First Identify The Larvae
Step one is determining if there are even mosquito larvae in your yard to kill. Youll want to check your yard, especially if there is a spread of the West Nile or Zika viruses. Look for any locations with standing water, since this is where the adult mosquitoes lay their eggs. Obvious ones would be
- Rainwater Collection Bins
If you have these features in your landscape, then checking for mosquito larvae is probably already part of your summer upkeep. If not, consider it.
Keep in mind that there might be standing water elsewhere in the yard that may need to be addressed. Think:
- Buckets or landscaping bins behind the shed
- Puddles near areas of poor drainage
- Clogged gutters
In these cases, the best bet is to just get rid of the water. Removing the water thus removes the environment in which the larvae grow, problem solved. But if the water belongs there as part of your landscape, then read on.
If its been warm, and the water is completely still, theres a likely chance of mosquito breeding going on. The process of going from egg to adult mosquito takes about a month. During the month-long cycle, the mosquitos spend about two weeks in the larvae stage. The point is, by the time you find larvae, you have less than two weeks to kill them before they fly away and start biting people.
So how to identify them? The larvae are easier to find than the eggs because the larvae wiggle around. Heres how the pros over at Terminix identify them.
Eliminate Standing Water From You Immediate Home Area
This is not always simple, but taking steps to make sure that wheelbarrows are overturned and not allowed to fill with water, that tarpaulins covering log piles are prevented from allowing water to sit on them, to making sure that gullies and drainage is on good order, will all help prevent breeding grounds for mozzies.
Ponds are a problem that it’s hard to overcome, but rain butts can be mosquito-proofed by ensuring lids are a good fit and there is no way the little blighters can get access.
Additionally, keeping gutters clear so water can drain is another stellar idea.
Oils Especially Cinnamon Oil
Oils in general like vegetable oil or olive oil can be a way to kill mosquito larvae because they coat the surface of the water, suffocating the larvae . This method should never be used anywhere with fish or other living organisms, since it will harm them as well.
Cinnamon oil can also kill mosquito larvae, but in a different way. It has been shown to have pesticidal properties while also being safe for the environment. Plus, it smells great.
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How To Kill Mosquito Larvae In Pool
Having a pool means that you have a built-in destination for relaxation, fun and entertaining. Unfortunately, having a pool also means that you may attract some uninvited guests to your backyard oasis: mosquitoes. Keep reading to learn more about how to kill mosquito larvae in your pool and how to keep these pesky pests away.
Use Water Aeration And Movement
As we mentioned, mosquitoes prefer to lay their eggs in still, stagnant water. Thats why youll find mosquito larva in a pond, but not in a river.
To discourage mosquitoes from laying their eggs, a pump or a pond aerator is one of the best solutions. This will keep the surface of the water moving, which will drive mosquitoes away.
In addition, if there are any existing eggs or larvae in the water, it can also help kill them. This is because it makes the surface turbulent, which disturbs the larval breathing process. Its the same reason that mosquitoes dont like to lay their eggs in moving water to begin with.
A pump or aerator is also a great choice for fish ponds. It helps oxygenate the water, promoting strong, healthy fish.
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What Attracts Mosquitoes To Swimming Pools
Ironically, your swimming pool isnt solely responsible for attracting mosquitoes.
Other elements in your yard also play a role in drawing those mosquitoes to the swimming pool.
And what are those elements?
From the plants in your yard to high dampness, there are many. Lets have a look at them.
Top 5 things that play a role in attracting mosquitoes to your pool.
Try Using A Mosquito Dunk
The Mosquito Dunk is probably the most effective, and least toxic pesticide available for killing mosquito larvae. They are safe enough to be sold directly to homeowners, and can be bought at any home store.
These products are little floating pucks that can be floated on the surface of any standing body of water. They work to kill mosquito larvae within hours and can treat up to 100 square feet of water surface.
This makes them ideal for treating decorative ponds or anything smaller. The active chemical in Mosquito Dunks is called Bti. Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis , is a type of bacteria that is found naturally in some soils. The toxins this bacteria produce have been tested and shown to only harm the larvae of:
- Black flies
- Fungus gnats.
The CDC reports that BTI does not pose any toxicity to any creature other than those listed above. This means its not toxic to:
- Other insects, including honeybees
- Crops or lawns
This means that Mosquito Dunks are pretty safe to use in water that will be used for lawn and garden irrigation, like a rainwater collection bin.
Another benefit of the Mosquito Dunk is that it works over a longer period of time. After killing the initial larvae, it will work for up to 30 days to prevent more. This product is pretty much the safest, most effective chemical option available.
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What Does Mosquito Larvae Look Like
Mosquito larvae dont stay larvae for long. Within five days, they develop into mosquito pupae instead.
While in the larvae stage, theyre about ¼ of an inch long and look like worms covered in hair. Their bodies are soft with 10-segment abdomens. They have round heads and siphon tubes at the tips of their abdomens.
How To Quickly Kill Mosquito Larvae In Standing Water
Standing water is one of the most common places that you will find mosquito larvae hiding since water is where the female mosquitoes lay eggs. Each female mosquito has the potential to lay eggs that could potentially turn into over 1,000 mosquitoes.
That is why its so important to kill mosquito larvae as soon as you notice it because it can quickly create hundreds of baby mosquitoes. There are several methods and products out there that can kill mosquito larvae, but we wanted to focus on a couple of the best products and home remedies.
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How Do Mosquito Larvae Get Into Your Pool
There are different stages of the mosquito which can be 4 stages of development. These include egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
When they are the eggs, they are drawn to the stagnant water surface, the mosquito lays the eggs under the water, and when they enter the phase of larvae, they are under the water surface.
And that is why it is said that a person should not leave the standing water. If you have the pool at home, it will be better if you clean it properly, and it should be well-maintained.
There should not be standing water, and if there is, they will lay eggs on the water surface, which will turn into larvae at the second phase of their life.
Can You Suffocate Mosquito Larvae To Kill Them
Mosquito larvae hang themselves upside down near the surface of the water. Their bottom ends have siphons to which they breathe.
Basically, you have two options to choose from if you want to suffocate the life out of these nasty wrigglers. One is garlic juice and the other is olive oil or vegetable oil.
You can secure a good amount of garlic juice by crushing some cloves using a blender. Squeeze out the juice from its mash using a cheesecloth and mix appropriately with water.
Pouring garlic juice or vegetable/olive oil on infested bodies of water will suffocate the wrigglers.
The video below will show another option in killing mosquito larvae.
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Bleach Doesn’t Kill Mosquito Larvae WtfTribus: Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, NVRegistered: Jan 26, 2018
I have a small tub for my dogs, about 300 gallons and I noticed mosquito larvae swimming around in it, so I added a gallon of household bleach. It killed the algae and the water from green to clear, but the mosquitoes were still swimming around just fine. So I added another gallon of bleach. Next day, they’re still swimming around just fine. So I added another gallon. Next day, still swimming around just fine even though I can smell the bleach in the water.Everything else from algae to other critters died, but the damn mosquitoes just laughed at me.I drained the water, since that will certainly kill them, but I’m amazed and somewhat annoyed that these little bastards don’t want to die.Going to try Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis next.
Submersible pump works too. The larva are just as bad at swimming as the grown ups are at flying. Just make sure you have one that’ll move enough water to disrupt them. You could also just get one of those kiddy pool pumps, just secure the in/out on the tub.
Bleach will kill mosquito larvae at quite low concentrations. I’m not sure WTF is going on here, but bear in mind that larvae that are dead will float just the same as ones which are alive.It’s more environmentally friendly to just layer some cooking oil atop the water. You don’t need much.
Mosquitoes Attraction To Bodies Of Water
After they mate, the only place that mosquitoes can deposit their future offspring is in stagnant or slow-moving water. The body of water must be still enough for the insects to land and layer their floating egg clumps across the surface.
This kind of mosquito-friendly water can be found in some ponds and puddles, as well as in various discarded or hidden receptacles like empty cans, storm drains, gutters, and buckets.
However, mosquitoes wont find a suitable environment in your regularly maintained swimming pool. Running a pool pump even a few hours a day creates ample water circulation, thereby preventing a mosquito landing strip from forming on the pool surface.In the rare case that a mosquito manages to drop a batch of eggs in your pool or spa, no worries: They wont hatch. The combination of chlorine and/or any other pool sanitizing methods will kill them long before they mature into larvae.
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Getting Rid Of Mosquitoes Is A Process
While wed all like this to be a one-time process, its not. Larvae will come back if not managed throughout mosquito season. However, following the solutions, listed above, and knowing the best time to spray for mosquitoes, is the most productive way to get rid of and kill mosquito larvae in your yard.
Try Using Household Items To Kill Mosquito Larvae
Again, if controlling standing water is not an option, resort to household items such as dish soap, apple cider vinegar, or olive oil. While likely not as effective as a larvicide, these products are safer to use and are something you probably already have at home!
Some soaps are extremely toxic to insects, including mosquitoes. The bubbles, in dish soap, suffocate the mosquito larvae, effectively killing them in about a day. For most control solutions, only a small amount is needed. However, insecticide-infused soaps can be purchased at hardware stores for larger, more severe amounts of mosquito larvae.
Dish soap shouldnt be used in ponds or birdbaths, as its often harmful to fish and birds.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a less damaging alternative to dish soap. While not always as successful as something like essential oils, apple cider vinegar can kill mosquito larvae when used in high concentrations. Youll need about a 15% vinegar to water ratio, to kill mosquito larvae in close to 24 hours.
Olive oil, or vegetable oil, will coat the surface of standing water, making it impossible for mosquito larvae to get through or breathe. This only requires 1 tablespoon of oil per gallon of water. Similar to dish soap, however, this method should not be used around fish or birds.
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How To Prevent Mosquitoes Breeding In Your Pool
Swimming pools that are disinfected and filtered are not ideal breeding grounds for mosquito larvae. You can prevent your pool from becoming a hatchery by taking a few steps:
Install A Bug Misting System
Special mist can create a line of defense across your backyard. This method involves a series of stationary insecticide sprayers placed every 10 to 15 feet around your yard. You can hang the nozzles from trees, fences, or mount them on stakes that get driven into the ground.
Each nozzle connects to a tube that holds the insecticide. A timer or remote device activates the system to disperse the mosquito-killing vapors.
Since installation does not require an expert, you can save money by putting in the sprayers yourself. Many manufactures provide step-by-step instructions on how to set everything up, as well as guidance on the number of nozzles your yard will need. The larger an outdoor area, the more nozzles a system requires to do a good job.
While effective, this method does have health and environmental drawbacks. The system relies on spraying a toxic substance which can affect pets and humans if they become exposed to it.
In addition, some municipalities may have regulations that prohibit or regulate these systems. Do your research to make sure they are allowed in your area.
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How To Get Rid Of Mosquitos In Your Yard
There are many ways to rid your yard of mosquitos, but I am going to focus on four natural ways that require minimum maintenance.
1. Inspect your entire garden and remove any stagnant pools of water. Look for tires or containers lying around. Rake up dead leaves that can catch water. There are some types of plants that form a cone that catches water that mosquitos can breed in, you may want to consider removing those. Also, be sure to keep your roof gutters clean, this is easily overlooked and mosquitos love breeding in them.
2. Grow some mosquito-repelling plants. The most popular ones are Basil, Lavender, and Citronella.
3. Attract animals that eas mosquitos. Birds are a mosquitos worst enemy. Install a few birdseed feeders around your yard and possibly a birdbath too. Fish ponds can also help, while this might sound counter-intuitive, this will actually encourage the mosquitos to lay their eggs there instead of your swimming pool or other water puddles and the fish will eat their eggs before they hatch.
Do not kill or repel dragonflies. These buggers have amazing vision and are so agile that they can completely rid your yard of mosquitos and they are harmless to people.
Wrapping It Up: How To Get Rid Of Mosquito Larvae For Good
Hopefully, you now feel better equipped to get rid of mosquito larvae in your swimming pool. When you kill these larvae, you will notice that the mosquito population that year will decrease significantly. Of course, mosquitoes are part of the food chain, and we are not trying to eradicate them.
However, if you do not do your part as a responsible pool owner, you will deal with a large number of mosquitoes, and the situation could make your pool and pool area virtually unusable. Follow our steps, and you will have a much less itchy pool season!
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Deploy Extra Tactics For A Backyard Event
Having a pool party, backyard cookout, or other special outdoor activity? It might be worth going the extra mile to keeping mosquitoes at bay. It may be time for supplemental warfare.
Spray it on trees, shrubs, hedges, and plants in your outdoor space. It will kill mosquitoes that come into contact with it. However, its potency will last only for only a few hours or up to a day. Carefully read all product information and follow instructions for application.
For a non-toxic approach, use portable fans. Thats right, use wind to blow the mosquitoes away from key party areas where people will hang out. Set out a few fans at ground level, and turn them on. Since mosquitoes bodies are extremely lightweight, they have serious trouble flying in windy conditions.
Another approach for a special event is to burn citronella candles, torches, and lanterns. Derived from lemongrass, citronella oils provide a natural way to outsmart mosquitoes and minimize their bites.
When burning, the oils smell and smoke confuse mosquitoeseffectively disguising human and animal body odors. When mosquitos cannot detect these smells, the odds drop that they will land on you or your guests.
Dont let mosquitoes mess with your backyard fun. You invested in a backyard resort, so keep flying pests from making your day anything less than perfect.