Permaculture and mosquitoes

YankeePerm YankeePerm at
Thu Jan 8 12:30:11 EST 1998

In a message dated 1/8/98 7:11:45 AM, you wrote:

<<'The Wet' has well and truly arrived for us (we live in the tropical

highlands of Australia), and so have the mosquitoes....they are a vague

hassle to us locals but a menace to any visitors, and with a rather large

dengue fever threat in Cairns (which is 70 km away) we have decided to take


Already we have fish in all standing water, however that does not stop them

from breeding in the lush vegetation we have planted.  Obviously screening

and mosquito nets work - but we'd love to hear of your experiences with

minimising the dreaded insect!  

We look forward to any information, experiences, or ideas (whacky or


Cheers, Lorraine and Rene van Raders>>

Interesting timing, as I spent much of yesterday trapping and transferring
mosquito fish, blue tilapia, and frye of mudfish to standing water around the
place.  As it is winter here, vegetation is not so lush, and our animals keep
things pretty well munched down--pasture is getting in pretty good shape and
chickens eat anything and everything except the trees themselves.  

We find that we have a lot of species of frogs which, I believe, do play a
role in mosquito control.  We live among many species of tree frogs, including
the one after which we named our place, Barking Frogs Farm.  Some, like the
little cricket frog, must eat zillions of mosquitoes.  We also have a huge
spider population, and they form a maze of webs across the tops of the
vegetation, even whatever sticks up above our recently flooded areas (out of
season, at that), and I'm sure mosquitoes area about all they are getting over
the water.

Moreover, we have dragon flies by the millions.  On balmy evenings, the
darkening sky buzzes and glistens from their irridescence and hum as they
gobble up mosquitoes, smaller butterflies and moths, and, when those fall
short, each other.  (A canabalist control agent has real advantages in control
of a pest as they can eat the whole population of pests and then survive to
reproduce for a new invasion by eating some of their own numbers.)

We do have mosquitoes.  I'd say that along with toilet paper, screening was
one of the few genuine improvements of industrial society.  And of course

Anyway, these seem to work for us and we live in a Florida swamp.
Enchaphalitis is the dread disease some species of mosquitoes carry
hereabouts, but it is only serious if you or yours gets it, meaning that it
almost no one actually does.  More people have been hit by lightening for
example, in one day, than have contracted encaphalitis here in a year.  It is
strange how it is common that people get damaged or killed crossing the
street, yet everyone continues to do it.  At the same time, 3 people die of
encaphalitis in a year and there is panic.  Well, it helps keep the people
indoors that some of us might like to keep indoors, an a minimum.

For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since 1982),
Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses,
consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and now correspondence
courses via email.  One is now underway.  Next Live program:  Paraguay,
8/10-22/98. Internships available. Copyright, 1997, Dan & Cynthia Hemenway,
P.O. Box 52, Sparr FL 32192 USA  YankeePerm at  

We don't have time to rush.

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