The Mosquito Wars:
A History of Mosquito Control in Florida

Gordon Patterson

Foreword by Raymond Arsenault and Gary Mormino, Series Editors
Hardcover: $55.00
Hardcover ISBN 13: - Pub Date: Details: Subject(s):
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"The Mosquito Wars is a fascinating chronicle of the history of mosquito control in Florida over the past century. It details the positive contributions made by the profession's many managers and scientists. This work thoroughly describes how this profession has helped make Florida habitable and also puts the environmental controversies of mosquito control in the proper perspective."--Douglas Carlson, Indian River Mosquito Control District

"The Mosquito Wars is an entertaining, accurate description of how mosquito control has developed in Florida to its current state."--Dennis Moore, editor-in-chief, Wing Beats

The Mosquito Wars presents a comprehensive and insightful analysis of the development of human efforts to wage war on mosquitoes in 20th-century Florida. Drawing on archival records, interviews, and published records, Gordon Patterson provides readers with a context for understanding how mosquito control has shaped the environment of contemporary Florida.

Patterson reveals how the discovery that yellow fever, malaria, and dengue fever were mosquito-borne diseases had a profound impact on Florida's development in the first half of the 20th century. State agencies organized campaigns from Pensacola to Key West against the disease-bearing insects. World War II opened a new era in mosquito control; the United States Department of Agriculture pioneered the use of DDT as an insecticide, and by 1944 army and navy pilots were regularly flying anti-mosquito missions. The 1950s ushered in a new objective--to reduce not only disease-bearing mosquitoes but also pest and nuisance mosquitoes. The growing problem of chemical resistance, however, led to the use of new and more powerful pesticides, raising concerns about the environmental impact of these chemicals on biologically sensitive wetlands. The ensuing controversy resulted in the rewriting of mosquito control laws in 1986. The continuing occurrences of encephalitis and the recent arrival of the West Nile virus, both transmitted by mosquitoes, dictate that mosquito control will continue to play a vital role in protecting the public's health and welfare.

The Mosquito Wars presents a balanced, entertaining, and informative examination of this often heroic and sometimes tragic history of the battle to control mosquitoes in Florida.

Gordon Patterson is professor of history at the Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne.

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"...Patterson has assembled the definitive picture of the Sunshine State's struggle with one of nature's most successful creatures." "Entertaining, revelatory and comprehensive without the tedium…"
--Floridatoday.com

"…the definitive picture of the Sunshine State's struggle with one of nature's most successful creatures." "Entertaining, revelatory and comprehensive without the tedium, 'Mosquito Wars' proves, once again, that when it comes to history, only the names change."
--Florida Today

"A surprisingly interesting and entertaining book, well-researched and balanced, and presented in a lively manner - take it with you to the beach!
--Aquaphyte

"Fills an important and underappreciated niche in Florida historiography." "From smudge pots to DDT, detours like bat towers and purple martin birdhouses, and on to newer innovations, Florida's battle with the insect world has been an ongoing one. Patterson tells it in a most interesting and engaging manner."
--H-Florida

"A fascinating chronicle of the history of mosquito control in Florida over the past century." "This work thoroughly describes how this profession has helped make Florida habitable and also puts the environmental controversies of mosquito control in the proper perspective."
--Brevard Business News

"This book is a tremendous read. It gets deeply into the contorted politics of mosquito control, Florida's environment, and the personalities involved. I recommend it highly."
--Florida Entomologist

"Fills an important and underappreciated niche in Florida historiography." "Florida's battle with the insect world has been an ongoing one. Patterson tells it in a most interesting and engaging manner."
--H-Net Reviews

"Not until you read this book do you realize how important the mosquito was to the development of Florida, or rather, how it limited development, spread disease, and literally drove some people crazy." "There are a lot of esoteric books that appear in print every year. While The Mosquito Wars might appear to be such a book at first glance, it fills an important niche for historians of science, the environment, urban development, and Florida, as well as scientists and the general reader."
--The Journal of Southern History

"The author has presented the topic with great energy and a prodigious amount of primary research that includes reports from anti-mosquito associations and mosquito control districts, as well as from public health documents, and articles from contemporary medical journals."
--Florida Historical Quarterly

…a fascinating story…
--Southeastern Naturalist

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