To successfully control mosquitoes, an understanding of their life cycle is a must.
Published July 26, 2013
The mosquito goes through four separate and distinct life cycles: Egg, Larvae, Pupa and Adult. All stages except the adult stage occur in or near water. The following is a brief description of each stage in the life cycle.
1) The female mosquito lays her eggs on the water or in soil at the edge of water sources. Most eggs hatch into larvae within 48 hours.
2) The larva or wigglers, that hatch must live in the water to survive. They float at the surface feeding on microorganisms and organic matter in the water usually lasts 4-10. As the water temperature increases, the process speeds up.
3) The pupal stage is a resting, non-feeding time when the mosquito turns into an adult. This stage can take from 2-10 days, the pupal skin splits and the adult emerges.
4) The adult will rest on the water for a short time to allow all body parts to harden and the wings to dry properly. This stage can last as little as four or as long as 60 days depending on species and temperature.
“Bti”, Bacillus thuringienis ssp. israelensis, which we mentioned last week, are bacteria which infect and kill mosquito larvae in the water. This is a natural effective product for reducing mosquito numbers. A moderate to heavy dose has been shown to reduce the mosquito population by one half in 15 minutes and the rest within one hour. Bti can be broadcast by hand and comes in rings or granules.
Mosquito Barrier™ is another natural product that uses garlic to repel and kill mosquitoes. It has mixed reviews from “very effective” to “don’t waste your money on this product”.
The Dynatrap insect trap uses a combination of light and CO2 to attract flying insects. Two UV fluorescent bulbs in the Dynatrap insect trap produce the warm light and the coated titanium dioxide funnel produces the CO2 that mosquitoes find irresistible. This product runs about $100 but most reviews are positive.
Here is a recipe for homemade garlic mosquito control. We have not tried it but our garlic will be ready to dig in about a week to ten days. There are variations of this recipe which include tobacco, hot peppers and various other ingredients; some may be more effective than others.
•Peel and mince 10 large garlic cloves. Press them with a kitchen knife to bruise the minced pieces, which helps them release more juice, or just peel and place in a blender with the water.
•Heat a solution of one cup water and one cup vinegar in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil on high heat then reduce it to low heat to simmer.
•Add the garlic clove pieces to the simmering liquid. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
•Strain the liquid into a gallon spray bottle using a wire strainer and funnel.
•Add several drops of lavender oil to the bottle. The exact amount you need varies depending on the strength of the oil you have, but err on the side of strong; the lavender scent is not only a deterrent for mosquitoes, but it is also more pleasant to humans than the vinegar and garlic smells.
•Pour about a quarter Tsp. of dish soap into the bottle; this helps the oil and water stay mixed.
•Top off the bottle with water/ vinegar (50/50) and cap it. Shake well.
•Spray the solution in the yard. Pay special attention to the perimeter of your yard and any areas with standing water, lots of shade or small ponds, as these are prime locations for mosquitoes. Use the entire bottle, spraying generously. Repeat applications of this remedy every few days to retain effectiveness.