APPENDIX II-BH: Where to Buy Damselfly Larvae + Two Articles Discussing Damselflies Who Eat Mosquio Larvae.


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Berkshire Biological

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Damselfly Larvae, 10

Damselfly Larvae, 10


Damselfly Larvae, class of 10. This aquatic stage of ...

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Damselfly Larvae, 100

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Damselfly Larvae, class of 100 This aquatic stage ...

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Damselfly Larvae, 25

Damselfly Larvae, 25


Damselfly larvae, class of 25. This aquatic stage of ...

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Damselfly Larvae, 50

Damselfly Larvae, 50


Damselfly Larvae, class of 50. This aquatic stage ...

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Ladybugs, 100

Ladybugs, 100


Ladybugs, class of 100. An excellent subject for ...

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1: J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 1988 Jun;4(2):129-31.Links

A laboratory study of predation by damselfly nymphs, Enallagma civile, upon mosquito larvae, Culex tarsalis.

Miura T, Takahashi RM.

University of California Mosquito Control Research Laboratory, Parlier 93648.

The nymph of the damselfly, Enallagma civile, feeds on the larvae of the mosquito Culex tarsalis amongst a variety of other small aquatic invertebrates. Average daily consumption of 3rd instar Cx. tarsalis larvae by the last nymphal stage of E. civile was 6.06 larvae (range 4.64-8.67). Experiments in which density of prey (mosquito larvae) and predators (E. civile nymphs) were varied, showed that more prey was consumed as prey density increased. However, fewer prey were consumed at higher predator densities; mutual interferences among predators at higher predator densities was suspected.

PMID: 3193108 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Related Links

         Predatory activity of Rhantus sikkimensis and larvae of Toxorhynchites splendens on mosquito larvae in Darjeeling, India. [J Vector Borne Dis. 2006]

         The prey consumption and prey preference of the larvae of the mosquito Culex (Lutzia) raptor on the larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus. [Experientia. 1996]

         Laboratory studies on the predatory potential of dragon-fly nymphs on mosquito larvae. [J Commun Dis. 2003]

         Population interactions between Culex vishnui mosquitoes and their natural enemies in Pondicherry, India. [J Vector Ecol. 2006]

         Predatory capacity and prey selectivity of nymphs of the dragonfly Pantala hymenaea. [J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2005]

See all Related Articles...

Predatory capacity and prey selectivity of nymphs of the dragonfly Pantala hymenaea.

J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2005 Sep; 21(3):328-30.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Bug off

Copyright 2005 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.


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BATS AND DRAGONFLIES are known predators of mosquitos. To find out how you might bring these mosquito killers to your area, check out these Web sites: Bat Conservation International has information on its Web site on how to build a bat house and use bats as mosquito control. The Web site doesn't guarantee, however, that the bat house will attract bats, so it's a bit of a gamble. The site also has a section with frequently asked questions and answers about bats and bat houses. Berkshire Biological sells and ships beneficial insects insects that eat bad insects. They list dragonfly nymphs, but only sell them in the spring.


PEST MANAGEMENT experts recommend that your first step in fighting mosquitos is to eliminate anywhere on your property where standing water allows them a place to breed, including:

Swing sets

Children's toys




Pools with untreated water

Planters or flowerpots


FOR IDEAS ON controlling pests while minimizing or eliminating the use of chemicals, see the Web site of Maine's Board of Pesticides Control at


ONE OF THE big reasons to fight mosquitos is that they can spread West Nile Virus. As of July 12, no human cases of the virus in Maine this year had been reported to the national Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. For more information on the virus and mosquito control, check out the CDC Web site at

To top of story

Mosquito control seems like an easy thing. Kill the mosquito before it bites you.

Capture it with a propane-powered Mosquito Magnet. Suffocate it with a can of fogger. Zap it with an electric zapper.

But each of these actions has a reaction, not always a desirable one. The zappers, which have been around since the 1970s, can kill beneficial bugs, including ones that eat mosquitoes and ones that pollinate flowering plants. Foggers can be indiscriminate killers too, and use potentially dangerous chemicals.

Mosquito Magnets, which attract the critters with carbon dioxide, supposedly don't kill other bugs. But like any device that uses an attractant, they might attract more than you'd normally have.

So what's a person to do? Stay inside all summer?

"You have to make a choice," said Lance Walheim, author of "Gardening for Dummies" and a spokesman for Bayer Advance lawn and garden products. "Spraying and zappers may kill beneficial (bugs) but (if you don't do something) you might not be able to go out and enjoy your yard and garden anyway."


The choices, today, are many and varied. Many pest control experts say the best way to control backyard pests is to use a combination of methods some that are long-term preventative measures, others that provide immediate relief.

There are a variety of methods being used nowadays to control backyard biting bugs mosquitos, black flies, No-See-Ums that target specific pests. The Mosquito Magnet is one, another is the so-called "mosquito dunk," which is a golf-ball-size lump of larvicide. Dissolve the mosquito dunks in your man-made pond, or any body of water that doesn't flow off your property, and you'll kill mosquito eggs before they hatch.

"They use a bacteria, so they're environmentally friendly," said Jim Dill, a pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Orono. "They work pretty well."

If the water on your property does connect to a stream or river or any "waters of the state," you need a permit to use a "dunk," Dill said.

Pest management experts, as well as folks who sell bug stuff at your local hardware store, will also tell you that keeping your backyard cookouts free of bugs in summer is a nearly year-round job.

"The first thing we tell people is to get rid of the standing water, in tire swings, kids' toys, barrels just dump them over whenever they fill up," said Joe Duty, garden department manager at the Home Depot store in Portland.

Water needs to be removed whenever it's 45 or 50 degrees during the day. This way, you eliminate some of the places mosquitos breed.

Home Depot is one of the places that sells larvicides, or "dunks," made by Summit. They cost about $9 for a pack of six, Duty said.

Another method that is unconventional and hopefully long-term, is bringing predators into your yard to eat the mosquitos, namely, bats and dragonflies. Pest experts agree that both eat a lot of mosquitoes, but are mixed on whether they eat enough to really make a dent in the population.

Still, predators are an option more and more people are exploring, and there's lots of information available on how to use them.

Bat Conservation International has information on its Web site ( on how to build a bat house and use bats as mosquito control. The Web site doesn't guarantee, however, that the bat house will attract bats, so it's a bit of a gamble.


Several towns in coastal New Hampshire and southern Maine have purchased dragonfly nymphs and sold them to residents. The idea is that if enough people have dragonflies on their property, a dent will be made in the mosquito population. Both Wells and Scarborough had such programs this year, but dragonflies hatch in May, so no more nymphs are available this year.

Where does one get dragonfly nymphs? Scarborough residents got theirs from a company called Berkshire Biological, which specializes in selling insects and animals to schools. The company's Web site ( offers a range of beneficial insects for sale, including dragonfly larvae, at a price of $14 for 25.

"There's no question dragonflies help," said Dick Dearborn, a retired state entomologist and president of Maine's society of entomologists. "But they're just one tool."


Friends of Casco Bay, a group that helps promote the health of coastal waters, has cited studies that show storm water runoff from local communities flowing into Casco Bay carries lawn chemicals and pesticides. No specific studies have been made to see if aerial pesticides show up in storm water runoff as well.

Still, if you're worried about putting more chemicals into the air and waters, then you probably don't want to use a spray can of fogger. Years ago, people thought nothing about spraying their backyard with a fogger so that it saturated the area and kept it mosquito-free for the duration of a cookout.

But today, with all the other choices for pest control, foggers have fallen out of fashion, said Duty at Home Depot. He still sells them, but as he picks up a can of Black Flag spray fogger he reads the large warning on the label: "Hazardous to humans and domestic animals."

Still, Duty says foggers, at $10 a can, are an economical way to get immediate relief.

A more expensive, newer tool in the war on backyard pests is the Mosquito Magnet and other similar mosquito attracting devices.

These are 2-foot-tall machines powered by a 20-pound propane tank that use carbon dioxide as a primary attractant for the mosquitoes. The idea is that carbon dioxide is what we give off when we breathe, and what attracts mosquitos to us.

When mosquitos are close enough, a second attractant, Octenol, lures them into a funnel and they get sucked into the machine, which you have to empty once every three weeks or so.

The units run from about $300 for one that's supposed to keep a half-acre mosquito free, to about $1,200 for a solar and battery-powered one that takes care of an acre and a half, Duty said.

To really be effective, Mosquito Magnets have to begin running in March, or as soon as daytime temperatures reach 45 to 50 degrees.

"Those Mosquito Magnets will do a number on mosquitos, no question, but the question is will they draw more mosquitos to your land than they eliminate?" asks Dearborn, the entomologist.

Dearborn thinks repellents are an efficient way to fight mosquitos: Instead of trying to eliminate the bugs from your whole yard, just keep them way from you.

Some new repellents today use natural compounds, such as oil of lemon eucalyptus (found in a lotion called "Off Botanicals"). Off Botanicals is so new that the maker has put on the label that it is not recommended for use on children under 3, even though the Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates repellents, has not required such a warning.

Other more common repellents, such as regular Off and Cutter, may include DEET, which is not recommended for use on infants 2 months old and younger.

"Basically you have to see what works with your body chemistry," said Dearborn.

And you just have to see what works, period, when it comes to killing backyard biting bugs.

Or stay indoors all summer.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at: