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Re: West Nile & 'Skeeters

> Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 18:23:24 -0400
> From: Beverly Erlebacher <bae at cs_toronto.edu>
> Subject: Re: West Nile & 'Skeeters
> > Hello folks,  I live the middle on the North American continent. I have
> > always enjoyed raising Mosquito Larvae in the summer.
> >
> > But, after seeing how quickly the newly introduced West Nile
> > Virus has spread on the East Coast, I realize that I am going to have
> > to find a new live food for my summer tubs.
> But, if you make a point of harvesting the larvae weekly, before they
> can turn into adult mosquiotes, you actually *reduce* the number of
> mosquitoes in the vicinity by craftily fooling them into wasting their
> reproductive potential in feeding your fish!
> > I shall really miss my lazy raising of free and very abundant Mosquito
> > Larvae.     But I do not want to contribute to the West Nile
> > Virus spread.
> Just pour the contents of your tubs through a fish net every weekend,
> and feel virtuous instead of guilty. :-)

Beverly has a very valid point - by setting up a larger container which offers
an excellent environment for the mosquito larvae, the adult females are more
likely to lay their eggs on the surface of the water in the container, rather
than in a small, out of the way puddle, or a discarded cup or abandoned tire
which contains some water!  The only thing is, the female mosquitos don't
realize that you are going to eliminate ALL their young by feeding the larvae
to your fish, and thereby eliminate their contribution to the next generation
of adult mosquitos.

I recommend that you harvest the mosquito larvae more frequently than once a
week, especially if your area's temperature is going into the 80's and 90's or
higher; and if you are going to harvest only once a week, that you empty out
the container each week to make certain that that are NO hidden pupae or larvae
which will mature before the next harvest.

Depending on the size of your fish, you may decide to harvest more frequently
just to keep the larvae harvested below the size of adult brine shrimp (and
remember to destroy, freeze, or feed any pupae only to fish that will
IMMEDIATELY consume them, else you could end up with adult female mosquitos
inside your house or fishroom).