Keeping in view the inefficiency of chemical insecticides coupled with their adverse environmental impacts, the department of zoology, PAU, is working on biological control of mosquitoes under Union department of science and technology.
This information was given by GK Sangha, head, department of zoology, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).
Sangha added, “Mosquitoes are incredibly successful bloodsucking insects and act as carrier of many diseases like dengue, chikungunya, malaria and encephalitis.” Sangha disclosed that different types of standing water bodies, including village ponds, paddy fields, marshy places, road-side ditches (having rain water), desert coolers and man-made reservoirs, etc. from three districts of Punjab have been surveyed for the presence of mosquito larvae from May 2013 till date under this project.
Giving details, DK Kocher, principal investigator, informed that three types of mosquito larvae - Aedes (dengue spreading), Anopheles (malaria transmitting) and Culex (responsible for encephalitis)- have been found during this survey.
It has been observed that mosquito larvae crop up during rainy season and they are ready to spread diseases within few days after the emergence of adult mosquito. Kocher added that under the laboratory experiments, they have successfully tested the biological agent that is copepods (a type of zooplankton) for killing the dengue spreading Aedes larvae. Sangha opined if successful under field conditions, this may provide an alternate and eco-friendly means of controlling mosquitoes.