Malaria infects 250,000,000 each year and kills nearly 700,000. It is so rare in America that academics and activists can lament chemicals that kill mosquitoes which transmit it to humans, and even block mosquitoes engineered to prohibit reproduction, but the damage is too great to risk on tinkering with alternatives.

A few species of mosquitoes are ecologically useless. Despite the protestations of fallacious 'balance of nature' evangelists there is nothing they do that wouldn't be taken up by tens of thousands of other species - except transmit diseases like Mosquitoes spread diseases like Zika, dengue, yellow fever, and malaria. That means insecticides are vital. Yet in rich western countries where a disease like malaria is rare - and tourists are not bothered taking a pill on an eco-tourism holiday, since they won't have to take it the rest of their lives - there are efforts to block new chemicals and ban the old.

Yet blocking new ones is a bad idea. Pesticides like neonics, for example, have been a boon for nature because they are safer and more ecologically responsible than mass spraying like old organic industry alternatives, which have created a great deal of resistance. Resistance leads to "superarthropods", which means new compounds are essential.

An op-ed in The Lancet Planetary Health worries(1) that preventing malaria deaths will create resistance in other critters that transmit less deadly diseases. Nothing is perfect but it beats families having dead children. And the risk is only speculation. DDT has been around since World War II and saved a billion lives. Though it was banned by a politician over the objections of experts, our EPA literally wrote the book on how to spray it in countries that still need it. Even inside homes. It works, and there are no super-pests that have evolved to take over the world.

The authors concede they have no data for any of their concern about super-cockroaches or bedbugs but lobby using 'needs more study' rationale. Which often means they want to justify getting grant money to do something they already want to do.

(1) This is a magazine that also has articles about 'climate sensitive counseling' - maybe authors want DSM 6 to include disinterest in climate justice as a new pathology - and empowering women, which ironically is surrounded by other articles that reduce agency for women, because they deny agricultural science that is the great equalizer for all.