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The mosquito is our deadliest predator. Researchers have suggested that the mosquito is responsible for the deaths of roughly half of the 108 billion people who have ever lived. With her (only females bite) catalogue of diseases including malaria, West Nile, Zika, dengue, and yellow fever, she has driven the course of human history by deciding the fates of empires and nations, crippling economies, and determining the outcome of pivotal wars including the American Revolution and Civil War. Last year she caused approximately 830,000 deaths, far outpacing any other animal as the most effective killer of humans. But the mosquito scratched her indelible mark on the modern world order in many other ways, including on our taste buds.From our hominid ancestral evolution in Africa to the present day, we have experimented with a cornucopia of organic remedies to repel the mosquito’s merciless offensive and to neutralize her myriad diseases. As the malaria parasite survived the evolutionary jump from ape to human, so too did the knowledge of naturopathic treatments for its symptoms. Chimpanzees still chew the mululuza shrub, as did our ancestors, to provide relief from malaria. It is a common ingredient in soups and stews among the peoples of equatorial Africa, the epicenter of malaria’s stretching domain.
The mululuza shrub comes from the same family of plants as chrysanthemums, or pyrethrum — the first known commercial pesticide. The dried and pulverized flowers found their insecticidal use in China around 1000 B.C. before spreading to the Middle East around 400 B.C. When sprayed, or applied in powdered form, the active ingredients (called pyrethrins) attack the nervous system of insects, including mosquitoes.
Caffeine acts as a natural insecticide by disrupting the nervous system of insects, including mosquitoes.Not to be topped by its caffeinated companion, coffee was also thought to treat malaria. Unfortunately, 85% of your mosquito-seducing charm, including chemical and bacteria levels in and on your skin, body odour, blood type, and the amount of carbon dioxide you discharge, is prewired in your genetic circuit board.