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Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Mosquitoes






The three main groups of mosquitoes that spread diseases are anopheles, culex and Aedes. They spread serious diseases like malaria, yellow fever, dengue, encephalitis and filariasis.


Life cycle and habits

Mosquitoes undergo complete metamorphosis. The first three stages are in water. The anopheles mosquitoes breeds in clear moving water; culex mosquito breeds in stagnant water bodies; and the Aedes mosquito breeds in stagnant water, in small containers found in and around houses. The adult mosquito is an active flying insect which lives for about two weeks in the tropics. The female feeds on blood which it needs for the eggs to mature, while the male feeds on plant juices. Most mosquitoes are active between sunset and sunrise.

Control of mosquitoes

This employs
• environmental,
• chemical,
•biological, and 
• genetic methods.

    Environmental methods aimed at the breeding and resting places of mosquitoes. These places are either destroyed or made unsuitable for these purposed. Some of the measures taken include the following:

• draining swamps, ditches, polls,  clogged drains and similar places frequently so that mosquitoes cannot find suitable places to lay eggs.

• disposing unwanted containers such as tin cans and coconut shells which can collect water and provide suitable breeding places for mosquitoes. (This can be done by burning or burying the containers in places where there are no garbage disposal services.)

• adding salt to ant traps, thus making the water  unsuitable for eggs development

• spraying stagnant water bodies which cannot be drained with oils such as kerosene. The oil forms a surface film which prevents larvae the breathing in air. The oil may also enter them, thus killing the larvae and pupae.

• clearing shrubs and dense vegetation around residential Ares so that the adult mosquitoes have no resting or hiding places.

   Chemical methods include the use of insecticide which kill the various stages of the mosquitoes. Insecticide may be spread onto interior surfaces of houses or shelter. Oil used for spraying water bodies is often mixed with insecticide.

   Biological methods use predators, parasites and pathogens to reduce the mosquito population. Mosquito eating fishes Like the guppies are  introduced into ponds and ditches to feed in the larvae and pupae, and thus control the mosquito population.

   Generic control includes the release of sterile male mosquitoes into the environment. When the sterile male mosquitoes mates with a normal female mosquito, the latter does not lay any eggs. If enough sterile male mosquitoes are released into the environment, the mosquito population will eventually die out.

Note: strike male mosquitoes are obtained in the laboratory by exposing normal males to certain Chemicals and radiation.

   Generally , more than one control method is used to reduce the mosquito population. In addition to these method, health education and laws are also used in the fight to control these disease transmitting vectors. The public is constantly educated through posters, newspapers, radio and television on how to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in and around their houses.  In some countries, there are laws to punish people who provide conditions favourable for the breeding of mosquitoes.

Other methods include:

Sleeping under mosquito nets.
Applying physical attack and killing mosquitoes.

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