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

One thought on “The mosquito experiment

  1. I live in an advanced technological and scientific society, so I dont wash my clothes in the creek or river (usually).

    I wash them in my bathtub or in a bucket (i’m too lazy and broke to use the laundry machines downstairs) . (Science suggests one should do this for something like ‘hygeine’–keep the dis/eases away.) .

    My washing bucket sometimes has a little water in it if i forget to turn it over to dry. .

    I noticed yesterday that i forgot to turn it over maybe 2 or 3 days ago and it had all these mosquito larva in there—little squiggling wormlike things.
    I poured them out –i guess thats cruel but i dont want mosquitos in here–got enough problems already.

    So it seems i can grow mosquitos in here in 2-3 days. (I guess they fly in through the broken window but i see very few even though this area has been flooding off and on for last 2 months. The street out front sometimes looks like a river.
    i worry more about crime than mosquitos –i can handle those but the crime and guns are more difficult to handle.)
    Maybe i can start a mosquito farm. Some people have plant nurserys and sell baby plants. I could sell baby mosquitos. According to the classic ‘Say’s Law’ in economics, ‘supply creates its own demand’. Or, ‘if you build it, they will come’ (eg Nationals Stadium.) Maybe I could even start mosquito farm franchises, like mcdonald’s.

    here’s an in/famous article about water too. (I actually looked this up again today because one of the local people who runs a health clinic in takoma park was promoting homeopathy on the radio (wpfw fm 89.3) So i looked at wikipedia to see what the current views on homeopathy are.
    Seems like the scientific consensus hasn’t really changed.(The controversial NIH complementary medicine program, which i think was coordinated by someone at Gtn U, has a statement on this.)

    I was thinking of checking out that health clinic since its a 20 minute walk away and i might have a health problem–but i sort of decided that may not be the right place to go. There may be no clinics for me so i just have to DIY.

    I knew a Belgium scientist who said homeopathy was popular there, but attributed any efficacy it has to placebo affect.

    Even if its wrong, the ‘water memory’ idea is sort of appealing–a quantum effect. Related to the Frolich model of ‘bose-einstein condensation in biological systems’, popularized by Roger Penrose for a theory of consciousness. .


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