- Canada has some of the most extensive and productive mosquito breeding grounds to be found anywhere. Nearly 74 different kinds of mosquito breed in our swamps and pools (with about 40 of them in Quebec).
- Mosquitoes in Canada transmit only 1 disease: sleeping sickness of horses.
- There are 4 lifecycle stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult.
- Mosquito eggs are pale and oblong when first laid. They soon turn black when they have been exposed to light and air. They are laid on water or on the ground in damp places.
- The larva feeds on tiny particles of plant or animal matter found in water, and grows by moulting its skin.
- After moulting, adults feed on nectar then mate. The males then die and females search out a blood meal (without which they cannot form eggs).
How to Control
- Total control is impractical and harmful for the mosquito's natural predators.
- The time to start controlling mosquitoes is in early spring when the larvae are developing.
- The best way to control the mosquito population is to involve as many people as possible, since mosquitoes are not single household pests.
- Wear protective clothing and insect repellent.
- Mosquitoes only breed in standing water, so the best way to prevent breeding is to remove standing water. Make sure that there are no containers lying about. Clean gutters and drains. Properly maintain swimming pools and birdbaths.
- For outdoor lighting, use yellow lights. These lights do not attract insects.
- Keep tight-fitting mesh (14-18 wires/inch) screen over windows and doors.
- Carbamates are suggested to kill the larvae since they have the ability to degenerate and become harmless after their work is done.
- Skin-So-Soft by Avon has been shown to repel mosquitoes at least for a little while.
- Beware! Recently marketed ultrasonic repellers do not work! Actually, tests indicated that those using the repellers got between 4-7% more bites.
- Some researchers have tried to use a parasitic flatworm against mosquito larvae. They still have not reached any conclusive results, but are optimistic.