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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Disrupting Mosquito Breeding Cycle

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Question
Dear Jack,

Would the following strategy work in reducing a local (one acre) mosquito population:

1. Provide females with a breeding ground by way of many small containers of stagnant water.
2. Once the eggs have hatched into the larvae stage, kill them all.
3. Repeat process.

My hope is to "waste" the females eggs and disrupt their breeding cycle.

Answer
Mark,

This is a variant of a "tried & true" insect control strategy for disrupting pest populations. It is similar in principal to the sterile male techniques used for a variety of significant pests like boll weevil and screw-worm fly (google "sterile male insect control" for details or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterile_insect_technique). It will however be a lot of work because the traps will need to be serviced every week or so. You might also try adding a little insect growth regulator such as methoprene to the water which will effectively stop larvae from developing into adults thus reducing the servicing of the traps (see http://www.livingwithbugs.com/methoprene_igr.html). The methoprene used for mosquito control is called Altocid Pro-G (see http://www.livingwithbugs.com/mosquitoes.html). Good luck, sounds like a good idea.

Jack DeAngelis

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology

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