Controlling Mosquitoes
Without Chemical Poisons

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Image © 2002  David L. Green

   No one wants to have mosquitoes around. The bites are a nuisance, and sometimes they carry bad dieseases. But we can control them without poisoning our world, if we take a little time to think and be careful. The female mosquito above is laying eggs in standing water. They must have water to raise young. If we eliminate the water, or make it a bad environment for them, or have natural predators in the water, they cannot repopulate.

   Look around your home for anything that can hold water. Is there a garden watering can, a pail, some tin cans, a wading pool, a bird bath, or even a hollow in a fork of a tree? Look in these containers to see if there are wigglers (mosquito larvae)

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Image © 2002  David L. Green

  Normally the wigglers are just under the surface of the water. If you disturb them, they will wiggle and thrash around, carrying themselves to the bottom. Then they will slowly drift back up, because they must breathe. If you see them, there will soon be more adult mosquitoes. There are several ways to get rid of these wigglers before they hatch into mosquitoes:

1.   Empty the water. This is the best way for containers. Bird bath and wading pool water should be changed every three days. Trash and old tires should be removed.

2.  Suffocate the wigglers. If you have a persistant mud puddle, or a stumphole, or a tree crotch hole, spray a little cooking oil (Pam®) to make a film to smother them.

3.  In larger water, add some mosquito eating minnows, and protect your dragonflies. If you have a pond where you cannot add fish for some reason, you can purchase mosquito control "Dunks" at farm and garden stores. These are donut shaped wafers to float in the water. These contain Bt, a biological agent that affects only mosquito larvae. The cost around ten to twelve dollars per pack of six and each one can control mosquito larvae in 100 square feet of water for 30 days. You can also purchase smaller pieces for bird baths and stumpholes.

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Image © 2002  David L. Green

   This water-filled ditch, even though the cammunity is sprayed each week, still has thousands of mosquitoes emerging and returning to lay eggs. This is a perfect spot for a mosquito dunk, or for the municipality to apply a liquid form of Bt to the water for more effective, yet safer control.

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   This ditch is even worse, as it is filled with litter. Even after the ditch drains out, there is still water in many of these old bottles. It only takes a tiny amount of water for mosquitoes to lay eggs and raise more wigglers. The litter must first be cleaned. Then the ditch can be treated with the biological agent in the form of mosquito "dunks" or with liquid Bt, which will affect only mosquito larvae.

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