Hello, I'm a teacher at NCCL School, in Newark, DE. We are struggling with tiger mosquitos biting our students during our break and lunch recess time. Parents are concerned about their children contracting viruses and want us to spray. We are concerned about killing our native insect population with mass spraying. In the meantime, we are going to put BTI cakes in any standing water areas. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions for managing the mosquito population at our school? Thank you, Kate Kerrane
New Castle County Delaware
Water management will be crucial for mosquito management. Areas with standing water should be drained (containers consistently emptied of water) if possible, but if not an option the B.t.i cakes are a good option. Aerial sprays often use products that can impact insect populations other than mosquitoes. Recently, some pest control operations have included fogging landscapes as an option to manage mosquito populations; however, impacts on other insects has observed in some areas. This has led to pest populations outbreaks on other plants. It sounds as if you are doing as much as you can without harming non-target arthropods. I do not work with mosquitoes therefore I am not familiar with all possible management tactics for this group of insect pests. The university is currently looking to hire a medical entomologist for questions similar to these.