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Larval vs. Adult Mosquito Control

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There are two different types of mosquito control. You can try to reduce the population of larva or you can try to reduce the population of full grown adults. Each have their own upsides and downsides. Here are the differences in larval mosquito control vs. adult mosquito control. One of these processes should be an option to help reduce the population around your home and keep your family safe.

Mosquito Larva Control

By reducing the population of mosquito larva in an area, subsequently, there should be fewer adults around to bite you. This is called source reduction. There are two main options when it comes to reducing the population of larva: reducing the areas where mosquitoes can breed and lay eggs and introducing predators into their ecosystem.

Area Reduction
Mosquitoes like to breed by damp areas that have standing water. The eggs are laid in stagnant water, the edge of a water source, or on plants that grow in water. By reducing the usable area the mosquitoes have to breed and lay eggs, you will reduce the amount of adult mosquitoes in your area. The thing all these usable areas have in common is the water. By filling in holes that hold stagnant water and killing aquatic plants by pulling them or spraying them with herbicides, the mosquitoes will look elsewhere to lay their eggs. Even by simply picking up trash that may collect rain water, you will reduce the area they have to lay eggs. Without a concentration of eggs and larvae surviving in your area, fewer adult mosquitoes should be around to bother you.

Introducing Predators
Mosquito eggs and larva have natural enemies. If you do not want to remove a water source, you may want to introduce some of these predators. This is called biocontrol. Bass, bluegill, piranhas, salmon, trout, catfish, and goldfish all feed on the larva of mosquitoes. If you add a few of these to your water source, they should devour many of the larvae before they have the chance to grow into adults. Fungi and nematodes can also assist in the reduction of the larva population. As will bacterium-laden mosquito dunks. Place dunks in any body of water you wish to treat, and the bacterium released from the dunks can eliminate larval-stage mosquitoes quickly.

 

Adult Mosquito Control

Many of the effective ways in keeping the larval population to a minimum also work for adults, while others are best reserved for the full-grown variety.  Through the use of biocontrol, insecticides, and exclusion, you should be able to keep your pest problem to a minimum.

Adult Mosquitoes’ Natural Enemies
Source reduction is more effective for the egg and larval stage of the mosquito’s life, while introducing natural enemies can be more effective against adults. You will need to find different natural enemies to defend against the full grown insects. If you have access to a large quantity of dragonflies, this can be an effective tool in reducing the population. Bats and purple martins eat insects, but not just mosquitoes, so their use is still up for debate.

Insecticides
The use of insecticides can be useful in getting rid of these pesky pests. Mosquitoes have evolved, though, and a pesticide that works for some, may not work for all. There are 3,500 species and making one chemical that can deter all mosquitoes is a daunting task. Repellents are often used by applying them to the skin when you are in an area that has many mosquitoes. DEET, picaridin, eucalyptus oil, indalone, dimethyl carbate, IR3535, and ethyl hexanediol are all effective repellents.

Exclusion
Before you have exhausted all of these techniques you should start with one of the simplest ways of keeping the insects away from you. Covering all windows of your home with a screen will help to keep them out of your house and off of your skin. Use a screen with very small holes so they cannot get through. Mosquito nets can be used as well. The best kind of mosquito net to use is one covered in insecticide. This is the most effective way to control mosquitoes in a residential area.

By reading this, you should realize the difference in larval mosquito control vs. adult mosquito control. Hopefully you can find an option that works for you to keep these disease carrying pests away from you and your family.

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