Idea Name: Ctrl-Alt-Del Participants Full Name: Kudzai Chikondo Beta Many mosquitoes breed in standing water, primarily infesting ponds, marshes, swamps and other wetlands. From these major breeding spots (ponds, swamps and other large bodies of stagnant water), the mosquitoes then spread out in search for food either nectar or blood. Eventually, they locate other minor bodies of water (tin cans, tires, etc) to breed in. When mosquitoes are spread out they become a challenge to deal with.

For the following proposed solution to control this spread it is assumed that mosquitoes hibernate in the cold seasons and initially become active again when the weather warms up but before major precipitation occurs. With the absence of major precipitation, the number of minor bodies of water for the mosquitoes to breed/lay eggs are minimal, hence ponds, swamps and other major bodies of water would be the preferred or possibly the only option.

The idea is to isolate these major sources (ponds, swamps, etc) of breeding and contain the spread of the mosquito population in these areas by strategic placement of the plants (food and repelling). The basic strategy involves initially surrounding the body of water with the required food (mainly consisting of plants) for the mosquitoes. This will prevent them from venturing far from the source of birth in search of food. Then an alternative strategy will be applied, utilising the repelling zone. This repelling zone will surround the food zone which surrounds the water source. This will serve as a two-fold measure, firstly it would discourage the mosquitoes from venturing too far from the water source and secondly it will discourage access to mosquitoes which hibernated out of this area. This will create a virtual barrier limiting the number of mosquitos that escape from the major source of these mosquitoes and the number of mosquitoes that enter this region/source.

Given this arrangement, the mosquitoes will be in a consolidated/controlled state inside the region with containing the water source. This will increase the effectiveness of insecticides as you would only require application to that small area and will ensure that the insecticides affect only a small portion of the environment. However, a better and more sustainable solution would be to introduce predators into this region, primarily frogs and dragonflies as the tadpoles and larvae respectively, feed on mosquito larvae. This arrangement also serves to stop mosquitoes from entering this region to lay eggs hence they will have to find minor sources which are limited before major precipitation, hence the probability of successful breeding is reduced and the majority of the eggs and larvae will die off.

This strategy will see to benefit the human population surrounding these areas and the environment. This will also limit the spread of the hotspots of mosquito disease outbreaks, allowing for distribution of medical supplies to targeted locations.

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