Each year, in the early spring, after the first lengthy rains, mosquitoes begin to make their appearance in our backyards and low-lying valleys. Local communities usually begin spraying to kill their larvae, hoping this will help keep their numbers down later. Do the mosquito sprays really work?
Are We Destroying Our Natural Mosquito Predator Controls With Sprays?
Mosquito insecticide sprays do kill some of these nuisance insects, but they do not ask, “Are you a mosquito, a dragonfly, etc.” before they perform their task. Sprays are not selective and do kill off many of the natural predators, such as the dragonfly. It sometimes catches its prey in flight and it does devour its fair share of mosquitoes. The dragonfly is susceptible to a similar demise as is the mosquito if it is caught within the mosquito insecticide spray. There are some even more effective predators of the mosquito, called the “mosquito fish” and it can devour 100 mosquito larvae in about an hour. They are one of the top aquatic predators to the mosquito at present. Another aquatic mosquito predator and a close second to the mosquito fish is the guppy and it can withstand greater pollutants in the water than most.
Are There Other Protections During Mosquito Season?
One of the best protections against the possible mosquito invasion in your area, especially if you live near a pond or small lake is to get birdhouses and install them in your back yard. If you build your own, try to customize them to attract the “Purple Martin”. This bird devours swarms of mosquitoes in one day, though they mainly hunt during daylight hours. There are several other species of birds that devour mosquitoes in their paths. Also, by planting shrubs and grasses around your house will attract birds and keep the mosquito count down. Of all mosquito predators, the bat is probably the most active. It is said by some experts that they will eat between 600 to 1,000 insects in one hour and this includes all types and many are mosquitoes.
So, Why Not Just Breed Mosquito Predators?
Unfortunately, commerce is what drives economies and developing special breeding houses would certainly conflict with existing industry that has been around for a long time and is certainly supported by the large chemical industry. Meanwhile, just keep building attractive birdcages and don’t use “zappers” in your backyard that indiscriminately kill off many of the mosquito predators.