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How do bird droppings kill mosquitoes?

Hindu, Delhi, 24th July 2014

 

Don’t get upset if birds mess up your courtyard or your home garden with their droppings. These winged creatures may actually be helping to protect you and your family from dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases. Researchers at the Vector Control Research Centre (VCRC) in Pondicherry have discovered that bird droppings contain certain bacteria that kill mosquitoes. They say they are now working to develop a formulation based on bird droppings for mosquito control. “Mosquitocidal bacteria are environment-friendly alternatives to chemical insecticides,” says their report.

 

Because wild birds consume food from a variety of environmental sources like soil, water, fruits and decaying animals, VCRC scientists decided to look for potential mosquito killing bacteria in the bird droppings. And they did not have to go too far to get the stuff. According to their report, they collected droppings from 1,000 different locations in the tree garden in the institute’s own premises. The samples were then carefully screened in the laboratory for potential bacterial isolates of all the three species of mosquitoes that cause dengue, filariasis and malaria. They found 12 mosquitocidal bacterial strains. “Studies are in progress to evaluate the formulated product of these new bacterial isolates in field conditions to examine their efficacy.” Keywords: