About Aedes 了解黑斑蚊

常问问答

问: 如何分辨黑斑蚊?
答:野生黑斑蚊通常体型都会比在实验室繁殖的要小。因此要用肉眼鉴定黑斑蚊其实是需要一些经验的。不过,普片上,黑斑蚊的黑白斑线是最容易辨认黑斑蚊的其中特征之一。

问:黑斑蚊可飛多少方圓的路程?它會隨風飄至更遠的地方?它如何上到高樓公寓?
答: 黑斑蚊属于短程飞行蚊虫类。它通常会在其繁殖地大约200米左右的范围活动吸血。黑斑蚊成虫的飞行活动距离虽然普遍上介于200米左右,但是也有研究发现其飞行活动范围可达远至400米。目前为止,没有任何科学研究证明黑斑蚊有随风飘至更远距离的案件。至于黑斑蚊出现在高楼大厦的高层,很大可能是因为随着电梯而上,或逐步随着高楼慢飞而上。

问:黑斑蚊的体重是多少?
答:一般在房子周围发现的黑斑蚊重量约0.35至0.50毫克。

问:蚊子一次会吸取多少血液?
答:蚊子可以每次吸取从0.001到0.010毫升额血液。

​问:蚊子为什么食血?
答:雌蚊吸取血液,以便能够生产自己的卵子。它服务于女性没有显著的滋养作用。雄蚊则不吸取血液。为了得到能量,雄蚊和雌蚊也会从植物中采取花蜜 ,相同于蜜蜂的方式。

问:黑斑蚊的寿命有多久?
答:蚊子的寿命因不同的品种会有差异。大多数成年雌性蚊子的寿命大约4周。斑蚊的卵更可以在没有水的状况下耐旱存活长达6个月,并会在合适条件及有水的供应下,轻易的孵化。

问:黑斑蚊的繁殖處,多在城鄉區?反而在大自然比如森林中更少?為何會這樣?是不是因為人對於它的繁殖太重要了?
答:黑斑蚊是属于清洁水繁殖习性的蚊类。基本上传播骨痛热症的黑斑蚊品种包括白线斑蚊及埃及斑蚊。白线斑蚊大多数在半城乡地区繁殖,它所传播的骨痛热症也属于传统性及普遍上不会致命。而埃及斑蚊是属于城市地区繁殖习性的黑斑蚊品种。埃及斑蚊也是传播溢血骨痛热症的斑蚊品种。这种溢血性骨痛热症也是会致命的骨痛热症病症。因此非常危险。 如果我们详细的研究黑斑蚊的吸血习性,不难发现,这些习性都和我们每天的生活习惯有关。比如,黑斑蚊的吸血高峰时间是在黎明及黄昏期间,这段时间也是人们开始准备一天生活或是晨运,或在傍晚时分的运动时间。过去,黑斑蚊是属于户外吸血的蚊子之一,不过,近年来研究发现黑斑蚊也开始改变吸血习性为户内吸血。这很大可能是因为人们在这段黑斑蚊吸血高峰期的活动空间改为户内了。傍晚时分很多人都不再户外活动而改为在户内看连续剧。

​问: 黑斑蚊從蛋變成蚊的過程和時間是多久?
答:黑斑蚊的生命不長,但繁殖力高。 野生黑斑蚊的寿命通常都是介于一个月左右。雌蚊受精后便会去吸血,因為只有吸血后才能發育產卵。 產卵后經過2-3天可孵化出幼虫孑孓,在水中浮游,經過四次蛻皮變成蛹,又經過3-4天就孵化出成蚊,整個過程大約9-10天。

问: 黑斑蚊是否能传播艾滋病?
答:研究显示,蚊子传播艾滋病的几率等于零。

问: 什么人比较容易吸引黑斑蚊叮咬?
答: 有三大元素吸引黑斑蚊叮咬,第一是体温,第二是二氧化碳,第三是人体释放的乙醇元素。不同人释放不同乙醇元素。也就是说不一样的人有不一样的体味。因此个人对蚊子叮咬的吸引率都不同。

雨水,氣候和黑斑蚊的繁殖:進入6月熱又多雨,我們需要更提防

​问:我國有兩種季候風,每年5月尾至9月的西南季候風,和10月至3月的東北季候風。這情況是否對黑斑蚊的繁殖模式有影響?
答: 在过去,季候風直接会造成雨水量的增加,进而产生了黑斑蚊繁殖的温床。
但是近来气候已经改变了,所以骨痛热症的高峰期已经很难以气候来预测了。无论如何,只要了解黑斑蚊的叮咬及繁殖习性,就可以掌握黑斑蚊叮咬的高低峰期了。骨痛热症的病列多寡是依据黑斑蚊的叮咬习惯。黑斑蚊的叮咬习惯除了大家都知道的叮咬时间外(白天,及两个高峰期,既凌晨日出前和傍晚日落时分),基本上还取决于环境气候。黑斑蚊能否繁殖取决于是否有繁殖地,繁殖地取决于是否有清洁的聚水。在雨季时刻,我们的周遭肯定会有大家无法避免的聚水繁殖地!在有雨水但同时气候炎热的时候,就是黑斑蚊叮咬更加频密的时候。如果是太频密下雨,而且是大雨,这是不利黑斑蚊繁殖的。因为大雨将会冲掉繁殖中的幼虫。黑斑蚊繁殖及叮咬最频密是季节就是当有适度的雨水量(但又不是连续下大雨),同时天气又炎热的时候。因为这个时候就是最适合黑斑蚊繁殖及叮咬的时候。
 
问:根據過去10年,或5年的數據,在一年里,哪一個月份的骨痛熱症病例投報數目有明顯增高的情況?這與我國一年內的天氣變化有關?
答:根据过去的数据,骨痛热症的病列是全年性的,但是,年尾至年初(12月至2月)及年中(6月至8月)显示高峰期。

问:據衛生部指出,炎熱的天氣導致黑斑蚊更加活躍,叮咬人類的機率也會提高。這說法正確嗎?天氣熱也會讓蚊子更短命?於是它們急著吸血以在死前加快繁殖?
答:对的,当天气炎热的时候,黑斑蚊受到了气候环境的压力下,会更频密的叮咬以便尽快产卵繁殖下一代。这时候,如果有些少的聚水就足以让幼虫在最短的时间长大为成虫。基本上幼虫需要7 – 9天的时间长达为成虫,但是,在炎热的气候,它可以缩短至5 – 6 天。这可能跟大自然有关,因为炎热天气可以造成聚水蒸发的快,幼虫必须更快长大避免聚水乾固而死亡。黑斑蚊的卵有一个更怕人的习性,那就是,它可以耐旱长至6个月。意即在黑斑蚊产卵后,如果还没有孵化为幼虫之前,水就乾固了,那么这些乱还是可以在下一个雨季(6个月之内)孵化。

问:黑斑蚊出動的時間,據大家所知,是在黎明和傍晚,這兩個時段的氣溫不高。請解釋。
答:黑斑蚊活跃叮咬的时候,气候必须适中。但是,如果计算季候,那么炎热的季候时会让黑斑蚊更加的加速吸血活动。这并非说黑斑蚊在中午很热的时候才出来吸血,黑斑蚊依然在黎明和傍晚时刻吸血,这个时刻不管天气几热,热带地区的气温也不会太高。黑斑蚊活跃的气温介于26 – 30 度左右。如果是雨季,通常黎明和傍晚时刻的气温比较低,这时候黑斑蚊也因为气温不适中二没有这么活跃吸血。反而是大热天的时候,黎明和傍晚时刻的气温更适合黑斑蚊的活跃。气温是黑斑蚊吸血的其中一个因素,人类的活动习性也是其中一个影响黑斑蚊吸血活动的因素。

问:目前進入6月,過去數個月來天氣非常炎熱,如今開始下大雨。又熱又有雨水的情況,對黑斑蚊的繁殖如何有利?我們又是否需特別留意?進入5月已開始下雨,但病例的投報並不見得增加,如何解釋“熱天又多雨的情況,會讓黑斑蚊繁殖更快,叮咬更多人”這說法?或許,天氣的因素,只會在理論上推測蚊子的繁殖率和行為,不過,人類採取的防範措施,影響了病例的增減,所以我們才看到以上的數據?
答:请看以上。基本上骨痛热症的病列跟黑斑蚊的数量和叮咬习性有关。并非一有雨水及炎热病列就会即刻提升。他也必须看黑斑蚊的繁殖及数量因素。当过去炎热有干燥的季节时,黑斑蚊的数量是相对会减低,但是,当雨季来临时,那些潜在还没孵化的黑斑蚊乱可以就此遇到雨水而孵化,孵化后的幼虫也需要一些时间长大,长大后才可以开始吸血繁殖。如果详细了解雨季及气温,就不难预测骨痛热症的高峰期了。估计在新一季的雨季来临后的几个星期,就会是骨痛热症的高峰期。无论如何,这也视乎雨季的雨量及下雨的频密度。如果下雨的时刻是白天或是黑斑蚊叮咬的高峰时刻(黎明和傍晚),那么黑斑蚊也是无法活跃吸血的。如果下雨的时刻是晚上,而白天炎热,黎明和傍晚时刻的气温又介于26 至30 度,那么黑斑蚊就会非常活跃吸血了。除了大自然气候的因素,骨痛热症的病列也取决于区域人民的醒觉及防范程度。

问:WHO的數據、新加坡的數據,都顯示2015年全球各地的骨痛熱症案例特別高。到底發生了什麼事?
答:骨痛热症是属于城市地区蚊媒病症。可以传染溢血骨痛热症的埃及斑蚊是在城市地区繁殖的黑斑蚊。因此骨痛热症也往往被标签为城市蚊媒病症。新加坡有接近99%的地区都属于城市地区,因此骨痛热症相对来说是会比其他国家来的高。而且,如新加坡般的已发展城市国家,他的建筑构造有很多隐藏的黑斑蚊繁殖地区。这些我们看不到也很难找到的隐藏黑斑蚊繁殖地,把整个控制黑斑蚊的工作难度大大提升。其中它的通水沟渠都是遮荫式的,里面是否有聚水,除非翻开来看,谁都不知道,这些隐藏式的繁殖地往往都是黑斑蚊的温床。还有,城市人各扫门前雪的心态和态度,也使黑斑蚊控制面对更大的挑战。

问:黑斑蚊的蛋,可在干燥的情況下存活(據知是6個月),如今雨水降臨,理論上,這期間蚊子的繁殖量會高?我們需提防?我們是否正進入骨痛熱症高峰期?
答:是的。雨季来临后的几个星期将会是黑斑蚊繁殖的高峰期。至于是否属于骨痛热症传播的高峰期,要视乎当时的气候及气温。關於防範黑斑蚊,我想從兩個方向談。第一是從普通人可以做的事,第二是專家們做的事。

问:人其實在家中被黑斑蚊叮的風險更大?因為黑斑蚊在人類的家中,會更安全,沒有風雨,沒有天敵。
答: 过去黑斑蚊属于户外滋生,户外叮咬性习的蚊子。近年来,黑斑蚊已经改变生活性习至户外户内滋生,也户内户外叮咬了。在避免被黑斑蚊叮咬的工作上,户内防护比较容易,因为我们有很多户内个人防护的方式。但是避免户外被叮咬就比较棘手。

问:有人說,其實黑斑蚊是靠人類存活、繁殖得更快,因為人類在生活中,製造了很多溫床給他們。
答:因为黑斑蚊的繁殖习性属于清洁水繁殖,而人们也习惯性对清洁的聚水没有太大的抗拒,因此,这往往造成了人们不会太在意要去清理清洁聚水而提供了黑斑蚊滋生的温床。更甚的是,每次在抗蚊醒觉运动,人们都是习惯性的把污水清理,但并没有认真的确保不会聚水,在这种情况下,聚水地会从污水聚水(其他蚊子滋生地,如家蚊)变成清洁水聚水(黑斑蚊滋生地),造成提供了更多的黑斑蚊滋生温床。

问:有一種現象是,發展得越密集的住宅區,黑斑蚊就更多,而且骨痛熱症也傳播得快。所以骨痛熱症案例在城市比鄉村還多?
答: 当一个地区发展的迅速,但却缺少了防止蚊子滋生建筑构造的计划,往往在发展中制造了很多聚水地。而因为城市清洁的情况,造成聚水地也是清洁的水而提供了很多黑斑蚊滋生地。城市地区的滋生环境是非常适合黑斑蚊滋生,因为大多数聚水都属于清洁水,而且这些聚水地都是隐秘的。
比如说,很多沟渠已经是属于遮盖式的了,意即沟渠内的情况不会容易的被人们看到。如果在建构时不专业而造成了一些可以聚水的地方,这些地方即使聚水量不大,也足以成为黑斑蚊的繁殖地了。每次卫生部人员检查黑斑蚊滋生地,多数都往住宅检查,往往忽略了这些所谓的没有主人的“没人地No Man Land”。
在建筑工地里,往往也是黑斑蚊滋生的最大繁殖地。尤其是那些停顿的建筑工程更是令人担忧。这些黑斑蚊滋生地所繁殖的数量,往往都是住宅繁殖量的几万倍以上。停顿的建筑工程意即发展商已经没有能力财力继续发展,所以政府要采取罚款行动也罚“人”无门。这种情况下,黑斑蚊的滋生将更加严重。
骨痛热症病列的城乡比较不是因为黑斑蚊的数量,而是黑斑蚊的品种。

问:在大自然中,黑斑蚊的溫床不會比人類的住宅區多?
答:目前为止还没有研究比较黑斑蚊的繁殖温床对比人类的住宅区。不过乡下斑蚊(白线斑蚊)普遍生长在自然的清洁水繁殖地,而城市斑蚊(埃及斑蚊)普遍生长在人为的清洁水繁殖地。

问:普通人除了進行大掃除,還能做些什麼?
答:大家必须确保自家周围没有聚水以防黑斑蚊滋生,这是每个公民的最基本防蚊责任。因为黑斑蚊的飞行距离只是200米左右,如果每个住宅区的居民都能够合作,除了自家的范围,也确保周边公众地包括公园等没有聚水地,那么就可以防护该住宅区免被黑斑蚊侵略了。但是,如果只是一户做,而其他邻居都不做,就会面对很大的威胁了。

问:如何保護孩童?你給父母的建議是什麼?孩童上下課的時間,是黑斑蚊活躍叮咬的時段。
答:因为学生上放学的时间都是黑斑蚊叮咬的高峰期,因此我建议每间学校都必须有防蚊措施。包括定期进行蚊雾喷射,定期检查学校范围消除蚊子滋生地,每间课室都用室内防蚊器。

问:在專家們的滅蚊大方向中,消滅黑斑蚊的蛋,是最大的目標? ​
答:要根除黑斑蚊滋生地并非一件简单的任务,因为有太多太多我们无法找寻得到的滋生地。所以减少滋生地只是其中一个方式。模仿滋生地,引诱黑斑蚊产卵然后击杀幼虫更是重要。

问:在專家的眼中,目前最好的控制方式是什麼?
答:没有单一的控制法是最有效的。因此,我们必须用综合斑蚊控制法。

问:請你分享化學藥物(讓蚊子變成無能,無法繁殖)在這方面的使用,專家是否考慮到環境的污染?
答:最好的控制黑斑蚊的方法就是综合几种方式一起进行。在政府方面,可以用药物喷射来大型减少蚊子数量,同时给予民众教育醒觉如何减少或除掉斑蚊的滋生地。至于民众,除了根除斑蚊滋生地以外,可以做的就是自身防护。基本上马来西亚政府对蚊药的监控很严,意即所有合法批准的蚊药都是有效及在正确使用下是安全的。公众家用杀虫剂基本上不会有环境污染的问题,因为它的剂量不足以构成环境污染及危害使用者的安全。

问:当今,最有效的黑斑蚊控制法是什么?
答:目前,化学药物是最有效的控制法。市场有很多不同品牌的化学药物驱蚊剂而我们要选择的是,那一种化学药物对人类是最安全的。




FAQ

Q:  How to differential the Aedes mosquitoes ?
A:Usually , the size of the wild Aedes  will be smaller compare to the Aedes mosquito breded in the laboratory.
However, black and white spotted Aedes line is one of the most easily recognizable characteristics of Aedes mosquito.

Q:  How fast can Aedes mosquitoes fly?
A:Depending upon the species, Aedes mosquitoes can fly at about 1 to 3 km per hour.

Q:  How far can Aedes mosquitoes fly?
A:Aedes Mosquito species preferring to breed around the house, like the Aedes spp.
Aedes Mosquito, have limited flight ranges of about  200 meters.

Q:  How much do they weigh?
A:Smaller species found around houses commonly weigh about 0.35 to 0.50 milligrams.

Q:  How much blood does a mosquito take in a meal?
A:When feeding to repletion, mosquitoes imbibe anywhere from 0.001 to 0.010 milliliter.
 
Q:  Why do mosquitoes feed on blood?
A:Female mosquitoes imbibe blood so that they could produce their eggs. It serves no significant nourishment function for the female. Males do not take blood meals at all. In order to obtain energy, both male and female mosquitoes feed upon plant nectars - much in the same manner as honeybees.

Q:  How long do Aedes mosquitoes live?
A:Lifespan vary by species. Most adult female mosquitoes live 2-3 weeks. Aedes' eggs can survived for up to 6 months without water, and would be readily hatch when the condition is right, with water  available.

Q:Can Aedes mosquitoes transmit AIDS?
A:Many studies have been conducted on this issue in the United States and abroad. To my knowledge, there has never been a successful transfer of the virus from an infected source to another host by bloodfeeding insects under experimental conditions. The experts have concluded that the insects are not capable of such transmission. Many biological reasons would lead one to this same conclusion, but the extensive experimental studies are the most powerful evidence for the conclusion.
  1. HIV DOES NOT replicate in mosquitoes. Thus, mosquitoes cannot be a biological vector as they are for malaria, yellow fever, or dengue. In fact, mosquitoes digest the virus that causes AIDS.
  2. There is no possibility of mechanical transmission (i.e., flying contaminated syringes); even though we all know that HIV can be transmitted by dirty needles. However, the amount of ''blood'' on a mosquitoes' mouth parts is tiny compared to what is found on a ''dirty'' needle. Thus, the risk is proportionally smaller. Calculations based on the mechanical transmission of anthrax and Rift Valley fever virus, both of which produce very high titers in blood, unlike HIV, showed that it would take about 10,000,000 mosquitoes that first fed on a person with AIDS and then continued feeding on a susceptible person to get 1 transmission.
  3. Mosquitoes are not flying hypodermic needles. Mosquitoes regurgitate saliva into the bite wound (the normal route for disease transmission) through a separate tube from that through which it imbibes blood.

Q:How do Aedes mosquitoes get into my house?
A:Aedes Mosquitoes are singularly adept at entering houses through any portal available, be it through broken window or door screens, attic soffits or through bathroom exhaust vents. A favorite resting spot is the garage, so take care to keep resting female mosquitoes from coming into the house through the garage.

Q:What can homeowners do to reduce Aedes mosquito bites?
A:If possible, schedule your activities to avoid the times when mosquitoes are most active - usually dawn and dusk (5am to 7am & 5pm to 7pm). You should also dress in light, loose-fitting clothing. If you are staying on a landed property in Singapore, you could use the Dr K Solutions' MozOne Mini Aerosol to spray around the plants  or glass window panel to prevent mosquitoes from coming nearer to your house.  Citronella candles have a mild repellent effect, but do not offer significantly more protection than other candles producing smoke.

Q:Are backyard misting systems effective to prevent Aedes mosquito breeding?
A:Scheduled sprays used by these misters may needlessly broadcast pesticides into the environment, affecting mosquitoes and non-target insects alike. Modern mosquito control strategies emphasize an integrated approach, based upon a profound knowledge of the target, so that's its various vulnerabilities can be exploited by the Mosquito Home System we've developed for that purpose. This eco friendly technique does not releases any chemicals into the air nor environment.  Effective mosquito control requires continual survey of adult mosquito densities to determine if any additional triggers for control are needed.  The MHS is 4-in-1 complete Aedes spp control solution. This reduces the use of adulticides to only those emergency times when they are required.

Q:Do Bug-Zappers work?
A:Black light insect electrocution devices (Bug Zappers, etc.) are purchased in huge quantities by homeowners due to their demonstrated ability to attract and kill thousands of insects over a 24 hr. period. One industry representative estimates that over 1.75 million of these devices are purchased annually in the U.S. But do they really control pest insects? Bug zappers do indeed kill some mosquitoes. However, the only two controlled studies conducted to date by independent investigators at the University of Notre Dame showed that mosquitoes comprised merely 4.1% and 6.4% respectively of the daily catch over an entire season. Even more important was the finding in both studies that there was no significant difference in the number of mosquitoes found in yards with or without bug zappers. What is particularly disconcerting, however, is the number of non-pest insects that comprise the vast majority of trap catch. Many of these insects are beneficial predators on other insect pests. They in turn constitute a major part of the diet of many songbirds. Indeed, reduced numbers of moth and beetle prey species have contributed significantly to the decline of songbird populations in many affluent suburbs. Insect electrocution devices undoubtedly bear some responsibility for this phenomenon. Mosquitoes continue to be more attracted to humans than to the devices. One study conducted in homeowners' backyards showed that of the insects killed by these devices, only 0.13% were female mosquitoes. An estimated 71 billion to 350 billion beneficial insects may be killed annually in the United States by these electrocuting devices.

​Q:Do Ultrasonic devices work?
A:At least 10 studies in the past 15 years have unanimously denounced ultrasonic devices as having no repellency value whatsoever. Yet, consumers flock in droves to hardware stores to purchase these contraptions. Why? The discovery that mosquitoes locate mates in mating swarms via wing beat frequency generated a great deal of research into ultrasound as a potential source of environmentally-friendly control. Yet, all attempts to affect mosquito behavior by ultrasound have fizzled, despite enormous amounts of money spent upon research and development. To be sure, the clever, high-tech, and imperceptible (by humans) use of ultrasound proved to be an exceedingly effective marketing tool for the repeller manufacturers. Homeowners were urged to buy ultrasonic repellers and the like to rid their houses of pests without the need to inhale ''even one breath of poisonous spray''. This appeal to the public's chemophobia, while extremely effective in diverting attention away from proven preventive and control measures (and toward their repeller products), has undermined an unbiased review of the subject by consumers desperate for a clean, effective, nonchemical means of mosquito control. Unfortunately, no such miracle cure exists. A pioneering study testing five different ultrasonic devices against four mosquito species convincingly demonstrated that ultrasound in the 20-70 kHz range used by these devices had no effect on reorienting flight by female mosquitoes either toward or away from human subjects. Additional tests have shown that sound generators capable of a wide range of frequencies were also ineffective in repelling mosquitoes. The fact is that these devices just do not work - marketing claims to the contrary.

Q:Do mosquito traps work?
A:An enormous amount of consumer interest has been generated by the marketing of new devices designed to attract, then either trap or kill, mosquitoes. The general idea is to reduce the number of questing mosquitoes that would otherwise be afflicting the homeowner. Many products even claim to significantly reduce or even collapse local mosquito populations by decreasing the number of egg-laying females through their capture. All of these traps utilize some form of attractant that lures the host-seeking female mosquitoes to a capture or killing device. In some cases, mosquitoes are captured via an impellor fan that suctions them into a net, where they desiccate while other trapping systems use a sticky surface to which the mosquitoes adhere when they land. Still others utilize an electric grid to electrocute mosquitoes drawn into contact. These are not set-and-forget devices. Each requires some level of maintenance, i.e. propane tanks need replacement, capture nets need emptying, adhesive boards require replacement and grids require cleaning to ensure their continued effectiveness, particularly in areas of high catch. The process of a mosquito questing for a blood meal involves a complex, interconnected cascade of behaviors, each probably having its own cues, be they visual, thermal, or olfactory. The complexity of these questing behaviors may account for the bewildering variations in trapping efficiency noted for certain species of mosquitoes at different times, seasons and places.  There is some anecdotal evidence that these baited traps, indeed, capture more females of some species than others, depending, to some extent, on the concentration of carbon dioxide emitted and the mosquito species present. There may also be seasonal and circadian variables that affect mosquito responses to certain attractants. Nonetheless, these devices will trap and kill measurable numbers of mosquitoes. Whether this will produce a noticeable reduction in the mosquito population in each case will depend upon a number of factors, e.g. individual tolerance level, absolute mosquito population size, proximity, size and type of breeding habitat producing re-infestation, wind velocity and direction, and species of mosquito present, and others. Thus, the homeowner must still use repellents and practice source reduction methods as adjuncts to realize any measure of relief. Please be cautioned against putting too much faith in traps as your sole means of control. These traps represent an evolving technology that is a most welcome addition to our mosquito control armamentarium. Their potential is great, but shouldn't be overestimated. It's highly unlikely that these devices, whatever their improvements, will ever fully supplant organized community-wide mosquito control programs, for there is no single silver bullet that will prove to be the ultimate answer to mosquito problems.

Q:Do bats serve as an effective mosquito control?
A:Recently the public has shown increased interest in the value of insectivorous species of bats in controlling mosquitoes. Although untested lately, this is not a new idea. During the 1920's several bat towers were constructed near San Antonio, Texas, in order to help control malarial mosquitoes. Mosquito populations were not affected and the project was discontinued. Bats in temperate areas of the world are almost exclusively insectivorous. Food items identified in their diet are primarily beetles, wasps, and moths. Mosquitoes have comprised less than 1% of gut contents of wild caught bats in all studies to date. Bats tend to be opportunistic feeders. They do not appear to specialize on particular types of insects, but will feed on whatever food source presents itself. Large, concentrated populations of mosquitoes could provide adequate nutrition in the absence of alternative food. However, a moth provides much more nutritional value per capture than a mosquito. M.D. Tuttle, a world authority on bats, is often quoted for his anecdotal report that bats effectively controlled mosquito populations at a popular resort in New York State. While there is no doubt that bats have probably played a visible, if not prominent, role in reducing the mosquito problems in many areas, the natural abatement of mosquito populations is an extremely complex process to study, comprising poorly known ecological relationships. Tuttle attempts to underscore the bats role by citing an experiment in which bats released into a laboratory room filled with mosquitoes caught up to 10 mosquitoes per minute. He extrapolated this value to 600 mosquitoes per hour. Thus, a colony of 500 bats could consume over a quarter of a million mosquitoes per hour. Impressive numbers indeed, but singularly unrealistic when based upon a study where bats were confined in a room with mosquitoes as their only food source. There is no question that bats eat mosquitoes, but to utilize them as the sole measure of control would be folly indeed, particularly considering the capacity of both mosquitoes and bats to transmit diseases.

Q:How do mosquito control authority control mosquitoes?
A:The integrated mosquito management methods currently employed by organized control districts and endorsed by the CDC and EPA are comprehensive and specifically tailored to safely counter each stage of the mosquito life cycle. Larval control through water management and source reduction, where compatible with other land management uses, is a prudent pest management alternative - as is use of the environmentally friendly EPA-approved larvicides currently available. When source elimination or larval control measures are clearly inadequate, or in the case of imminent disease, the EPA and CDC have emphasized in a published joint statement the need for considered application of adulticides by certified applicators trained in the special handling characteristics of these products.
A successful mosquito management program should include the following elements:
  1. Larval and adult mosquito sampling;
  2. Source reduction;
  3. Biological control using native or introduced predators and parasites of mosquitoes,
  4. Larviciding and adulticiding, when indicated by surveillance;
  5. Resistance monitoring;
  6. Disease surveillance in mosquitoes, birds, horses and humans, and
  7. Public education.

Q:If Aedes mosquitoes were eradicated, how would this affect the ecosystem?
A:Given that Nature abhors a vacuum, other species will fill the niches vacated by the mosquitoes after an initial shuffling period of variable length. Be advised, though, that species replacing mosquitoes may be even worse - it's extremely difficult to predict. Aedes Mosquitoes' ability to adapt to changing environments would make them all but impossible to eradicate, especially the dengue vector: Aedes spp.

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