Every summer we feel the return of the annoying mosquitos, especially around the water ponds throughout the Botanic Garden. Until a few years ago, the common house mosquito (Culex pipiens) was the dominant species in Israel, but then, in the early 2000s, the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) invaded our country. This species is active during daytime and can sting several times within a short period of time. The main problem with the tiger mosquito is its ability to reproduce in even the smallest amount of water.
The plant collections in the Botanic Garden comprise an artificial system that functions as a semi-natural ecosystem. Within this system, plants and animals maintain interactions that
are important to this functioning. We strive to maintain a stable system and to minimize disturbances to it as much as possible. Consequently, we seek to conduct pest control (for

the benefit of both plants and humans) within the Botanic Garden territory in the most target-specific and scientifically updated manner. The Garden’s team keeps track of the newest developments in the field of pest control, especially in regard to mosquitos. A detailed program has been designed, beginning with a special team workshop that took place in the summer. This workshop, led by Itai Kahana from the National Center for Aquatic Ecology, included an introduction to mosquito morphology and life cycle, a demonstration of monitoring methods and equipment, and a monitoring tour in the Garden.

Mosquito treatment in the Botanic Garden is carried out in several ways:

  1. Several fish species, including the western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) that feed on mosquito larvae, are present in all the major water ponds in the Garden.
  2. A specific pest control substance (Fourstar), which is a bacterial toxin deadly to mosquito larvae but harmless to other animals, is introduced into all the water bodies in the Garden. It works through a slow-release mechanism. 
  3. A silicon substance (Aquatain) is sprayed onto the water pockets between leaves in the Tropical Plants house.
  4. We strive to prevent un-wanted water accumulation, especially in the Garden’s nurseries.
  5. All the Garden’s water bodies are monitored according to the guidelines of the National Center for Aquatic Ecology.
  6. We are still at the beginning of the process and it will require careful monitoring until we can sense that a significant change has taken place. We hope to feel relief soon, and not just because autumn is coming.