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Non-chemical Mosquito Control

Mosquitoes are one of the most common insect pests in the world. They affect the lives of millions of people worldwide
by transmitting microbial organisms that cause disease
and death. Some of the diseases they carry include the
West Nile Virus, malaria, yellow fever, dengue,
encephalitis and filariasis.
Mosquito
Mosquitoes can interfere with work and
ruin hours of leisure time. Biting mosquitoes can
also cause loss of weight and decreased production
in farm animals.
Life History of the Mosquito
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Life Cycle of a Mosquito

To successfully control mosquitoes, an understanding of their life cycle is a must. The mosquito goes through four separate and distinct life cycles: Egg, Larvae, Pupa and Adult. All stages except the adult stage occur in or near water. The following is a brief description of each stage in the life cycle.

Egg: The female mosquito lays her eggs on the water or in soil at the edge of temporary water sources where flooding will likely occur. Most eggs hatch into larvae within 48 hours.

Larva: The larva (larvae - plural), or wigglers, that hatch must live in the water to survive. They float at the surface feeding on microorganisms and organic matter in the water. This stage usually lasts 4-10 days, depending on the water temperature. As the water temperature increases, the process speeds up.

Pupa: The pupal stage is a resting, non-feeding time when the mosquito turns into an adult. This stage can take from 2-10 days. When development is complete, the pupal skin splits and the adult emerges.

Adult: The adult will rest on the water for a short time to allow all body parts to harden and the wings to dry properly. This stage can last as little as four or as long as 60 days depending on species and temperature.
Mosquito Control

Usually, eliminating or altering the water in which mosquitoes breed is the first choice for control. The fact that mosquitoes need water to develop is the key to their control. No standing water means no mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes around the home can be reduced significantly by reducing the amount of standing water. This can be done in a variety of ways including:
  • Dispose of plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
  • Empty standing water from discarded tires.
  • Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling and trash containers.
  • Clean clogged roof gutters on a regular basis.
  • Change the water in birdbaths and wading pools once per week.
Biological Larvicide Mosquito Control

For areas where standing water cannot be reduced or eliminated, biological larvicide control is available. Mosquito Bits and Mosquito Dunks contain Bacillus thuringiensis (subspecies israelensis) bacteria that feed on mosquito larvae. They can be used anywhere that you find standing water including flower pots, roof gutters, old tires, and ponds.

Mosquito Bits are small granules containing the Bti bacteria that are spread on the water surface. The larvicide granules gradually settle in the water where they are eaten by mosquito larvae. Mosquito Bits will give a quick kill, usually within 24 hours. The recommended application rates are one teaspoon for 25 square feet or one tablespoon for 75 square feet, regardless of the water depth. A seven to fourteen day interval between applications is recommended. For longer term control, Mosquito Dunks can be used after applying Mosquito Bits.

Mosquito Dunks are 2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick, with a small hole in the center. They contain the same larvicide as the Mosquito Bits. The Dunks float on top of the water and will be effective for approximately 30 days. While floating, they slowly release the larvicide that settles in the water where it is eaten by mosquito larvae. Alternate wetting and drying will not reduce their effectiveness. The center hole can be used to anchor the dunks in place with a string or stake. Recommended application rates are 1/4 dunk for 1-5 square feet of water surface area and one dunk for 25-100 square feet of water surface area.

Note: Mosquito Bits and Mosquito Dunks should not be applied to treated, finished water which will be used for drinking.

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