The mosquito experiment

This month, Baltimore, along with much of the mid-Atlantic has been inundated with rain.  It was already the rainiest July on record as of last week. My yard has also been infested with mosquitos this summer. It was a very wet early summer, then it was extremely hot and dry for two weeks before the most recent deluge. Supposedly, mosquitos will breed in any amount of stagnant water. I thus decided to do an experiment to see how long it takes for a mosquito to find a suitable pool of water and go through a life cycle.  I started this on a whim by putting out some buckets a week ago.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t serious at first and didn’t record the exact date but I think it was Friday, July 20, which was right before the epic rains started. Below is a photo of my two buckets.  As you can see, one is filled to the brim and it is a pretty big bucket.  I haven’t measured the height yet but it looks like it is around 30 cm.  You can see a presumably dead mosquito floating in the orange bucket.  On the bottom, along with plant debris, are what I believe to be egg sacks, which look like 1 cm long beads on a string. The eggs are on the bottom and not floating, which is what I thought they were supposed to do. Maybe they are failures but we will see. There are also some other smaller insects and ants floating or trapped in the surface of the water.  I don’t see any larvae yet. The water was pretty clear as of Thursday of last week so it took about a week for the mosquitos to find the water.  That gives you a time window for how long you have before you should empty out any trapped water.  I plan to run this experiment until the larvae pupate and then I’ll end it before they become full adults.IMG_2834.jpg

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