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Mosquito control can be divided into two areas of responsibility: individual and public. Most often it’s performed following the Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) concept. IMM is based on ecological, economic and social criteria and integrates multidisciplinary methodologies into pest management strategies that are practical and effective to protect public health and the environment and improve the quality of life. IMM strategies are employed in concert with insecticide. These include source reduction, which incorporates physical control (digging ditches and ponds in the target marsh) and biological control [placing live mosquito fish (Gambusia) in the ditches and ponds to eat mosquito larvae]. Other non-chemical control methods include invertebrate predators, parasites and diseases to control mosquito larvae. Adult mosquito biological control by means of birds, bats, dragonflies and frogs has been employed by various agencies. However, supportive data is anecdotal and there is no documented study to show that bats, purple martins, or other predators consume enough adult mosquitoes to be effective control agents.
Pesticides may be applied to control larvae (larvicides) or adults (adulticides). Applications of adulticides or larvicides are made after the presence of mosquitoes has been demonstrated by surveillance procedures. Application is made by prescribed standards. All insecticides must have the name and amount of active ingredient (AI) appearing on the label; examples are DEET and pyrethroids. Check the label before buying. No pesticide is 100 percent safe and care must be exercised in the use of any pesticide. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) contain basic information about a product intended to help you work safely with the material.