It is often incorrectly quoted that mosquitoes kill more people than any other animal. Actually, it is not mosquitoes that kill people but the parasite they carry that causes malaria.
Approximately 300 million people worldwide are affected by malaria and about 1,5 million die from it every year. The greatest known outbreak of malaria happened in the 1920s in Russia when 13 million people were effected and 600,000 died. It also proved that mosquitoes thrive in cold temperatures. Mosquitoes are abundant in Antarctica.
Malaria is caused by protozoan parasites carried by female mosquitoes. There are about 380 species of mosquito, but only 60 transmit the parasite.
Australian and Vietnamese scientists use the mesocyclops, a tiny one-eyed shrimp-like creature, to combat mosquitoes successfully. Wherever they are placed, the mesocyclops destroy between 96% and 100% of the mosquitoes.
World Mosquito Day is observed on 20 August.