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
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
Is the Mosquito Magnet® effective at
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
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
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,
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
What is the best repellant to use?
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.