My latest feature for the BBC News website, co-written with my colleague Paula.
All over the world we cannot escape mosquito bites – and the diseases they carry.
An epidemic of chikungunya – a viral disease carried by daytime-biting mosquitoes – is currently raging in the Caribbean. There are more than 5,900 suspected cases affecting almost half the islands, and even French Guiana on the mainland.
Although we might want to wipe them out, removing mosquitoes could have a disastrous effect on an ecosystem; their larvae process detritus in the water where they breed and adult mosquitoes carry out the useful job of pollination.
They are also a nutritious food source for creatures like the mosquitofish – which snack on up to a hundred mosquito larvae every day.
And although malaria is the most well-known, there are plenty of other nasty conditions which they spread. Here are five of the lesser known – and downright horrible – diseases that mosquitoes can give you.