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Re: [Killietalk] best way to harvest mosquito larve
vkngbar at ix_netcom.com wrote: I recently set up a 30 gallon tub to use as container for a mini water lily. I have notice a nice crop of mosquito larve. I have tried a couple of method to harvest for the fish. I have used a brine shrimp net. I used a plastic container to scoop them out. Is there a better method that others used? They seem to hide when I am trying to catch them. It is not practical to empty the whole container each time. I also do not want to add to the number of mosquitoes out there.
In my experience, it is not practical to raise mosquitoes in any container which is not practical to empty every time. Add a few heat-tolerant fish to your lily tub to take of any mosquitoes there, and raise the mosquitoes you want to propogate in regular 5-gal buckets that are 1/2 to 2/3's full so you can handle them easily.
The only practical EFFICIENT harvesting method is to pour all the mosquito water through a large medium-mesh aquarium net, which should be done at least as often as you see the pupae (aka bullheads aka commas) ... that's God's way of telling you the 24-hr clock on adult flying mosquitoes is ticking and you owe it your neighbors to harvest. Put your net across the top of an empty bucket, and pour all the water through the net from one bucket into the other. I generally use a regular-mesh aquarium net, which lets the smaller larvae through, so they can continue growing to be harvested later at a more succulent moment. If you want to get them all, use a brine-shrimp net. Some mosquitoes seem to progress faster than others, but harvesting at least every third day seems sufficient to prevent fly-offs in my locale.
Throw in two or three pieces of dry dog food to create an attractive initial culture for egg-laying. I keep re-cycling the water until it gets really nasty or ... more importantly ... the mosquitoes don't seem to find it attractive any more. Leaf litter and the like isn't necessary if you start a bio-load with the dog food bits and get some algae going.
(That said, dipping mosquito larvae one by one as they come to the surface to breathe is arguably as pleasantly diverting and relaxing as a Sudoku puzzle .. when you have the time to spend 20+ minutes per bucket on harvesting.)
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