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Copepods make tire-heaps copacetic.

Copepods make tire-heaps copacetic

Researchers express optimism about a new way of killing Aedes albopictus, the Asian mosquito that recently invaded the United States (see story, page 309). Gerald G. Marten of the New Orleans Mosquito Control Board reports that copepods -- millimeter-long crustaceans that munch voraciously on mosquito larvae--work well as biological controls in the discarded tires where Ae. albopictus breeds.

Marten and his colleagues used a backpack sprayer to deposit 100 to 200 of the aquaculture-raised copepods into individual water-filled tires in used-tire dumps. Each tiny creature killed up to 100 mosquito larvae per day, eventually eliminating 99.9 percent of the pests, he says.

Marten has yet to test the system on a larger scale, but he expresses confidence that the method carries little risk of adverse environmental impact. "The [copepod] species we're using are already everywhere, in millions of puddles and ponds throughout North America," he says. "We're just trying to get them into a few places where they don't normally live."
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Title Annotation:using crustaceans to prevent mosquitoes breeding in used tires
Publication:Science News
Date:Nov 17, 1990
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