Celebrating the 4th of July, Independence Day

During Pandemic, Celebrating the Birthday of Our Republic, and How the Mosquito … If You Can Believe It .. Helped Launch the United States of America

(Header image credit: KTTN/KGOZ)

ohDEER is the leader in all-natural deer, mosquito, and tick control.

ohDEER hopes you are enjoying early summer, and staying safe and healthy.

This time of pandemic is one of extraordinary uncertainty, and one that is extraordinarily unsettling.

Yes, there are good signs.  As well, surely, there is trial ahead.

Through our work, it has been heartening to see people increasingly out and about, and abiding by the practices that will protect all of us.

ohDEER has also known good fortune in remaining busy during this period – an episode in which, around the world, livelihoods and businesses are taking huge hits.  Individuals and families have been left in desperate straits; many businesses closed in the lockdown will not reopen.

We can be forgiven and allowed to seek out and embrace hope and the positive.

Americans, and any lover and admirer of the promise that is America, can find and experience inspiration in July 4th and Independence Day.

ohDEER takes the opportunity of the anniversary of the founding of our republic to cite and point to how one of the most injurious and lethal foes of humans in all of recorded history – and the day-in-and-day-out nemesis of ohDEER — played a pivotal and literally critical role in the launch of the United States of America.

We are talking about Culicidae – the mosquito.

Every year, about 750,000 people worldwide die of disease transmitted to them from mosquitoes.  Of that number, 500,000 died from malaria contracted from mosquitoes.

Every year, and throughout history, mosquitoes have far and away killed more humans than any other animal, even if the numbers are often overblown.

As explained in a RealClearScience story, “Has Malaria Really Killed Half of Everyone Who Ever Lived?.” written by Ross Pomeroy, and published on October 3, 2019, widely and frequently-publicized testaments of mosquito-borne malaria killing 54 billion, or about half, of the 108 billion people who have ever lived, hugely overestimate the numbers vanquished – but that malaria probably has killed four to five percent of all those humans ever here – or 4 to 5 billion – still a monstrous and unfathomable toll.

Curiously, though, the mosquito, which has delivered incalculable and untold misery, aided … sort of … the American English colonies winning their independence from the Mother Country.

Consider the Smithsonian Magazine story,  “How the Lowly Mosquito Helped America Win Independence: The blood-sucking insect has played a leading role in the rise and fall of empires,” on June 15, 2016, and written by John R. McNeill.

Here we share an excerpt from the story:

“Even the U.S. owes its independence in part to mosquitoes and malaria. In 1780, the southern colonies, a region with widespread malaria, became a decisive theater in the American Revolution. British troops had almost no experience with malaria, and thus no resistance to it. American militiamen, and much of the Continental Army, had grown up in the South and faced malaria every summer of their lives. So in the summer of 1780, the British Army hosted its own malaria epidemic, which was particularly intense in the South Carolina Lowcountry. At times, half the British Army was too sick to move. No one knew that mosquitoes carried malaria, and the British did not have the means to combat it.

“In 1781, the British commander in the South, Lord Cornwallis, decided to move his army north, into the hills of Virginia, in order to avoid “the fatal sickness which so nearly ruined the army” the summer before. His superiors, however, ordered him to move to the tidewater, and so in June, Cornwallis dug in at Yorktown.

“In the warm months, mosquitoes (including a malaria vector species called Anopheles quadrimaculatus) started to bite and by late summer of 1781, malaria had taken hold of his army once again. Some 51 percent of his men were too sick to stand duty, unable to conduct the counter-siege operations that Cornwallis knew were required. American and French forces penned the troops in until Cornwallis surrendered in October, which in effect decided the outcome of the American Revolution.”

Fascinating.

And imagine – something good that came from the mosquito.

The mosquito … that infernal gnat …  contributed to securing independence for the upstart 13 colonies and the creation of the United States of America.

Yet, please everyone, know that despite the epic assist from the mosquito, ohDEER is fully committed to being the staunchest, most unyielding, and wholly effective adversary of this insect.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!!