Mosquito Biology and Control
Mosquitoes are different from other insects and are part of the family Diptera. All adult mosquitoes have three characteristics: Long many segmented antennae, a piercing and sucking mouth part, and scales on the wing veins and margins.
There are over 2,500 species of mosquitoes in the worked and about 165 species in North America through Mexico. Mosquitoes undergo complete metamorphosis and have four distinct stages in their life cycle: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The mosquito’s eggs, larvae and pupae are all aquatic. And the adults are terrestrial.
The adult stage of mosquito’s life cycle is the reproductive phase. It begins when the mosquito has fully developed inside the pupa and emerges an adult. Emergence takes only a few minutes, if the water is agitated in any way while the adult is emerging, the mosquito may tip over and drown.
The female of each blood feeding species of mosquito have the characteristic time of the day when they actively seek blood meals. They may also differ in the host they prefer, many Culex species prefer bird and hardly ever feed on humans.
During the active mosquito season a female mosquito may live for a month or more alternating seeking blood meals and developing eggs then finding suitable egg-laying sites.
Typical breeding sites form the Culex family are roadside ditches, canals, ground pools, catch basins, storm sewers, clogged streams and irrigated land.
Using a biological environmentally safe bacteria, Bactimos Mosquito Control Dunks, that kills only mosquito larvae or an oil to cover the surface of small water sources, it is possible to control mosquitoes before they become adults. Through careful inspection of breeding sites and timely applications of the larvicide Bactimos Mosquito Control Dunks, we can achieve a ninety percent control.
Mosquito adults are however able to fly up to a mile in search of blood. It is therefore imperative in a successful larvicide program to have access to all potential breeding sites in a given area. Partial control can be achieved on a residence if breeding sites are on the property.
Chemical Mosquito Control methods are very effective and can be applied in a mosquito misting system or with mosquito foggers. Pesticide products containing pyrethrins usually contain a synergist such as piperonyl butoxide (PBO). PBO’s work by restricting an enzyme that insects use to detoxify the pyrethrins. A synergist allows the insecticide to be more effective.
Pyrethrins have a soil half life of 12 days. They have an extremely low pesticide movement rating because they bind tightly to soil. Pyrethrins are unstable in light or air, and are rapidly degraded in sunlight at the soil surface, and in water. Pyrethrins are highly toxic to fish, tadpoles, honeybees and many aquatic invertebrates.