The word mosquito means “little fly” in Spanish and this little, irritating insect is a source of many deadly diseases throughout the world. There are about 3,000 breeds of mosquitoes with a population of about 100 trillion all over the globe. Although mosquitoes larvae are a chief source of food for some fish and the adults are food for birds and some other animals, they are a fatal hazard to the human population.

Mosquitoes transmit a range of diseases like Malaria, Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever and Elephantiasis/ Filariasis in the tropical countries. In the USA the most common disease carried by mosquitoes is Equine Encephalitis which is untreatable to date and has proved fatal in most cases. The Asian Tiger mosquito which is now quite rampant in southern US is the one that spreads encephalitis.

Mosquito-transmitted diseases claim one million lives every year around the world and that’s why a reduction in their population is much sought after. Mosquito control plans are planned by the city corporations to eliminate their growth in the early life cycle stage known as the larval stage. Mosquito breeding sites include standing water and garbage dumping areas where they live and die generally. Some strong flyer breeds of mosquitoes can travel miles at the speed of up to 10 mph even through the rain, forward and backward in search of victim hosts.

Female mosquitoes are the ones which bite and suck blood in order to reproduce. They need blood for their eggs to develop. They generally bite humans, frogs, mammals, snakes and birds, honing in on the host with the help of odor, moisture, carbon dioxide and body warmth. They usually breed around their living spaces to be near their targets.

Laying eggs on standing water, stagnant ponds, ditches and fresh or saltwater wetlands, flowerpots or old auto tires, this is the life cycle of the mosquito: eggs hatching into swimming larvae, pupae and after 24 hours developing into flying adults. Carefully planning the elimination program, the Public Works Department intends to prevent larval development into adult mosquitoes by identifying breeding sites, using larvicide and trapping mosquitoes in their breeding sites As soon as the spraying is planned, the resident public is notified in advance of areas to be sprayed as theses fumes are hazardous to the human population.

These insecticides are the most rigorously tested of all chemicals. They meet stringent standards before being registered for use by the Environmental Protection Agency. Some other effective approaches to eliminate mosquitoes are also used like fish that can be stocked in mosquito breeding sites to feed on the larvae.

The other methods generally employed by the homeowner are mosquito repellant sprays, bug zappers, bird and bat houses and citronella plants though these eliminate only a very small percentage of the mosquito population. As prevention is the best cure, people must look for possible breeding sites in their yard and communities and eliminate them. It is much easier to get rid of them in the egg and larva stage than later.