The cyclopoid crustacean Mesocyclops longisetus was evaluated for its predatory potential to reduce container-inhabiting mosquitoes in 5 suburban Florida backyards. Aedes albopictus, Ae. triseriatus, and Culex quinquefasciatus were the predominant species collected from containers. At an initial inoculation rate of ∼120 copepods per container, M. longisetus populations eliminated resident mosquito larvae for a minimum of 14 wk in 30-liter plastic buckets and up to 29 wk in 0.4-liter ceramic flowerpots and 0.3-liter glass jars depending on species. Copepod populations generally peaked 13 wk after introduction (August) in ceramic flowerpots and glass jars and about 1 month later in tires, plastic buckets, and plastic flowerpots. At the time of peak abundance, average predator numbers ranged between 900 (glass jar) to >3000 (30-liter bucket) individuals per container. Although all mosquito species were eliminated from all containers sometime during the 35-wk study, M. longisetus appeared to preferably prey on Aedes larvae compared with Culex. Operationally, the use of M. longisetus as a tool for control of container-inhabiting mosquitoes in urban/suburban settings proved to be relatively inexpensive, required little labor for colony maintenance, was easily transported, and easily applied.
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