Mosquito Dunks - BTI
Mosquito dunks are a product designed to prevent mosquito larvae from growing and populating small bodies of water, such as fountains, animal troughs, and fish ponds. They contain a type of bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis, which is beneficial as it infects and kills the larvae of flying insects, including mosquitoes, fungus gnats, and fruit flies.
Mosquito dunks can also be used to prevent the growth of mosquito larvae in reservoirs. Mosquitoes can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus and can cause heartworms in dogs. They can also cause skin infections and scarring if you scratch the bites. Mosquito dunks are a safe and effective alternative to traditional toxic chemicals and will not harm people, pets, wildlife, or fish. Mosquito dunks have been used by professionals for years and are made with a highly specific biological pesticide called Bt-israelensis (Bt-i) that represents a significant breakthrough for the environment.
According to myhealth.alberta.ca, mosquitoes can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus, which can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) or the tissues surrounding it and the spinal cord (meningitis). In some parts of the world, mosquitoes can also carry malaria or yellow fever. However, mosquitoes do not carry the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Dr. Deena Hinshaw has also noted that mosquitoes do not carry COVID-19.
If you notice little black flies coming out of your soil, you might have fungus gnats, which are indoor houseplant pests. Fungus gnats are attracted to the moisture of potting soil and lay their eggs on organic matter near the soil surface. After about three days, the eggs hatch into larvae, which feed on fungi and decaying plant material. If their population explodes, their larvae can start to feed on plants' roots, leading to issues. Mosquito dunks can also kill fungus gnat larvae. To use them, soak a dunk in water overnight, then remove it and use the water to water your plants. The dunk can be reused. The bacteria will infect and kill any larvae in the soil. Repeat this process every time you water your plants for at least a few months.
Some people have reported success using mosquito dunks to control thrips. The active ingredient in mosquito dunks is a bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), which produces toxins that are lethal to mosquito larvae but not harmful to other organisms. Thrips, like mosquitoes, have aquatic larvae, and some growers have reported success using mosquito dunks in their irrigation systems to control thrips in their crops.
However, it is important to note that mosquito dunks are not specifically designed or tested for thrip control, and their effectiveness against thrips may vary depending on the species of thrips and the environmental conditions in which they are used.
Combining Mosquito Dunks and beneficial nematodes such as Pot Poppers can be an effective strategy to control pests such as fungus gnats and thrips in a garden or indoor plant environment. Mosquito Dunks contain a naturally occurring bacteria that produces a toxin lethal to mosquito larvae but harmless to other organisms, including beneficial nematodes. Meanwhile, beneficial nematodes like Pot Poppers are microscopic organisms that actively seek out and feed on soil-dwelling pests like fungus gnats and thrips. By combining the two, you can effectively target pests at different stages of their life cycle and maximize the effectiveness of your pest control efforts.
Adding the predatory mite Cucumeris to the mix can also be a beneficial addition to the pest control strategy. Cucumeris are known to be particularly effective against thrips, as well as moderately effective against spider mites, and other small insect pests. They feed on immature stages of these pests, preventing them from developing into adults and causing further damage. Like beneficial nematodes, Cucumeris are harmless to plants and can be used as part of an integrated pest management approach to control pest populations in a garden or indoor plant environment. When combined with Mosquito Dunks and beneficial nematodes, Cucumeris can provide an additional layer of protection and enhance the overall effectiveness of the pest control strategy.