They Have Arrrived: Facts and Myths about Mosquito Prevention

Alden DuMontier

Alden DuMontier

Friday, March 10, 2023
 They Have Arrrived: Facts and Myths about Mosquito Prevention

Photo by Syed Ali, courtesy of Unsplash

Springtime has arrived and so have mosquitos. Let's talk about what works to repel and kill mosquitos and what does not.

According to experts, one way to decrease the number of mosquitoes is to compromise their breeding grounds, meaning stagnant water. This can be done by introducing fish and predatory insects into the water. Chemical insect growth regulators, which inhibit insect growth, can be put in water. 

Another way to kill a lot of mosquitos is to attract natural predators such as bats, frogs, dragonflies, lizards, and geckos. Habitats should be supplied for these animals, for example, adding bat boxes around the area. 

There are some methods, however, that people believe in that don't work as well as assumed.

Mosquitos are beginning to avoid or develop resistance to pesticides after being exposed to non-lethal doses. Pesticides are used to kill mosquitos, but they also kill other invertebrates, such as bees and other pollinators that are vital to agriculture. The chemicals also can have negative health effects for people and pets. 

Bug zappers are not a practical solution because they kill ecologically important insects as well.

Another common misconception is that the insect commonly called a "mosquito eater" eats mosquitoes. These insects are more properly called crane flies and do not eat mosquitoes. This misconception came about because crane flies resemble large mosquitos, and in nature, many insects eat similar, smaller species.   

Using insect repellents and mosquito-resistant clothing should work for keeping them off your person, but following some of the methods mentioned above can help keep those pesky mosquitos from being born in the first place.

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