Dealing with mosquitoes in the rainy season
Created By RISC | 2 weeks ago
Everyone hates mosquitoes, especially in the rainy season.
But urbanization provides hatching places for their larvae. Cities also give them lots of food sources, including you and your pet.
Mosquitoes can be found all over the world, but especially in tropical and temperate climates. They grow from eggs into larvae, pupae, and adults. Adults, both male and female, feed on nectar from flowers or plants. But females feed on blood when they are 2-3 days old to provide protein and minerals for maturing eggs after mating.
Anopheles carries malaria caused by plasmodium. Aedes carries Dengue fever. Both diseases can be fatal.
So why not exterminate mosquitoes?
Mosquito control is tough and in the long run can damage ecosystems. Mosquitoes are a source of food for a variety of animals. Without them, some species may suffer or die out. Controlling them can be done in a variety of ways, including covering water containers to prevent them laying eggs. You can also put chemicals in water containers or spray repellents on materials. Chemicals, however, can have undesirable consequences. Chemical-resistant mosquitoes can evolve. The chemicals can harm the environment.
A sustainable way to reduce mosquito numbers without long-term environmental impact is biocontrol, such as keeping fish that eat their eggs and larvae in water sources. You can create a suitable ecosystem for dragonflies, whose larvae eat mosquito larvae or pupae. Adult dragonflies hunt mosquitoes too.
Story by: Kotchakorn Rattanama, Biodiversity Researcher, RISC and Asia Lekkul, Intern from Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University
Department of Disease Control, Institute for Urban Disease Control and Prevention. 2018. Urban Dengue Unit Guideline. [online]. Resource: https://ddc.moph.go.th/uploads/publish/1080520201216080456.pdf [20 December 2021]
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University. 2021. MOSQUITOES. [online]. Resources: https://w1.med.cmu.ac.th/parasite/ความรู้เกี่ยวกับโรคปรส/7319/ [20 December 2021]
Benelli, G., Jeffries, C. and Walker, T. 2016. Biological control of mosquito vectors: Past, present, and future. Insects. 7: 52. doi: 10.3390/insects7040052