Among the struggles of the twentieth century, the one between humans and mosquitoes may have been the most vexing, as demonstrated by the long battle to control these bloodsucking pests. As vectors of diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis, and dengue fever, mosquitoes forced open a new chapter in the history of medical entomology. Based on extensive use of primary sources, The Mosquito Crusades
traces this saga and the parallel efforts of civic groups in New Jersey's Meadowlands and along San Francisco Bay's east side to manage the dangerous mosquito population.
Providing readers with a fascinating exploration of the relationship between science, technology, and public policy, Gordon Patterson's narrative begins in New Jersey with John B. Smith's effort to develop a comprehensive plan and solution for mosquito control, one that would serve as a national model. From the Reed Commission's 1900 yellow fever experiment to the first Earth Day seventy years later, Patterson provides an eye-opening account of the crusade to curtail the deadly mosquito population.