A Natural History of Our Most Persistent and Deadly Foe
Published: June 13, 2001
From a world-renowned expert on mosquitoes and a prize-winning reporter comes a fascinating work of popular science — a comprehensive study of the insect itself, its role in history, and its threat to mankind.
From its irritating whine to the sting and itch of its bite, the mosquito ranks near the bottom of mankind’s list of favorite creatures. But these tiny insects, once merely a seasonal annoyance, now are capturing headlines worldwide as new information emerges about the diseases they carry, their migratory population, and their growing resistance to pesticides.
Harvard professor Andrew Spielman has dedicated his life to understanding this insect, a passion that makes him the perfect guide to their amazing world and the perfect author of this lively, accessible book that offers an intriguing and horrifying mosquito-eye view of nature and man. He explains where mosquitoes breed, and how they die, showing us their natural foes and man-made enemies while explaining the myriad diseases they bring to all corners of the world.
Spielman offers colorful examples of how the mosquito has insinuated itself into human history, from the defeat of Sir Francis Drake’s fleet to the death of thousands of Frenchmen working on the Panama Canal to the recent widespread West Nile panic in New York City. Filled with little-known facts and illuminating anecdotes that bring this tiny being into larger focus, Mosquito offers fascinating, alarming, and convincing evidence that the sooner we get to know this little creature, the better off we’ll be.
“Mosquito is a must read.”
“A wise and lively account.”
“If you have never read a book on entomology, be sure to start with this one.”
The Daily Telegraph
“The combination of Spielman’s expertise and D’Antonio’s narrative gift makes this a thrilling tale. By the end, the reader – baffled, mesmerized, appalled – can’t help conceding more power to the mosquito’s elbow.”