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Do the chemicals used for controlling mosquitoes kill fire-flies and dragonflies?
The extremely small droplet aerosols utilized in adult mosquito control are designed to impact primarily adult mosquitoes that are on the wing at the time of the application. Degradation of these small droplets is rapid, leaving little or no residue in the target area at ground level. These special considerations are major factors that favor the use of very low application rates for these products, generally less than four grams active ingredient per acre, and are instrumental in minimizing adverse impacts.

Are bats and birds effective in controlling mosquitoes?
Bats have been the spark of interest of people as an effective way to control mosquitoes. This is not a new idea. Tests conducted in Texas have extensively evaluated the diet of bats; which include moths, beetles, and wasps. Although bats are opportunistic feeders, they would prefer larger body mass insects that would provide more nutritional value. This is not to say if bats came into contact with mosquitoes that they would not feed on them. It would be a misconception, to believe that bats would present an effective and efficient avenue to control mosquito populations; keeping in mind the ratio of bats per mosquito vectors that could spread diseases.

Birds, such as Purple Martins, have a similar relationship to mosquitoes as bats. Most insect feeding birds are primarily active during times that most mosquitoes are not. Also a bird, such as the Purple Martin, catches its food on the fly high above the tree tops, and mosquitoes fly lower to the ground out of the flight patterns of these birds. As a result, these birds come into contact with mosquitoes less of the time than during feedings. Test have been conducted by the Purple Martin Conservation Association and found that out of 350 diet samples that mosquitoes were never found.

Is the Mosquito Magnet® effective at control mosquitoes?
A device such as the Mosquito Magnet uses attractants to lure mosquito to the device. In the case of the Mosquito Magnet it utilizes carbon dioxide to achieve the desired results. The efficacy of the machine depends on several different variables: wind speed, wind direction, species of mosquito, etc. Consequently, result may vary from that of which would be a desirable controlled situation. It is also note worthy to mention that this device does require routine maintenance that may not be ergonomically feasible.

Would a misting system around the perimeter of my yard help control mosquitoes?
Scheduled sprays used by these misters may needlessly broadcast pesticides into the environment, affecting mosquitoes and non-target insects alike. Modern mosquito control strategies emphasize an integrated approach, based upon a profound knowledge of the target, so that its various vulnerabilities can be exploited by the many tools developed for that purpose. Effective mosquito control requires continual survey of adult mosquito densities to determine if certain triggers for control are met. This reduces the use of adulticides to only those times when they are required

Do both male and female mosquitoes bite?
The female mosquito is the only one that bites people. They need the blood of people or other organisms to provide the appropriate development of eggs. Male and females alike feed on plant nectar. Blood provides no nutritional value to the female.

What can I do to control mosquitoes?
It’s always a good idea to be proactive when it comes to controlling mosquitoes. Source reduction of potential breeding sites is one of the best actions residents can take in aiding in mosquito control. Eliminating any artificial container (i.e. pet water bowl, bird baths, buckets, tires, clogged gutter, etc.), filling in low lying areas that hold standing water, and repairing a damaged or dysfunctional sewer system.

Can mosquitoes spread AIDS?
Disease transmission among mosquitoes is biologically, not mechanically (i.e. hypodermic needle). This means that mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus, for example, have had to initially come into contact with the virus, thus the virus spends the adequate amount of time developing in the host mosquito, then it becomes a vector of this disease. In the case of AIDS, mosquitoes lack the physiology to sustain or transmit the virus to other organisms.

Are pesticides used in mosquito control safe?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has regulated mosquito control through enforcement of standards instituted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. This legislation mandated documentation of extensive testing for public health insecticides, according to EPA guidelines, prior to their registration and use. These data requirements are among the most stringent in the federal government and are met through research by established scientists in federal, state and private institutions.  The dosages at which these products are legally dispensed are at least 100-fold less than the point at which public health and environmental safety merit consideration. In point of fact, literature posted on the websites of the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators and National Pesticide Information Center emphasizes that proper use of mosquitocides by established mosquito control agencies does not put the general public or the environment at unreasonable risk from runoff, leaching or drift when used according to label specifications. (For the federal government's position on risks associated with mosquito control insecticides, visit www.epa.gov/pesticides).

The safety profiles of public health insecticides are undergoing increasing scrutiny because of concerns with how the specialized application technology and product selection protect the exposed public and environment. In fact, well over 200 peer-reviewed scientific studies in various national and international refereed journals since 1980 have documented the safety and efficacy of these public health insecticides at label rates in addition to their application techniques.

What do I do about gnats?
Biting gnats, no see ums, biting midges are common names for the Culicoides species. These are biting insect that have behaviors similar to that of mosquitoes. Repellant is the most effective defense against these insects.  (For more information refer to Culcoides link on this website.)

What is the best repellant to use?
DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide remains among the leading products developed for repelling biting insects. This product is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics for children two months or older. Some people prefer a natural approach such as lemon eucalyptus (Repel®) which is extremely close in comparison to the effectiveness with that of DEET. All repellants should be applied properly to skin and cloths and according to the label.


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