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How to Kill Mosquitoes with Bti?


Not only are they an annoyance, but they also become disease carriers of diseases such as malaria, dengue, and Zika virus. The proper management of the mosquito population is an important intervention in the general health of the public and one of the most efficient, non-harmful techniques which is the use of Bti mosquito killer. This natural enemy works on larvae; it is environmentally friendly and reduces the impact on other fauna. 

A close-up image of a mosquito on human skin.

What is Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis?

Israelensis is a naturally occurring bacterium found on soil and has the capability of killing insects effectively. During sporulation it produces crystalline proteins known as Cry toxins. These Cry toxins are selective with larvae of certain insects and affect mosquitoes most. When larvae ingest Bti spores, Cry toxins attach to gut cell receptors, causing cell lysis and larval death. Dissolved in water, Bti mosquito killer targets mosquito larvae without harming humans, animals, birds, fish, or beneficial insects.

Identifying Mosquito Breeding Sites 

The first strategy in the attainment of pragmatic use of Bti mosquito killer is identifying areas where mosquitoes breed. Search for stagnant water where female mosquitoes lay eggs, such as ponds, marshes, and birdbaths. Check containers holding water, like flower pots and old tires, for potential mosquito breeding grounds. Inspect these areas frequently, especially after rain, to identify any new mosquito breeding grounds effectively.

Choosing And Use Of Bti Mosquito Killer

Today, there are so many Bti mosquito killers in the market, in the form of granules, briquettes and liquid formulations. Here are two products that are particularly effective:Here are two products that are particularly effective: 

Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis mosquito control Granules: These granules can be spread directly over the water surface in the required fractions or can flow through such fractions over the surface when mixed with water. These species are recommended for application in immense depressions such as ponds of marshes. 

Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis products: It is more beneficial in cases of small and enclosed water sources like the fountain or bird baths and pools within the compound.

Application Steps:

Measure the Area: As a means of arriving at the quantity of Bti product that will be required for the treatment of the area in question, then the size of the area to be treated must be established. Take the medication in the quantity stated in the product’s packaging or as recommended by your doctor. 

Apply the Product: to use bacillus thuringiensis israelensis powder, spread them uniformly across the surface of the water. In the case of briquettes, one just drops them into the water. Liquid formulations can be dissolved in water and applied as a spray using spray equipment or a backpack blower when a large area is to be treated. 

An image showing a mosquito on skin with an inset of Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI) powder, a biological mosquito killer.

Monitor and Reapply: Treat known mosquito breeding grounds and check the areas for larvae afterwards to ensure effectiveness. Bti products typically provide protection lasting between 1 to 30 days, depending on environmental conditions. Boost protection by re-applying Bti based on prevailing environmental conditions and the intensity of the mosquito issue.

You can also check How to kill fungus gnats.

Advantages of Using Bti Mosquito Killer

  • Target Specificity: bacillus thuringiensis israelensis products remain effective for more than a month and is toxic only to mosquito larvae, and does not affect other insects, birds, fish, or mammals. Because of this specificity, Bti is ideal for any Integrated Pest Management programs. 
  • Environmental Safety: In this case, Bti is environmentally friendly, and it degrades into the ecosystems naturally. It produces no chemical residues hence the areas that are treated do not pose any dangers to the wildlife or people. 
  • Resistance Management: Unlike the chemical insecticides, Bti does not promote the occurrence of the resistance in the mosquito population. This makes it convenient for utilization in long term pest control particularly that of the mosquitoes. 

Integrate Bti with other control forms listed above under different types of larval control methods. Choose control methods to accompany Bti treatment based on predominant mosquito species in the region. Consider larval populations’ resistance levels against chemical treatments when selecting control methods with Bti.

Although Bti is very effective, the addition of other methods of controlling the mosquitoes will increase effectiveness. Here are a few additional methods:Here are a few additional methods: 

  • Source Reduction: If at all possible, either drain away all pools of water that stand still for long or find ways to pump away the water constantly. The containers which pull in water should therefore be cleaned and emptied successively. 
  • Biological Control of mosquitoes: Larval sources of mosquitoes should be treated with fish which are known as natural predators and can be introduced in large water containers such as Gambusia affinis. 
  • Physical Barriers: These are the window screens and bed nets which are useful for prevention of mosquitoes from entering homes and also sleeping places. 
  • Community Engagement: To begin with, one should ensure the community is aware on how to prevent and control the breeding of mosquitoes in the community.

Conclusion

A close-up image of a mosquito with a red abdomen feeding on human skin.

The control and management of the larvae of the mosquitoes can be done effectively and environmentally by using Bti known as Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis mosquito control. Bti directly impacts mosquito larvae, reducing adult mosquitoes and subsequently decreasing the chances of mosquito-borne diseases. Constantly inspect areas where water stagnates to control mosquito populations and ensure a more comfortable environment. Re-treat or use other methods in stagnant water areas to further reduce mosquito populations effectively.

References:

  1. Dambach, Peter, et al. “Efficacy of Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis against malaria mosquitoes in northwestern Burkina Faso.” Parasites & vectors 7 (2014): 1-8.
  2. Glare, Travis R., and Maureen O’Callaghan. “Environmental and health impacts of Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis.” Report for the Ministry of Health 57 (1998).

 

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