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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Yard Work 3

Mosquitos are a problem here.  The Asian Tiger Mosquito showed up here in 1999.  The Authorities said it wasn't here yet.  It stunned one back then and kept it intact in a small jar in the refrigerator and tried to tell the Dept Of Natural Recources and the local University that I had one, but no one seemed interested.

So, naturally, a YEAR later the local newspaper headlined "Asian Tiger Mosquitoes Found In Maryland".  Yeah, I knew that. 

Anyway, I have been fighting them ever since.  The little bastards are active in daytime and are hard to detect on your skin.  I happen to be good at detecting them on me, so I have probably killed more of them than the average victim.

This year, I am fighting back.  I'm trapping them.  Well, not the adult females, the offspring.  They lay their eggs in water.  There is a bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis) that kills the larvae.  It comes in various forms, but I like the small Bt doughnuts of it that you just drop in standing water.

I  set out 5 pots of water with the Bt around the yard last month.  I set one pot without it.  When I see larvae in the untreated pot, I know the the females are laying their eggs in the treated water too.  I dump the untreated water pot every 2 days.   The treated water pots never have live larvae!

I found old black plastic pots that fit a gallon food baggie perfectly.  The dark pot makes the water look good to the female mosquito  The orange landscaping flag is so that I don't lose track of where they are.  The Bt has to be re-added once each month.

Getting the first few generations killed makes a BIG difference.  Already, I can go outside and find only a couple flitting around me and I swat them against my shirt very fast.  Fewer and fewer of them.  They don't travel far, so most of them here are from here.

Two years ago, I could hardly go to the mailbox without a bite.  This year, NONE! 

1 comment:

Megan said...

Yaaaay. Grand effort Mark.

Sydney, Australia