Flowers Aren’t For You…

by Adrian D. Thysse

The following video reminds us what flowers are for.

It is a good thing for every gardener to remember, so they don’t begin to behave like this: Time to Aim the Big Guns on Mosquitoes.

A general blanket spraying of a persistent insecticide like Doktor Doom will kill bees and every other insect it comes in contact with, whether or not it is sprayed on the flowers.

Hat-tip to Greg Laden for the TedTalks link.

2 Comments to “Flowers Aren’t For You…”

  1. One of the ways I worked my way through college was at the mosquito control section of the department of agriculture for an eastern US state. At that time, the usual approach to summer nuisance mosquitoes was to spray an organophosphate (usually malathion, cythion, or a similar formulation) from giant trucks – they looked like cement mixers with machine gun turrets. The trucks would drive up and down neighborhood streets and blast away trying to bring about contact between adult mosquitoes and droplets of insecticide. The idea was to knock down enough adult mosquitoes so that the public out roar was muted. One can only imagine the number of non-target insects that were killed during these public relations exercises.

    None of the entomologists that I knew thought this was an effective way to control mosquito populations. They thought that the key was larval control, aka larval abatement. That involved spreading granular insecticides in larval breeding areas. This wasn’t good for non-target aquatic insects, but it did spare the bees and all the other non-problem insects that were taken out by the neighborhood spray programs.

    Aside from the usual problems with resistance, successful mosquito larva abatement has two major problems: (1) many nuisance mosquitoes can breed in small accumulations of water and treating all of these is impossible: a wet year is beyond even the best control program; and (2) as a general rule, the more successful a mosquito abatement program (or if a drought intervenes), the less funding would be available the next year. If the problem is solved, why spend money on mosquito control?

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