We Can’t Expect the Government to Save Us From Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes

The Arrival of the Zika Virus in the U.S. Reminds Us That the First Line of Defense Is Our Own Backyards

“We need you to come take a look at something.” Ecologist Angela Brisco and technician Marc Mitchell, employees of the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District, peered over the short wall of my cubicle. Whenever our staff neglected to use my “front door,” I knew something was wrong.

They showed me a single female mosquito under the microscope. It didn’t look good: I focused up and down, trying desperately to make the black and white stripes on her legs and the white “ax mark” on her thorax disappear.

“Where …