Mosquitoes are tiny and move very fast. This pest sucks our blood leaving not only a rash behind, but also the pathogen of a mosquito-vector disease like malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, and lots more which means you have to get rid of them as fast as you can.
Another thing is that mosquitoes have been said to cause more deaths than any other animal taxon, with some people tallying the deaths to be up to 5% of the human population. That’s a lot.
Well, we can all agree that mosquitoes need to take the boot and what better way is there to do that than to kill both adult mosquito and their young. Sounds gruesome but it’s nothing personal right?
I bet you agree with me on that. So, if you’re psyched up just the way I’m, kindly continue reading to discover tips to wipe out the larvae of mosquitoes.
The Mosquito and The Mosquito Larvae.
The mosquito pest is a member of the group of small insects belonging to the order Diptera. Also, the word ‘mosquito’ is of Spanish or Portuguese origin, it means “little fly”. Pesky, blood-sucking little fly is more like it.
The adult mosquitoes have a slender body with a length of about 3-6mm. They also possess a black or grey coloring along with three pairs of legs; this makes them resemble midges but midges are bigger. Mosquitoes also have this ability to move so quickly it’s almost as if they disappear just before you hit them. This is because their one pair of wings can still make them move at about 1.6-2.4km/hr.
An interesting fact about mosquitoes is that it is the female mosquitoes that possess proboscis which they use to suck blood from their hosts, mainly vertebrates. They do this because they need the protein and iron in the blood to make their precious eggs.
The mosquito larvae is the second stage of its metamorphosis, the first being the eggs. After a very satisfying blood meal, adult females lay eggs on or in any standing water that can collect in places such as; old tires, birdbaths, gutters, rain barrels, or pool she can find. This pest can thrive in very little water that it’s no wonder they keep on thriving despite Man’s efforts in eliminating them. Some species do lay their eggs in mud or damp soil or attached to nearby aquatic plants.
Another reason why this pest will still be here for a long time? They breed very fast! Mosquito breeds anywhere from 50-500 in their first brood. And a mosquito can have up to ten broods in their lifetime. They take about two weeks to develop from eggs to the adult. So you can have about 500 adult mosquitoes being released at once into your surroundings!
But we want to nip the problem at the bud, don’t we? Thankfully, there are ways to help kill mosquito larvae before they start to constitute a nuisance in our home.
Why Do Mosquitoes Breed In Standing Water?
Mosquitoes probably evolved to live in standing water because this water is safe from predators. This is simply because there are fishes and other aquatic animals in bodies of water that use mosquito larvae as daily bread.
Well, what about mosquitoes breeding in the wild? This mosquito larvae live in shallower parts of marshes and ponds. About one to three days after the eggs are laid, the larvae hatch.
These mosquito Larvae live peacefully beneath the surface of the water-consuming whatever algae and microorganisms they can find. At this stage, they do not have gills but they breathe in water through an anatomical ‘snorkel’ called a siphon.
In about seven to ten days, the larvae mature into a pupa. The pupa is a bit bigger than the larvae and has a slightly different shape_ it resembles a tadpole. At this pupa stage, they rarely move and they do not eat. They simply float below the surface of the water and wait to emerge outside. This stage lasts for about one to three days.
So we can see that from the time the eggs are laid to their larvae stage, the pupa stage, and till they become adults, you have ample time to get rid of or kill mosquito larvae in ponds and pool before they become those buzzing adult mosquitoes.
So we have highlighted below some of the natural and cost-effective methods to help kill mosquito larvae and save ourselves undue stress. This simple solution is all the push you need to take control of your home.
Preventing The Growth Of Mosquito Larvae
Clearing Standing Water
I would say the best time to get rid of mosquitoes is before they start biting. Don’t you think so too? So of course you can go the extra preventive mile of eliminating or clearing all standing water around your home. Standing water like ponds and pools are the natural home of mosquito larvae. The mosquitoes lay eggs on the surface of the water where they hatch and turn to larvae. The larvae metamorphs into the flying terrorists we know.
The use of this control method yields result because mosquito larvae cannot survive outside of standing water. They do not survive because outside there, they cannot find what to eat. So they’ll either die of starvation, get eaten by predators, or dry out.
One drawback to this method is that, if the pool, pond, or any standing water is cleared at the pupa stage, there’s a possibility they may survive into the adult forms. The pupa stage does not eat, remember? So it may just have been an exercise in futility.
Keep The Water In Continuous Motion
Sometimes we find that it is difficult to clear all the standing water around your home. So what’s an alternative? You can keep the water in continuous motion! Funnily enough, even a little movement of the water is enough to send the mosquito larvae to kill mosquito larvae.
This method can be utilized if you have decorative water, for example, a water fountain or a water feature in a garden. In these instances, a submersible pump or a waterfall can help create sufficient motion in a water fountain to kill a mosquito.
How to kill mosquito larvae naturally.
But you may already be at the point where they are already breeding around you. What can you do? How can you kill them? Here are some natural and cost-effective ways to get rid of mosquito larvae.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Urghh! Not this again, you might be saying. Yes we know, Apple cider vinegar has been said to a solution to a multitude of ailments, but trust us this one works. Another thing is that it is surprisingly non-toxic to pets and humans. It doesn’t hurt any other thing apart from mosquito larvae.
Add enough quantity of the vinegar to bring the concentration up to 15% vinegar, 85% water. Higher concentrations are preferable because lower concentrations will not deliver. Afterward, go about your activities and in about 18 hours, the standing water would have become mosquito larvae-Free
Apple Cider Vinegar comes fully equipped with a lovely fragrance. And as such, putting around the house comes with an added advantage of a lovely scenting home. This also makes it easily applicable to the skin.
The use of soap methods can kill or control mosquito larvae too. You can either decide to use dish soap or shampoo. Dish soap and shampoo both work very well. Add just a tiny bit of soap to standing water and it kills mosquito larvae in about a day. Only about a millimeter of dish soap or shampoo per gallon of water can give outstanding results. The use of soap is safe and cost-effective on all counts, however, use soap in a small amount.
This way delivers the promise of a faster control of mosquito larvae. Grab a bottle of vegetable oil, cinnamon oil, or extra virgin oil and add on the surface of the standing water. You will only need one teaspoon of oil per gallon of water to kill mosquito larvae. Cinnamon oil can also do the trick. Cinnamon oil luckily comes with a nice fragrance too.
Are you planning on applying this oil to a pond containing fish? Do not please! Oil has been shown to have an adverse effect on fishes. On the other hand, if you’ve got a Goldfish or Koi pond, they’re already doing the work for you by eating the mosquito larvae for breakfast. So you may as well hold on the Cinnamon oil.
An excellent never-failing way to get rid of mosquitoes is with the use of mosquito dunks. Mosquito dunk is the brand name of a product made by Summit Chemical Company. Granted, mosquito dunks are not your regular household item but they are very handy for use.
These mosquito dunks come as doughnut-shaped rings that contain bacteria called_ bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, bti This bti is harmful to mosquito larvae alone. When the mosquito dunks is placed in standing water, it releases this bti that kills mosquito larvae. A dunk treats a water surface up to 100 square feet and it lasts up to a month.
Well, as much as the use of bti destroys mosquito larvae, it is simply non-toxic to other animals and pets. To eliminate mosquito larvae, just put one dunk in standing water and you’re good to go.
6. Mosquito Eating Fish
Several types of fish can save you the stress of trying to eliminate mosquito larvae. They should be fish that can eat mosquito larvae. If you have a pond and you know you want to eliminate mosquitoes or prevent their growth in the pond, growing a fish that eat mosquito larvae is your best bet. Goldfish and Koi are two popular ones.
You will find that that this method is nontoxic and it saves you money on fish food!
If extreme measures are needed for eliminating mosquito larvae, pesticides are the way to go. However, you should only use them if there are no other environmentally-friendly options available.
Mosquito bombs are the usual commercial formulation for larval pesticides and contain Methoprene. Methoprene can also be purchased in a granule form. This solution, however, is an effective mosquito larvae killer.
Will Bleach Kill Mosquito Larvae?
You do not want to be among the destroyers of our precious environment_ so use bleach only as a last resort if you’re certain that the runoff water will not enter into a nearby pond or pool and harm wildlife.
Bleach is a very effective mosquito larvae killer though.
Bleach is best used for cleaning gutters containing mosquito larvae. This bleach helps to eliminate all the mosquito larvae growing in gutters. A tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of water is enough to kill every mosquito larvae.
We all have a personal duty to ensure we lead a healthy life always. Mosquito in all of its forms has a contrary agenda as regards our health. Should you let them succeed? Should you allow them to continue decreasing the quality of your life? This left for you to decide with your actions.
Simply apply these simple steps above to your daily or weekly cleaning routine and mosquitoes will be free of the menace called mosquito.
We have seen that getting rid of mosquito larvae naturally provide a healthier solution to a common problem.
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