Mosquito Control // 3rd May 2013 // 3 notes
Before I took up this opportunity with MMCD, I was unaware about their use of chemical pesticides used to regulate the mosquito nuisance. My only encounter with MMCD was only once when I saw them over the Coon Rapids Damn one early summer morning last year when I saw a team pouring contents from 5 gallon white buckets into the river. What they used was a liquid version of what we call Methoprenea (we use a pellet version), a hormonal growth regulator which only works for mosquito and black fly/gnats. This chemical is nontoxic to human and the environment as it specifically only works on the targeted pests. The effectiveness of this product works up to 30 days and is only used to prevent larvae from fully morphing into the flying biting adult. (Did you know that in Minnesota, there are about 50 types of mosquitoes yet not all of them are harmful? Furthermore, did you know that only the females bite?) This can be bought at the store without restriction—through research, one can buy 2.5 pounds worth of pellets for 35 bucks.
Another form of control we use is called Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis (BTI). BTI is a bacteria mixed with grounded corn cob for easy spreading. Mosquito start their lives underwater as a larvae after they hatch from their egg. As a larvae, they consume a variety of things available and they also eat bacteria. This is how BTI has become an effective method of treatment because the larvae will consume this bacteria product and within a few days, the larvae will die. Similar to the previous product discussed, BTI also has no effect on other organisms and the environment which makes it an environmentally friendly product…unless you like mosquitoes have at it. This product is also available at store and is much cheaper, retailing at $15 for 2 pounds worth of control, yet it is only effective up to a few days after treatment.
I feel rather accomplished today after being held back inside for two hours because of the anticipated forces of nature, yet with the lesser amount of time after being given the green light to hit the road, I still managed to fill 7 vials of larvae from the field. On a normal day for me so far, I would be lucky to fill 2 vials.
I share with you this information because not everyone is informed of the applied pesticides used to control mosquitoes. One is not to blame because in general, chemical is a scary thing especially pesticides. Rest assured now that MMCD only uses environmentally friendly and EPA/USDA approved chemicals to help control these pests. While we may not be able to fully eliminate the problem, we are trying to help lessen the nuisance during our warm season, eliminating them entirely is also not our objective if you are wondering.
Next week, I may be given instruction to do field collection of Black Fly larvae on the river/creek if instructed to do so by my foreman. Exciting! Good day, good day!