens on your property would really combat ticks, they are an animal that eats them up along with other annoying critters in your yard. but chickens aren't going to starve if we rid the world of ticks soooo fuck 'em (ticks that is). as far as I know, no species solely relies on ticks as it's main form of survival (food).

take note, these little pricks, I mean ticks, were not a problem until like maybe 15 years ago. At least in the region I live in, it is different in other regions of the USA and I'm sure the world also. I would be outside all the time as a kid and never ONCE got one on me, or heard of any friends getting one on them, never even heard of ticks until they became a problem. so were animals, birds, chickens etc starving to death prior to ticks population booming in our area? no they ate the few that were around, and all the other stuff they eat, like grubs, snails, worms, seeds etc which they will continue to thrive off of if the tick went the way of the dodo. one last time, fuck ticks
 
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Male mosquitos rarely travel over 3 miles from breeding grounds. Releasing GMO mosquitoes will not eradicate them, just reduce their territory.
 
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ticks are a parasite, literally, and are rampant in my area in Central NY. I just pulled one off my leg yesterday (this is never a fun time removing them, there is a reason there is a saying "dug in like a tick") and I've been fortunate that I haven't had any lyme disease complications from previous bites. There used to be a belief if they were on you for X time you would be infected and we would sorta freak out not knowing how long the tick was on you and go get some like nuclear bomb equivalent of antibiotics (I think it is doxycycline) to make sure you don't develop lyme. Now it's more understood you could get infected at any point in time it is attached to you, so things more important to watch out for is if you develop odd rashes at the bite area, the bulls eye rash is the worst and sure sign you got something from it for example. It's always a challenge keeping the dogs and cats tick free too but they get medicine for this and does work for the most part but we put bandanas on them that are sprayed down with permethrin (needs to be diluted) so they wear them outside as an extra layer of tick protection. me and my dad make a SHIT TON of "tick tubes" and just got done making 175 new ones this year to be put at both our homes and our camp. spray permethrin (again should be diluted) on some material like pillow stuffing or anything that critters like mice might use and put that sprayed down material into an old toilet paper tube. distribute them all over where critters could access them, in your basement, sheds, perimeter and tree lines of your property etc. so the mice and other critters grab this material and take it back to their nests and places of travel and therefore kills the ticks before they can really populate. ticks form in those areas more because the stupid critter like mice sure have a hard time removing them so they thrive in areas where there are plenty of "hosts" for them to attach too....like a mouse nest. I am an avid deer hunter too and have seen some really ticked up. It's a bad situation all around. I'm actually going to start spraying a set of pants and shirt and shoes I always wear out doing yard work with permethrin which not only keeps away the ticks but the 'skeeters and black flies etc that drive you nuts in this area. the effect doesn't last forever so it's good to do it say every few weeks or so or after you wash said clothes

rant to say if we can do something to rid the world of ticks, then WONDERFUL! literal parasite, I have a hard time believing there would be any sort of a butterfly effect ridding the world of a parasite, as if ticks somehow help maintain some delicate balance in the ecosystem or certain species etc.

keeping chickens on your property would really combat ticks, they are an animal that eats them up along with other annoying critters in your yard. but chickens aren't going to starve if we rid the world of ticks soooo fuck 'em (ticks that is). as far as I know, no species solely relies on ticks as it's main form of survival (food).

take note, these little pricks, I mean ticks, were not a problem until like maybe 15 years ago. At least in the region I live in, it is different in other regions of the USA and I'm sure the world also. I would be outside all the time as a kid and never ONCE got one on me, or heard of any friends getting one on them, never even heard of ticks until they became a problem. so were animals, birds, chickens etc starving to death prior to ticks population booming in our area? no they ate the few that were around, and all the other stuff they eat, like grubs, snails, worms, seeds etc which they will continue to thrive off of if the tick went the way of the dodo. one last time, fuck ticks
I love your experienced passion, I would like to know they researched the effects property though.
 
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I love your experienced passion, I would like to know they researched the effects property though.
yea I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, if you will, and this is something that hits home with me. the passion comes from wanting to keep my family and myself safe from disease. And I understand there would need to be a better understanding of what ripple impact it could start. personal experiences are what make me dislike ticks so much. if you asked me 20yrs ago, I wouldn't have known what a tick is, and would have confused it with involuntary movements, "tics"

There is ONE positive I will say, it's kinda funny to use it as excuse to try and start some hanky panky with the girlfriend...."ok sweetheart, get them clothes off so I can check you for ticks" :laugh:
 

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It's a valid question. Whether you believe in God, or just evolution, do we have the moral right to 'annihilate' a species we deem to be a nuisance? More, what if the stresses placed on the target species cause mutations to adapt to the very thing that is trying to eliminate it?

As for human causes of species death, yes, we're doing an awful lot of bad shit but nothing compared to the mass extinction events of the past. It's a sobering thought that our recorded history (cave painting aside) goes back only a few thousand years. And we know from the geological evidence that natural events play havok with life, all life, every few tens of thousands of years. Humans have the hubris to believe we are different, that we are special, but if we look at the very history from which he have come, we can see it is littered with disaster--most of it not of our doing. It should make us more careful with what we do in the present, value the world around us. But we do not.

Today I felt a tickle on my neck. Like a little wuss, I immediately raked my finger to my skin and threw the intruder to the ground. Saw that it was a tiny ladybug. Put it on a piece of paper, saw it moving and took it outside where I placed it on a leaf in the garden. Would have been quicker to squish it. But I don't like killing things I don't need to kill.

Not sure what I'm saying. Maybe just happy I value life. Even a bug's life. Though, to be fair, when I did remove a tick from my thigh a year back, I wasn't quite so empathic.


Just make sure it was the native species youre saving - Everything else can be crushed or fed to spiders.

 
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yea I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, if you will, and this is something that hits home with me. the passion comes from wanting to keep my family and myself safe from disease. And I understand there would need to be a better understanding of what ripple impact it could start. personal experiences are what make me dislike ticks so much. if you asked me 20yrs ago, I wouldn't have known what a tick is, and would have confused it with involuntary movements, "tics"

There is ONE positive I will say, it's kinda funny to use it as excuse to try and start some hanky panky with the girlfriend...."ok sweetheart, get them clothes off so I can check you for ticks" :laugh:
What region is that again? :D :) :p
 
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Bear in mind that good mosquito control and quarantine on ships and aircraft have prevented plagues far far worse than Covid ever could be. Wholesale extermination of mosquitoes ended the yearly death of thousands due to yellow fever alone - over 20000 people died in the Mississippi River valley in 1878 alone. Yellow fever is also a violent disease, comparable to Ebola in its effects. Think death from vomiting blood...

And that is not even mentioning malaria, which can stay with you for the rest of your life.
 
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Bear in mind that good mosquito control and quarantine on ships and aircraft have prevented plagues far far worse than Covid ever could be. Wholesale extermination of mosquitoes ended the yearly death of thousands due to yellow fever alone - over 20000 people died in the Mississippi River valley in 1878 alone. Yellow fever is also a violent disease, comparable to Ebola in its effects. Think death from vomiting blood...

And that is not even mentioning malaria, which can stay with you for the rest of your life.

That is kind of the point of me making this topic, do we really need mosquitoes/fleas/ticks anymore? lol I don't have the answer to that... just interesting to think about since we technically do have the power to eradicate them now thanks to CRISPR genetic editing.

or will there be a sci-fi twist to this thread in 20+ years? a new disease carried one of these critters trumps all other diseases we have ever faced as a species including bubonic plague, will we show sympathy if that day comes or will be embrace genetic editing fully and save our species?

heh, weird stuff, just interesting to think about. I wonder what John Michael Godier would say about this stuff @lexluthermiester
 
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Just make sure it was the native species youre saving - Everything else can be crushed or fed to spiders.

Can't recall why they introduced the Asian Lady Beetle (aka Stink Beetles) I think it was to combat an invasive plant but all the Stink Beetles would just migrate to the sunny side of a house and work their way indoors. I remember vacuuming hundreds of them off the windows when I was a kid.

And it doesn't end there as CallandorWoT pointed out about mosquitoes in Hawaii, we in Canada now have Asian Giant Hornets in BC thanks probably to a cargo ship, they are known to kill entire bee populations with just one or 2 drones (it's pretty brutal, bees can't harm them and they simply go about beheading all the bees).
 
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What region is that again? :D :) :p
the technical name is "the fun zone" lol

but for real, in case that sounded super weird about checking someone for ticks.....ticks can be as small as a flake of pepper, super hard to see, and they can be on you but not attached, like they are just crawling around and haven't bit you yet. you might not be able to feel or see them on you at this point. so it is serious to have a partner take a look to make sure you don't got one on the back of your neck or awkward spot in your arm pit, anywhere it may be hard to see or reach. gotta check the dog every time he comes back inside, hes such a good boy, I tell him "belly rub?!" and gives me a good opportunity to check him over before he does something like lays down on our bed and a couple ticks meander off of him and setup a stake out on our pillows waiting to munch on us overnight.

as a reference to how small they can be, this is a pic I saved from 2 years ago and is the smallest tick I have ever seen. so small it's not even in focus. that is my index finger it is on for size comparison. another one that buried itself into my leg. their bodies swell up as they suck up more blood from you the longer they feed on you so this lil guy at least got caught quickly. I could see this one since it was on my leg, but if it was on my back for ex I'd never know until it was too late. Here's where it is good to have a loved one give you a good look over to make sure you're tick free

 

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Frogs, toads, and amphibians rely on insect populations
Not ticks though. Even we don't eat that shit.

My feelings is where mosquitos are native you probably need them. The rest of that crap? Nothing eats it, they can die.

or will there be a sci-fi twist to this thread in 20+ years? a new disease carried one of these critters trumps all other diseases we have ever faced as a species including bubonic plague, will we show sympathy if that day comes or will be embrace genetic editing fully and save our species?
All I can say about that is reality isn't likely to mimic a stellaris game.

take note, these little pricks, I mean ticks, were not a problem until like maybe 15 years ago. At least in the region I live in, it is different in other regions of the USA and I'm sure the world also.
I hate to even say this due to the attention it will attract, but tick populations exploding is legit due to global warming. As such, it will probably only get worse.
 
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Can't recall why they introduced the Asian Lady Beetle (aka Stink Beetles) I think it was to combat an invasive plant but all the Stink Beetles would just migrate to the sunny side of a house and work their way indoors. I remember vacuuming hundreds of them off the windows when I was a kid.

They'll also give you a nasty nip if you pick them up too! f**k'em!
 
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