Sometimes we have an overwhelming number of mosquitoes at the cabin so I've been thinking of means to control them for our comfort... bat boxes, attracting more birds and then I came across this... the OVILLANTA.
Has anyone heard of this? It strikes me as appropriate technology and fits within the permie ethos. It has a similar start to the rocket stove as it was developed for the global south but could well have applications elsewhere too. Essentially it upcycles tires and takes advantage of mosquito behaviour to seek out and breed in shallow water. Mosquitoes lay eggs on paper floating in the water. The water and eggs are drained out. The water is recycled though and mosquito pheromones remain in the water and attract even more mosquitoes. I suppose you could take it one further and use the mosquito eggs as chickenfeed, etc.
Anyway below are links to a better explanation and a how-to video.
Has anyone tried this? Any thoughts on it? Thanks!
I have not done this design, but in a more low-tech sort of thing is I check and regularly dump water collecting things. But, that's normal habit for people here. Unfortunately, the sewer system and nature of the soils makes it perfect for mosquito breeding, and this little trick is unlikely to be effective enough. Bats and birds are supposed to be great mosquito vacuums, but they require the mosquitoes to already be flying about. Even better: fish, amphibians, and reptiles, carnivorous insects, and arachnids. These (except maybe arachnids) can grab the larvae before they exit said water area.
Some suggest what I think might be best Management Practices to reduce those thousands of mosquitoes:
-Don't kill your non-poisonous spiders.
-Build habitat for fish, amphibians, and reptiles. So, simply - a pond filled with fish, circulating water (which also limits mosquito production), a muddy reedy bank and vegetated area and some sunning rocks. This habitat should also suffice for beneficial insects. Insure it is pesticide/toxin free.
-Have bird and bat habitat as well.
Then watch (i.e. observe): if for whatever reason you are noticing your beneficials population is not proliferating and your mosquito population is not diminishing, then you may have to re-introduce the native predators to your ecosystem.
For the area you want to hang-out, you may need to use deterents:
-screens, hanging out in the sunny, dry spot, full clothing.
-I've heard of people using a bug light and fan to help solve the problem as well.
This is a permaculture/integrated pest management approach to beating the mosquitoes.
I started my battle with mosquitoes about 1 year ago when I moved here and have found positive improvements as soon as I got a fish pond with fish and water circulation. I will be scaling up my beneficials (looking for frogs, dragon flies, etc) using local native species. I work in rural ag land and there's a pond with frogs and probably fish, but no mosquitoes to be seen. I live in an urban area with no pond but tons of mosquitoes. It seems against the moto "get rid of all standing water," but I think the mosquito problem is more an ecosystem balance issue. The first to die in an ecosystem collapse tends to be the predators because they don't have food and are poisoned. Also, more complex animals often have a harder time adapting to a new environment than the smaller, less complex. So, that leaves mosquitoes to attack all us urbanites like aphids on over-fertilized and pesticide sprayed chard.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply Amit. I like your holistic approach. A pond is definitely on my wish list but I have a few other projects taking priority first. I could see these ovillantas being one of many "small hammers" to manage mosquitoes. The dragon flies have arrived and seem to hang around us during the day at the cabin... some times I feel like they are using us for bait! I'll need to put some more thought into this and research deer flies too; they can be just as bad or worse. In the mean time old light coloured dress shirts and a hat go a long way for protection... tricks learned the hard way tree planting in the swamps of Northern Ontario
Have you seen the traps made from a box fan and screenwire? It works. Mosqitoes get sucked up and are pinned to screen wire on back of fan. In morning you spray alcohol water solution and it suffocates them. As long as fan is on, the skeeters are trapped.
I recently saw the same tech used on a store bought product on qvc. Instead of a zapper like in the old days, a fan draws them down into a trap.