This publication is about the natural history of the association between bromeliads and mosquitoes in Florida. It explains the life cycles and behavior of the mosquitoes, methods of controlling them, and ressearch that has been done toward their biological control. it highlights laws about mosquitoes and bromeliads. This publication is not about how to grow bromeliads nor does it give methods for controlling pests of bromeliads.
Bromeliads are popular yard plants in central and southern Florida. Billbergia pyramidalis and many other bromeliad species and hybrids are quite easy to care for. They provide colorful flowers, attractive foliage, or both.
Since most bromeliads grow best in partial or full shade, they are often grown under leaf shade trees. Thus, when dead leaves and twigs fall, they are caught and decompose in the leaf axils of these bromeliads, which hold little pockets of water (tanks). The decomposing material in these tanks provides nutrient for the bromeliad.
Larvae of certain mosquito species also live in these water-filled, nutrient-containing tanks. The mosquito larvae do not harm the bromeliads, but the adult mosquitoes bite warm-blooded animals. An obvious way to avoid being bitten by such mosquitoes from your yard is not to grow tank bromeliads.