The deadliest animal in the world is not a Great White shark or a poisonous snake, but an insect so small that 10,000 of them weigh less than one ounce: the mosquito. Bill Gates recently compiled statistics that rank the causes of death worldwide and found that 50,000 people a year die from snake bites and 475,000 die by human hands. But the most murderous creature by far is the mosquito, causing over 750,000 deaths per year plus infecting hundreds of millions with terrible diseases.
I often get a question that goes something like this: “Why did God create mosquitoes?” I don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know this: As sure as God created mosquitoes, He also created creatures to control mosquitoes—and Operation Blessing is doing all we can to help make that happen.
This month I was at the New Orleans Mosquito Control Board laboratory receiving training from some of the top entomologists (bug experts) in the world who taught me strategies to control mosquitoes with non-chemical biological tools. Mosquito-eating fish, juvenile turtles and tiny crustaceans called copepods are the members of what we call OBI’s Bug Busters Dream Team.
Following Hurricane Katrina in 2006, OBI assisted the team at New Orleans Mosquito Control in stopping a West Nile Virus epidemic by planting thousands of mosquito-eating fish in over 5,000 temporarily abandoned swimming pools. The Zika Virus, however, is carried by a more elusive mosquito that breeds in wet spots smaller than pools, so we must adopt a multi-faceted attack: fish for open water wells; turtles for laundry tubs and cisterns; and Copepods for scrap tires and small containers holding water.
OBI’s war against mosquitoes is just one example of how OBI partners like you are changing lives by fighting disease, providing safe water, rescuing girls from trafficking, feeding the hungry, and more as you’ll see in this issue.