AMES, Iowa — A world without mosquitoes might sound appealing to most. However, a new comic book authored by a professor at Iowa State University, Katharine Richardson Bruna, explains just how detrimental the extermination of mosquitoes could be.
This comic book titled, Mosquitoes Suck!, is a representation of ISU’s educational outreach program, Mosquitoes and Me. During this program, students from King and Moulton Elementary learn about the connection between mosquitoes and humans.
“We thought about how we could bring in the theme of mosquitoes and public health as a vehicle for having kids have really engaging hands-on, authentic science experiences,” Bruna said.
The comic book takes readers on a journey to a future world impacted by climate change. The Museum of Natural History is forced to relocate from New York to Des Moines due to severe flooding.
By walking through the museum, students in the book learn how a result of humans eliminating mosquitoes from the earth completely breaks the food chain, leaving the environment off balance.
Bruna said the comic book’s purpose is to teach students the work of entomologists to peak their interest in the field, but also to look broader at the interdependence humans have with nature.
“It’s not just understanding that mosquitoes are part of this ecological interdependence, but once you sort of understand that we’re all interconnected. We hope that that’s learning that can transfer across to other spheres,” Bruna said.