Mosquito Spray, or Natural Predator Controls?

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.

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  1. I have an allergy to these insects and its them or me!

  2. We live in the country, and we’ve got lots of bats, birds, and fish. However, until we spray with insecticide, the mosquitos rule the outdoors in clouds of what must be millions. The only thing that makes life liveable is to spray. It would be nice to let natural predators do their work, but it just doesn’t come close to making the outdoors safe from mosquitos. Cutter bug free concentrate controls up to 8 weeks.

  3. The normal approach is to spray, which kill most predators, pets, especially cats. Where proper watershed maintenance is performed, using Killifish, which will devour virtually all mosquito larvae, communities find no need for chemicals. Spraying is for companies to reap profits. Suggest to your local legislators to adopt the eviro-friendly methods. Thank you for your comments.

  4. I live in a house approximately 500 yards from a drainage canal that empties into the Mississippi River about a mile away. Suffice it to say that the mosquitoes around here are thick, and for the past 15 years they always have been. I have contracted mild fevers as I’ve watched dead birds pile up in the streets due to West Nile virus. Now I have a child. Something had to be done.

    Lots of birds don’t help. I have a line of bamboo I planted that the birds flock to. Probably the single worst place to be for mosquitoes is close to that hedge or any other leafy shrubs, which is where the mosquitoes spend the day. Bats, though seen in numbers, don’t seem to make a dent.

    I’ve never applied a chemical to my yard and didn’t want to, but this year it HAD TO STOP. Lambda cyhalothrin, a synthetic permethroid, this one branded as Cutter Bug-Free Backyard. For the past four weeks, and for the first time ever since I’ve lived here, I can step outside of my house in the summertime and not be EATEN ALIVE or bitten. I can even mow the lawn wearing shorts – and sandals, even – and not be bitten once! It’s a guilty pleasure for an environmentalist, to be sure.

    Supposedly it binds to the soil and doesn’t make it into the watershed. Supposedly it’s going to kill bees, so I keep the lawn mowed (with my push reel mower, thank you) in order to keep the clover down. Supposedly it will kill dragonflies, but the first ones I’ve seen in numbers are oddly enough descending on my property now only after applying the pesticide.

    Should have done it sooner.


  5. For most people the desire to enjoy their garden and buy cheep food will take precedence over the damage they are doing to the world around them.

    Cancer (apparently 1 in 3 Americans have some form of cancer and in the next 20 years it is predicted to climb to 1 in 2 or higher) is caused, to an unknown degree, by pesticides in the air around us, in our water supply, and in our foods. Since the cancer is not immediately evident after pesticide use most people choose to ignore the link or are ignorant of it.

    Allergies are also heightened and exaggerated by the same chemicals from the same sources.

    The pesticides used across the country and world act in minutes. The benefits can be enjoyed by us within seconds of using a product and these benefits can last from hours to weeks.

    Most people living in the West live for the here and now and they live for themselves, alone. The majority give little thought to even their own future never mind how their actions will effect their children and the people around them (e.g.; massive credit debt, the war, loans from China, high divorce rates, environmental destruction…and so on).

    Mosquitoes are a part of nature just as flowers and birds are. Although we don’t want it to be true nature needs balance to survive and our meddling never works out for the best.

    Mosquitoes helped provide researchers with the knowledge to create the local anesthetics used by people today and they feed MANY creatures but not us.

    I hate mosquitoes, my little finger is swollen to the size of a sausage and itching like crazy from a bite I got yesterday, but I hate my cancer lumps more. I’m eating only organic now (and NO processed foods or any form of refined sugar, for any other cancer fighters out there) and they ARE getting smaller but I’d rather not have them at all.

    Pesticides are very destructive to us as well as our insect enemies, and insect/reptile/bird/fish/mammal/etc. friends. We would all do better to remember this before we reach for the spray next time.

    Lecture over :o )

  6. Very scientific is your lecture. I enjoy someone who has spent a lot of time studying and researching a subject. You are a very smart person and thank you for your comments.

  7. Thank you Rosie for your comment!

  8. My small town just sprayed last night (before a rain) and this morning I started noticing many dead wasps. Then I found at least twenty flies and lacewings in my dogs small water bowl. There were ants dying everywhere. I did not see one live bug. I closed my windows last night, but I have a sore throat this morning. I rarely have one of those. My dog ate some of the dead bugs this morning before I realized the problem. Also I am a bird lover, and the birds seem to be \”disturbed\” in their usual morning singing. Am I experiencing my own little \”silent summer\” this morning?

  9. Thank you Claudia for your in depth comment on mosquito sprays.

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