What measures can be taken to eradicate mosquito larvae?
The main methods to control mosquito larval populations are by reducing areas available for adults to breed and also directly killing larvae. So, for example, adult mosquitoes need standing, stagnant water in order to lay their eggs. Getting rid of these sources of standing water, for example by filling in unwanted ditches and removing empty containers that can become filled with rainwater, therefore reduces the available breeding habitat for mosquitoes. Similarly, dripping a small amount of oil on top of standing water creates a thin film of oil over the surface of the water, preventing adults from laying eggs. In addition, the oil prevents the larvae from gaining access to air, suffocating them and killing them. There are other methods for killing larvae too. Directly spraying insecticides onto water is one method, but often not very specific, and can have a negative effect on other forms of aquatic life. One popular method for biocontrol is to introduce other animals which eat mosquito larvae, thus keeping numbers down. Examples include certain species of fish, as well as small crustaceans called copepods.