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Encyclopedia > Mosquito control

Mosquito control is the task of managing the population of mosquitoes to reduce their damage to human health, economies, and enjoyment of mosquito-ridden areas. Mosquito control is a vital public-health practice throughout the world and especially in the tropics because mosquitoes spread many diseases, such as malaria. For other uses, see Mosquito (disambiguation). ... Malaria is a vector-borne infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites. ...

Mosquito-control operations are targeted against three different mosquito problems:

  1. Nuisance mosquitoes bother people around homes or in parks and recreational areas;
  2. Economically important mosquitoes reduce real estate values, adversely affect tourism and related business interests, or negatively impact livestock or poultry production;
  3. Public health is the focus when mosquitoes are vectors, or transmitters, of infectious disease agents.

Disease organisms transmitted by mosquitoes include West Nile virus, Saint Louis encephalitis virus, Eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus, Everglades virus, Highlands J virus, La Crosse Encephalitis virus in the United States; dengue fever, yellow fever, Ilheus virus, and malaria in the American tropics; Rift Valley fever, Wuchereria bancrofti, Japanese Encephalitis, dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya and malaria in Africa and Asia; and Murray Valley encephalitis in Australia. Real estate is a legal term that encompasses land along with anything permanently affixed to the land, such as buildings. ... “Tourist” redirects here. ... Sheep are commonly bred as livestock. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the medical term. ... West Nile virus (WNV) is a virus of the family Flaviviridae; part of the Japanese encephalitis (JE) antigenic complex of viruses, it is found in both tropical and temperate regions. ... Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), commonly called sleeping sickness, is a zoonotic alphavirus and arbovirus present in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. ... Everglades virus (EVEV) is an alphavirus included in the Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus complex. ... La Crosse Encephalitis is an encephalitis caused by an arbovirus (the La Crosse virus) which has a mosquito vector (Aedes triseriatus). ... Dengue fever (IPA: ) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) are acute febrile diseases, found in the tropics, with a geographical spread similar to malaria. ... A biogeographic region, that extends from Mexico southwards to Tierra del Fuego, and also includes the Caribbean islands. ... Rift Valley Fever (RVF) is a viral zoonosis (affects primarily domestic livestock, but can be passed to humans) causing fever. ... Wuchereria bancrofti (named for O.E.H. Wucheria and Joseph Bancroft), a parasitic filarial nematode, affects over 120 million people, and is spread by mosquitoes. ... Red areas show the distribution of Japanese Enecphalitis in Asia 1970-1998 Japanese Encephalitis (日本脳炎 Nihon-nōen) is a disease caused by the mosquito borne Japanese Encephalitis Virus. ... Chikungunya is a relatively rare form of viral fever caused by an alphavirus that is spread by mosquito bites from Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, though recent research by the Pasteur Institute in Paris claims the virus has suffered a mutation that enables it to be transmitted by Aedes albopictus (Tiger mosquito). ... Murray Valley encephalitis virus (MVEV) is a zoonotic flavivirus endemic to northern Australia and Papua New Guinea. ...

In the United States, states with sizeable mosquito-control programs include California, Florida, New Jersey, Louisiana, Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, and Texas, among others.


General methods

Depending on the situation, source reduction, biocontrol, larviciding (control of larvae), or adulticiding (control of adults) may be used to manage mosquito populations. These techniques are accomplished using habitat modification, pesticides, biological-control agents, and trapping. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Larvae are the plural of larva, juvenile form of animals with indirect development. ... the plane is spreading pesticide. ...

Monitoring mosquito populations

Adult mosquito populations may be monitored via landing rate counts, or mechanical traps. For landing rate counts, an inspector visits a set number of sites every day, counting the number of adult female mosquitoes that land on a part of the body, such as an arm or both legs, within a given time interval. Mechanical traps use a fan to blow adult mosquitoes into a collection bag that is taken back to the laboratory for analysis of catch. The mechanical traps use either light, carbon dioxide, or a combination of both, to lure adult female mosquitoes into the trap. In order to meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article requires cleanup. ...

Monitoring larval mosquito populations involves collection of larvae with a half-pint dipper or a turkey baster. The habitat, approximate total number of larvae and pupae, and species identity are noted for each larval collection. Chrysalis of Gulf Fritillary Georgetown, South Carolina A pupa (plural: pupae or pupas) is the life stage of some insects undergoing transformation. ...

Source reduction

Since many mosquitoes breed in standing water, source reduction can be as simple as emptying water from containers around the home. This is something that homeowners can accomplish without much difficulty. For example, homeowners can eliminate mosquito breeding grounds by removing unused plastic pools, old tires, or buckets; by clearing clogged gutters and repairing leaks around faucets; by regularly changing water in bird baths; and by filling or draining puddles, swampy areas, and tree stumps. Eliminating such mosquito breeding areas can be an extremely effective and permanent way to reduce mosquito populations without resorting to insecticides.[1] Water stagnation occurs when water stops flowing. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... This article is about pneumatic tires. ... This article is about the physical container. ... Look up Gutter in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Categories: Stub ... A bird bath is essentially a man-made puddle on a pedestal with a shallow basin filled with water for bathing and drinking. ...

Open water marsh management (OWMM) involves the use of shallow ditches, about 4 feet wide and 2 feet deep, to create a network of water flow within marshes and to connect the marsh to a pond or canal. The network of ditches allows the mosquito habitats to drain and also allows fish into mosquito habitats, where they will feed on mosquito larvae and reduce the need for other control methods, such as pesticides. Simply giving the predators access to the mosquito larvae can result in long-term mosquito control.[2] Open-water marsh management is used on both the eastern and western coasts of the United States. A cropduster spreading pesticide. ...

Rotational impoundment management (RIM) involves the use of large pumps and culverts with gates to control the water level within an impounded marsh. RIM allows mosquito control to occur while still permitting the marsh to function in a state as close to its natural condition as possible. Water is pumped into the marsh in the late spring and summer to prevent the female mosquito from laying her eggs on the soil. The marsh is allowed to drain in the fall, winter, and early spring. Gates in the culverts are used to permit fish, crustaceans, and other marsh organisms to enter and exit the marsh. RIM allows the mosquito-control goals to be met while at the same time reducing the need for pesticide use within the marsh. Rotational impoundment management is used to a great extent on the east coast of Florida.


Biological control or "biocontrol" is the use of natural enemies to manage mosquito populations. There are several types of biological control including the direct introduction of parasites, pathogens and predators to target mosquitoes. Effective biocontrol agents include predatory fish that feed on mosquito larvae such as mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) and some cyprinids (carps and minnows)[1] and killifish. Tilapia will also consume mosquito larvae.[2] Binomial name Gambusia affinis (Baird & Girard, 1853) The mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis, is a species of freshwater fish. ... Genera (many, see text) The family Cyprinidae, named after the Greek word for goldfish, consists of the carps and minnows. ... A killifish is any of various small, mainly oviparous (egg-laying) cyprinodont fish (order Cyprinodontiformes, family Cyprinodontidae). ... Genera Oreochromis (about 30 species) Sarotherodon (over 10 species) Tilapia (about 40 species) and see text Tilapia is the common name for nearly 100 species of cichlid fishes from the tilapiine cichlid tribe. ... For other uses, see Mosquito (disambiguation). ...

Some other biocontrol agents that have had lesser degrees of success include the predator mosquito Toxorhynchites and predator crustaceans, nematodes, and fungi.[3] Some public agencies also employ other predators such as birds, bats, dragonflies, and frogs, but evidence of effectiveness of these agents is only anecdotal. In particular, there is no documented study that establishes that bats or purple martins consume enough mosquitoes to significantly control mosquito populations (see Kale 1968). Species See text. ... Classes Remipedia Cephalocarida Branchiopoda Ostracoda Maxillopoda Malacostraca The crustaceans (Crustacea) are a large group of arthropods (55,000 species), usually treated as a subphylum. ... Classes Adenophora    Subclass Enoplia    Subclass Chromadoria Secernentea    Subclass Rhabditia    Subclass Spiruria    Subclass Diplogasteria The roundworms (Phylum Nematoda) are one of the most common phyla of animals, with over 20,000 different described species. ... Divisions Chytridiomycota Zygomycota Ascomycota Basidiomycota The Fungi (singular: fungus) are a large group of organisms ranked as a kingdom within the Domain Eukaryota. ...

Like all animals, mosquitoes have their own set of diseases. Invertebrate pathologists study these diseases in the hope that some of them can be utilized for mosquito management. Microbial pathogens of mosquitoes include viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, and microsproidia (Davidson 1981, Jahn 1986)

Also used as biological control agent are the dead spores of varieties of the natural soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, especially Bt israelensis (BTI). BTI is used to interfere in the digestion systems of larvae. It can be dispersed by hand or dropped by helicopter in large areas. BTI is no longer effective after the larvae turn into pupae, because they stop eating. Loess field in Germany Surface-water-gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland Technically, soil forms the pedosphere: the interface between the lithosphere (rocky part of the planet) and the biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere. ... Phyla Actinobacteria Aquificae Chlamydiae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Lentisphaerae Nitrospirae Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Verrucomicrobia Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are unicellular microorganisms. ... Binomial name Berliner 1915 Bacillus thuringiensis is a Gram-positive, soil dwelling bacterium of the genus Bacillus. ... Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis, also known as Bti, is a biological control agent for larval mosquitoes. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Helicopter (disambiguation). ...

Integrated pest management (IPM) is an environmentally sensitive approach to mosquito control, which uses ecological methods of pest control, with pesticides as a last resort. Typical mosquito-control programs using IPM first conduct larval and adult surveys, in order to determine the species composition, relative abundance, and seasonal distribution of adult and larval mosquitoes, and only then are the best and most effective methods of control utilized. IPM bollworm trap Cotton field Manning, South Carolina In agriculture, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a pest control strategy that uses an array of complementary methods: natural predators and parasites, pest-resistant varieties (see GMO), cultural practices, biological controls, various physical techniques, and pesticides as a last resort. ... This is a disambiguation. ... The hierarchy of scientific classification. ...


Control of larvae can be accomplished through use of contact poisons, growth regulators, surface films, stomach poisons (including bacterial agents), and biological agents such as fungi, nematodes, copepods, and fish. A chemical commonly used in the United States is methoprene, considered slightly toxic to larger animals, which mimics and interferes with natural growth hormones in mosquito larvae, preventing development. Methoprene is frequently distributed in time-release briquette form in breeding areas. Methoprene is a juvenile hormone (JH) analog which can be used as an insecticide that acts as a growth regulator. ... Toxic redirects here, but this is also the name of a song by Britney Spears; see Toxic (song) Look up toxic and toxicity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A briquette (or briquet) is a block of flammable matter, such as escaillage, which can be used to start a fire. ...

It is believed by some researchers that the larvae of Anopheles gambiae (important vectors of malaria) can survive for several days on moist mud, and that treatments should therefore include mud and soil several meters from puddles.[4] Binomial name Anopheles gambiae Giles Anopheles gambiae, refers to a complex of morphologically indistinguishable mosquitoes in the Anopheles genus, which contain the most important vectors of malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the most efficient malaria vectors in the world. ...

In 1958, The National Malaria Eradication Program implemented the wide-scale use of DDT for mosquito control.
In 1958, The National Malaria Eradication Program implemented the wide-scale use of DDT for mosquito control.

Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...


Control of adult mosquitoes is the most familiar aspect of mosquito control to most of the public. It is accomplished by ground-based applications or via aerial application of chemical pesticides. Generally modern mosquito-control programs in developed countries use low-volume applications of pesticides, although some programs may still use thermal fogging. DDT was formerly used throughout the world for large area mosquito control, but it is now banned in most developed countries. Controversially, DDT remains in common use in many developing countries, which claim that the public-health cost of switching to other control methods would exceed the harm caused by using DDT. It is sometimes approved for use only in specific, limited circumstances where it is most effective, such as application to walls. World map indicating Human Development Index (as of 2004). ... DDT or Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane is the first modern pesticide and is one of the best known synthetic pesticides. ... It has been suggested that Underdevelopment be merged into this article or section. ...

The role of DDT in combating mosquitoes has been the subject of considerable controversy. While some argue that DDT deeply damages biodiversity, others argue that DDT is the most effective weapon in combatting mosquitoes and hence malaria. While some of this disagreement is based on differences in the extent to which disease control is valued as opposed to the value of biodiversity, there is also genuine disagreement amongst experts about the costs and benefits of using DDT. Moreover, DDT-resistant mosquitoes have started to increase in numbers, especially in tropics due to mutations, reducing the effectiveness of this chemical; these mutations can rapidly spread over vast areas if pesticides are applied indiscriminately (Chevillon et al. 1999).

See also

Malaria is a vector-borne infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites. ... Vector control is any method to limit or eradicate the vectors of vector born diseases, for which the pathogen (e. ... A Bug Zapper A bug zapper is a device that attracts and kills insects that are attracted by light. ...


  • Chevillon, Christine; Raymond, Michel; Guillemaud, Thomas; Lenormand, Thomas & Pasteur, Nicole (1999): Population genetics of insecticide resistance in the mosquito Culex pipiens. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 68(1-2): 147–157. PDF fulltext
  • Florida Coordinating Council on Mosquito Control (1998): Florida Mosquito Control: The State of the Mission as Defined by Mosquito Controllers, Regulators, and Environmental Managers. University of Florida.
  • Mullen, G. & Durden, L. (2002): Medical and Veterinary Entomology. Elsevier Science.
  • Service, M. W. (1993): Mosquito Ecology: Field Sampling Methods. Elsevier Applied Science.
  • Ware, G. W. (1994) The Pesticide Book. University of Arizona.

The Biological Journal of the Linnean Society is a scientific journal published by The Linnean Society of London. ...


  1. ^ http://dhfs.wisconsin.gov/eh/MosquitoControl/HabitatReduction.htm
  2. ^ http://fmel.ifas.ufl.edu/whitep/ch4.htm
  3. ^ http://fmel.ifas.ufl.edu/whitep/ch7.htm
  4. ^ The Ones That Got Away, New Scientist, 23/30 December, 2006, p7. The article quotes Jim Miller of Michigan State University.

New Scientist is a weekly international science magazine covering recent developments in science and technology for a general English-speaking audience. ... Michigan State University (MSU) is a co-educational public research university in East Lansing, Michigan USA. Founded in 1855, it was the pioneer land-grant institution and served as a model for future land-grant colleges in the United States under the 1862 Morrill Act. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Mosquito - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2447 words)
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Mosquito Barrier: A garlic-based natural mosquito repellent and tick repellent for effective mosquito control.
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