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Indian J Med Res. 2008 Jan;127(1):13-27.

Mosquito control by larvivorous fish.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, University of Burdwan, Burdwan, India.


There is growing of the effects of insecticide used controlling the vectors of human diseases. Manipulating or introducing an auto-reproducing predator into the ecosystem may provide sustained biological control of pest populations. The selection of a biological agent should be based on its self-replicating capacity, preference for the target pest population in the presence of alternate natural prey, adaptability to the introduced environment, and overall interaction with indigenous organisms. In order to achieve an acceptable range of control, a sound knowledge of various attributes of interactions between the pest population and the predator to be introduced is desirable. Biological larviciding for the control of mosquito borne diseases is feasible and effective only when breeding sites are relatively few or are easily identified and treated. Larval control appears to be promising in urban areas, given that the density of humans needing protection is higher than the limited number of breeding sites. Since 1937, fish have been employed for controlling mosquito larvae. Different types of fish have been used so far in this operational technique. However, use of fish of indigenous origin is found to be more appropriate in this operation. This review presents information on different larvivorous fish species and the present status of their use in mosquito control and provides a ready reference for workers involved and interested in mosquito research.

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