The most effective method for controlling mosquitoes is targeting them at the larval stage. By reducing the areas mosquitoes may breed, you make it less likely they can mature into the adult stage.A sound larviciding program is key in any successful integrated mosquito management program. |
The first line of defense in reducing the mosquito population around you is to eliminate breeding areas for them. These include eliminating areas around your home that contain water. It is easy to dump out flowerpots and clean the gutters of your house. However, some of other areas might be hard to eliminate like ponds. Ponds can be an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.A mosquito spends the first three stages of its life in the water as an egg, larva, and then pupa prior to hatching out into a full grown adult.
Use of a mosquito larvicide may be beneficial when it is impractical to eliminate a breeding site.Larvicides are insecticides which are used to control immature mosquitoes before they have a chance to develop into biting adults. There are products you can introduce to bodies of water to help reduce the mosquito population. There are biological products on the market that contain Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria (Bti), which feed on mosquito larvae. Small granules containing the Bti bacteria are spread on the water surface. Bti can be applied in different forms. There are larvicide granules that can be added to the water. They gradually settle in the water where they are eaten by mosquito larvae. The granular form usually kills within 24 hours. A seven to fourteen day interval between applications is recommended.
There are other devices that float on top of the water and release Bti larvicide. These devices 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.
Another non-chemical larvicide that contains mainly mineral oil can be sprayed on the surface of the water. The mineral oil works by suffocating the larvae.
With a little careful observation it is fairly easy to see mosquito larvae in clear, shallow water over light colored bottoms. They are harder to see in dark, stagnant water where there is a lot of debris or vegetation. Avoid casting a shadow over the water when inspecting for mosquitos because the larvae and pupae will dive in response to light changes. They can be captured by quickly plunging a long-handled dipper into the water.
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