The Zika virus has people worried sick, and it seems that gardeners may be among the most at risk. Mike McGrath devotes the entire hour of this week’s show to mosquito identification and non-toxic methods of eradication.
Mosquitoes are hot in the news now with the intense worry about the spread of Zika virus, and mosquito season is right around the corner. Mike speaks with Dr. Dina Fonseca, professor of entomology in the school of public health at Rutgers University, about ways to prevent mosquito’s from thriving in your landscape and ways to protect yourself from being bit. Dr. Fonseca has specific and extensive experience with developing tools to examine the introduction, expansion, and transformation of invasive species especially disease vectors, and how they affect local and worldwide disease transmission. She says the vast majority of public health programs do not cover vector-related diseases. Recently, she was summoned to give information at a congressional hearing featuring testimonies by the heads of the CDC and NAID.
In the interview, Dr. Fonseca speaks about protective clothing, bug repellent, and environmental measures you can take to manage mosquitoes. For example, you can use lemon eucalyptus as a bug repellent, because it is as effective as DEET, but has fewer harmful chemicals (just make sure to reapply often!). Also, treat containers of standing water with BTI to kill mosquito offspring upon hatching.
Read the published study that Mike and Dr. Fonseca discussed about the effectiveness of spraying BTI over large areas »
Music credit: The Mosquito Song by Kathy Johnston
Question of the Week:
You can greatly diminish the number of mosquitoes that would otherwise plague your backyard this summer by taking action now.