How to Kill Mosquito Larvae

Mosquitoes are pesky insects that can often be difficult to get rid of. Not only do they bite humans, but they can also transmit diseases like the Zika virus, Malaria, and Dengue Fever. They are a common summertime pest, and while most people know how to avoid getting bitten by them, what about the little ones that manage to sneak through? Mosquito larvae can be a huge nuisance, and it’s important to know how to kill them before they turn into full-blown mosquitoes. In this post, we’ll discuss mosquito larvae and some of the best ways to get rid of them so you can enjoy your summer without these pesky pests!

What do Mosquito Larvae Look Like?

When mosquitoes are in their second stage of life, they become what’s called “larvae.” These are small creatures, cylindrical, white worms, that dangle from the surface of the water, whipping themselves around in search of food.

The mosquito larvae are called “wrigglers” because they can move around and grab onto things with their long, segmented bodies. In addition, they have a small tube at the back of them that helps get air from surface water into their body.

What is the Habitat of Mosquito Larvae?

The larvae of the mosquito typically hatch in standing water with minimal movement. The water can range from a puddle, to an old tire, to a large lake. The container does not have to be filled with water, as long as it can hold enough for the larvae to move about and breathe. A few species will hatch in salt water, but this is not typical. The mosquito larvae will develop and grow best in water containing organic material, such as leaves or algae. The organic matter provides food for the growing larvae. The temperature of the water also plays a role in the development of the larvae, with most species developing more quickly at warmer temperatures. The ideal temperature range for mosquito larvae is between 23 and 27 degrees Celsius. The larvae can develop into adults in as little as 8-10 days at these temperatures.

How to Find Mosquito Larvae Around Your Home?

The most common place to discover mosquito larvae is in standing water that has collected around your home. This could be in a perceived “safe” spot like a rain barrel or kiddie pool or hidden locations like the bottom of a wheelbarrow or birdbath. Anytime water has collected and is not moving, it’s worth investigating for the presence of larvae. The exception to this rule is if you know the water is regularly treated with mosquito dunks or granules, which makes it unlikely you’ll find any larvae. Pay close attention to areas where water may have pooled after recent rains. If you have gutters in your home, examine both the gutters themselves and the ground beneath them for larvae. Once you’ve found a likely breeding ground for mosquitoes, look for small, dark-colored specks floating on the water’s surface. These are mosquito eggs, and they will hatch into larvae within 48 hours.

How to Kill Mosquito Larvae?

Now that you know what mosquito larvae look like and where to find them, it’s time to get rid of them! There are a few different ways to kill mosquito larvae, and we’ll discuss some of the most effective methods below:

1. One way to kill mosquito larvae is by using a product called “BTI.” BTI is a naturally-occurring bacteria toxic to mosquito larvae but harmless to people, pets, and other animals. You can find BTI products in most hardware stores or online. To use BTI, simply add the recommended amount of powder or pellets to the water where the larvae are present. The larvae will ingest the BTI and die within a day or two.

2. Another way to kill mosquito larvae is to introduce predators into their environment. Fish such as goldfish, guppies, and minnows will eat mosquito larvae and help to keep their population under control. If you have a pond or other water feature in your yard, stocking it with fish is a great way to reduce the mosquito population. You can also purchase mosquito “dunks,” which contain fish food that will attract and feed fish in your area.

3. You can also kill mosquito larvae by draining any standing water where they are present. This is the most sure-fire way to eliminate them, but it’s not always practical or possible. If you have a rain barrel, kiddie pool, or other containers of water that you can’t empty, consider treating it with BTI or stocking it with fish.

Taking steps to control the mosquito population around your home is important for your health and your family’s health. By eliminating their breeding grounds and killing the larvae, you can help to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your area.

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