reptiles, amphibians or various other mammals. Whilemost o us think o mosquitoes as a nuisance, they alsotransmit diseases such as West Nile virus (WNV), dog heartworm, eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), malariaand many, many others.Mosquitoes use a variety o habitats in which to lay their eggs. Some common mosquito habitats areswamps, water-lled tree holes, ornamental ponds,puddles, catch basins, stormwater acilities, gutters,and tires – literally any container that can catch andhold water. Mosquito larvae are generally not ound inast moving streams or in the open areas o ponds andlakes.Mosquito control in New Jersey is based on the concept o Integrated Pest Management and is generally conducted at the county level with input rom theOce o Mosquito Control Coordination and the StateMosquito Control Commission. Mosquito controlprograms utilize education, water management,biological control and regulated pesticides. Mosquitopesticides can be divided into two classes, those that kill larvae (larvicides) and those used to kill adults(adulticides). All individuals applying pesticides or proessional mosquito control agencies in New Jersey are trained and licensed to perorm these activities.
Mosquito Life Cycle
A mosquito goes through complete metamorphosis;egg, larva, pupa and adult (Fig. 4). The rst three stagesare spent in water. Some mosquito species deposit groups o eggs known as rats, while others deposit eggs individually. Some must deposit their eggs directly on the water’s surace while others can deposit them inmoist areas where they may be inundated with water at a later time. Most eggs hatch in 24-48 hours but otherscan sit dormant or years beore hatching. Once theeggs hatch, larvae go through our stages or ‘instars’,molting between each stage. In general mosquito larvaelter eed on suspended organic material but a ew areactually predators and will eat other organisms in their environment. Larval mosquito growth is dependent on ood availability and temperature. Generally the warmer the water the aster the mosquito proceedsthrough its growth cycle. The ourth larval stage moltsinto a pupa which contains the orming adult. The pupadoes not eed but is mobile and has a characteristic ‘C’ shape. The pupal stage can be as short as two days. When the adult is ormed in the pupa, the pupal skinsplits at the water’s surace and the adult slowly orcesitsel out, resting temporarily on the surace beoretaking fight. In the warmest weather a mosquito canproceed rom egg to adult in 5-7 days.
I water remains ater 72 hours, the rain garden shouldbe checked or mosquito larvae. In the early stages o development mosquito larvae are dicult to spot withan untrained eye. As the larvae grow larger and begintransorming into pupae, it is usually possible to spot them with the naked eye. The small vertical larvae willcome to the surace o the water to breathe. The larvaecan also be seen “wriggling” in the water while the‘C’ shaped pupae is usually ound “bouncing” along just beneath the surace o the water (Fig 3.). To check or larvae use a white cup or container to scoop someo the water out o the rain garden to provide a clear background while checking the water or mosquitoes(Fig. 1). I requested, the local mosquito control agency may be able to come and inspect your rain garden or mosquito larvae as well.
Keeping Your Rain Garden Mosquito Free
The best way to keep a rain garden mosquito-ree isto accept the potential or it becoming a mosquitohabitat and design, build, and maintain the raingarden accordingly. A problem can occur when raingardens are sited improperly, poorly constructed, or not maintained properly. Rain gardens should be designedand constructed to drain completely within 72 hoursto avoid standing water and potential mosquito larvalhabitat. As with any stormwater eature, i water does not drain away completely within 72 hours,mosquitoes may have time to complete their lie cycle.Rutgers Water Resources Program suggests 48 hours tomaintain a margin o saety. A rain garden that is sited, installed and maintained inthe recommended manner will most likely not becomemosquito habitat. Rutgers Water Resources Program(WRP) Fact Sheets, guidance and training oer