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Mosquito: A Natural History of Our Most Persistent and Deadly Foe Hardcover – Jun 13 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion (June 13 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786867817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786867813
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,446,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Consider the most common mosquito on earth, one that is likely resting in some dark corner of your very own home or, if you are reading in bed on a warm summer evening, about to issue its faint buzz-do you hear it right now?-in your ear. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
As far as I can tell, this is essentially the same book as "Mosquito: The Story of Man's Deadliest Foe." The first couple of chapters are interesting, but after that, the writing becomes vague, repetitious, and inconsistent in tone, diction, and quality. What should have been a fascinating book filled with both technical information and personal anecdotes (one of the authors is, after all, a leading researcher in mosquito-borne diseases) instead is filled with generalities and handwaving and reads like a C+ term paper hastily pulled from the internet (really!). Don't waste your time!
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Format: Hardcover
Mosquitoes are perhaps the most dangerous of all insects. Somewhere around 2 million people die each year from mosquito-vectored human malaria alone- many more than are killed in traffic accidents (source: WHO.) Andrew Spielman and Michael D'Antonio have now produced a book that documents the life history of and human association with these tiny vampires and they have generally done a very good job. If you want to know some fascinating facts about mosquitoes, this is a good source.
Unfortunately the maps of the distributions of both mosquitoes and the diseases they carry are somewhat out of date. Aedes aegypti is now in Tucson, Las Cruces, and El Paso in the Southwest U.S., and West Nile is in almost every state. Also the information about the vectors of West Nile Virus is an oversimplification. In the western US at least, Culex tarsalis my be a more efficient vector than C. pipiens.
Despite these minor flaws, I highly recommend this book. It is one of the best general work on the subject since J. D. Gillett's book "The Mosquito." Unfortunately both are now out of print.
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Format: Hardcover
"The saliva that they leave behind might make you itchy, or if you are really unlucky, you might die".
If you are like me and seem to attract these buzzing beasts you will enjoy this book, although bear in mind it is rather technical and written mainly for the scientifically minded.
Some useful information includes:
-carbon dioxide and heat attracts them, (but it doesn't seem to be explained here why they seem to like some people more than others, or whether it is just that some people react to bites more than others),
-various species attack different parts of the body (eg some the ankles, some the head),
-some don't attack humans at all,
-some attack only humans and monkeys,
-colours vary-some are black and white striped, (these cause yellow fever), others are brown, others dominantly grey.
-the mosquito has had a significant effect on human history through various mosquito borne diseases (eg Dengue, Yellow Fever, Malaria, Encephalitus, and Rift Valley Fever).
-various mosquito-borne diseases are exclusive to birds, some cross from birds to man, some from horses to man, some from monkeys to man, etc.
Some historical plagues and the diseases transmitted by mosquitoes are described eg Dengue, Yellow Fever, Malaria , Encephalitus, and Rift Valley Fever. Historically, it was initially ridiculed that tiny organisms could carry tiny diseases, but careful observation and scientific method eventually won the day over 'folk psychology'. Mosquitoes, through recognition of their association with yellow fever and malaria, played a major part in the development of germ theory, and by association much of modern medicine.
Read more ›
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By "kanwalduggal" on Jan. 27 2002
Format: Hardcover
It reads like a fast paced novel and I could not keep it down...
One is surprised by how much they learn from the book and it is a great read for anybody who has ever thought "Why can't we just get rid of these things?"...
If you like this also see 'Level 4 - Virus Hunters of the CDC'
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By Marceau Ratard on Jan. 10 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is fun book about a subject that everybody hates. Nobody likes mosquitos, they are annoying little beasts and some of them may just kill you. The book starts with a summary of how mosquitos live and reproduce. The only complaint that I have is that I wish this section was a little longer. I would have liked it if the book went into a bit more detail about the diversity of mosquitos. I liked the way the book described the influences that mosquitos have had through history. The sections about yellow fever and malaria are informative. I really enjoyed this book. It does give you a good feel for how these little terrors are dealt with. The books is a fast read and it keeps your interest. If you travel or have an interest in mosquitos, this would be a good read.
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Format: Hardcover
I was fascinated,educated, mesmerized and horrified by this book.
It was a wonderful read!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is primarily focused on the history and epidemiology of mosquito borne human disease. It is very well written, easy to read and is logically laid out. Unfortunately, the title is a little misleading in that there is relatively little information on the natural history of the mosquito, but this did not detract from my enjoyment of this book, and I highly recommend it.
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