Chemical-Free Mosquito Control

How to use chemical-free mosquito control to combat mosquitoes, including physical control of mosquitoes, biological control of mosquitoes, betting on bacteria, permanent pool, floodwater and artificial container/tree hole groups.


| July/August 1985



Natural mosquito control

The destruction of breeding habitats is one of the most basic ways to combat mosquitoes.


PHOTO: FOTOLIA/HENRIK LARSSON

Using nature to solve natural problems is a sound idea, this article shares a number of chemical-free mosquito control ideas. 

A mosquito develops through four stages—egg, larva, waterborne pupa, and emerging adult—and it's helpful to know where the life cycles of various types of mosquitoes take place in order to understand how to deal with our particular insect problem. Species can be grouped more or less into three categories, according to breeding-site preferences.

The Permanent Pool Group: Most species in this class inhabit bodies of fresh water—particularly quiet pools with abundant surface vegetation. Such spots include not only permanent ponds but also semi-permanent sites such as roadside ditches, pits, canals, clogged streams, and irrigated lands. Breeding is continuous, and several generations are produced each year. The adults' flight range extends one to two miles tom the breeding site. Species in this group can carry encephalitis, dog heartworm, and in some cases malaria.

The Floodwater Group: These mosquitoes usually appear early in the season, with most species producing several broods per year. They breed in receding pools, on damp soil in grassy depressions, or along grassy shorelines that are intermittently flooded. The eggs are laid, the wet area dries out, and large numbers of larvae hatch with the next flooding. The adults' flight range extends five to twenty miles from the breeding site, and species in this group have been known to carry dog heartworm.

The Artificial Container/Tree Hole Group: These insects prefer to lay their eggs in small, water-filled places—birdbaths, such litter as old cans and jars, and other man—made containers, as well as holes in trees. Species in this group produce several broods per year. The eggs are laid on the inner surface of the container or tree hole at or above the waterline, and they hatch when inundated after a dry period. In general, the habits of these mosquitoes are similar to those of the floodwater group.

MOSQUITOES AND PHYSICAL CONTROL

The destruction of mosquito breeding habitats is one of the most basic ways to combat them using this chemical-free mosquito control method. Several courses of action, such as the following, can be taken.





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