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Mosquitoes and Caterpillars Beware!
One of the most successful biocontrol agents on the planet is Bacillus thuringiensis (varieties Bti and Btk ). Products containing Bti and Btk are particularly popular in the summer months when mosquitoes are on the loose and caterpillars are munching away on your lovely plants. The beauty of these products is that the individual strains are specific to the narrow range of insects for which it is labeled, with Btk being the most general. These bacteria are incredibly effective and safe for all creatures except those that they are targeting.
Bti is found in Mosquito Dunks and "Quick Kill Bits" is effective against mosquitoes and a couple other water breeding close relatives but does not harm dragonfly larvae. Contrary to popular belief, mosquitoes can even breed in consistently damp areas so be sure to treat even those moist areas under shrubs, compost piles, etc.
Btk is found in the products Dipel and Thuricide is perfect for the veggie garden. It is effective against all those plant-eating members of the Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) and is safe for other insects. Do not use these products in your butterfly garden! Luckily, Btk stays where you put it so you can spray your corn but not the specialty larval food plants you cultivate for your favorite butterflies.
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