If you want to exterminate mosquitoes effectively, it is best to attack them while they are still in the stage of mosquito larvae. This is the part of the mosquito’s life cycle where they are most vulnerable and are not able to fly away.
Did you know that a common method used in the early 1900s for mosquito treatment was pouring kerosene oil into bodies of water to suffocate the larvae?
It sure would be nice to kill those ruthless monsters before they even start to fly, wouldn’t it? Constantly clapping at the air in hope of snagging one of these bloodsuckers is a losing battle. With a mosquito infestation, as you kill one, there are 300 more in your area waiting to hatch.
After the mosquito’s silent attack, you are stuck with an itchy bite for weeks, and the pesky mosquito gets away with a full belly to produce even more of itself…Great. In this article, we will review everything you need to know about the larvae stage of the mosquito and why it is an effective time to attack mosquitoes.
WHAT DO MOSQUITO LARVAE LOOK LIKE?
When a mosquito is in the larvae stage, they are in the second stage of their life cycle. The tiny, cylindrical white worms dangle from the surface of the water whipping themselves around in search of food.
Mosquito larvae are often referred to as “wrigglers” because of this action.
The larvae hang upside down from the surface of the water because they use a small tube towards their back end to get the oxygen necessary for them to breathe.
If you look at an enlarged image of a mosquito Larva, it looks like it could have come straight from a horror film. The worm-like creature has thin black hairs protruding from all over its body. It uses these hairs to collect the single-celled organisms it feeds on.
What do mosquito larvae look like in standing water?Mosquito larvae can be difficult to see at times as they will swim around underwater collecting food. The larvae will only stick their tail end out of the water to breathe occasionally.
One tell-tale sign of a mosquito breeding ground is the presence of the mosquito’s egg raft. These collections of eggs mean that there are mosquito larvae in the area or there will be as soon as the eggs hatch.
BEST WAY TO GET RID OF MOSQUITO LARVAE
Many years ago, mosquito larvae were exterminated in stagnant ponds and marshes by using kerosene oil. As the oil was dumped into the water it settled on top creating a poisonous environment for the mosquito larvae and suffocating them. For environmental reasons, this method has been out of practice for many years.
So how do you get rid of these little buggers for good? How do you attack them where it counts?
The aqueous cycle of a mosquito’s life is actually the best time to exterminate them. A female mosquito will lay up to 300 eggs in one area meaning that they will all be in one concentrated location before they fly off to feast on the blood of their selected host.
There are several DIY methods that claim to kill mosquito larvae although not all of them are proven to work effectively. Some of these methods include:
If you find something in your yard that has a pool of stagnant water with eggs or mosquito Larvae in it, you can just dump out the stagnant water. The mosquito Larvae need water to survive so dumping them onto dry land will kill them.
We do not suggest using bleach to kill mosquito larvae as it can be toxic to the environment around the treated location. Bleach will definitely kill the mosquito larvae, but it will most likely kill all the life around it as well. If you are treating a pond with wildlife in it we do not recommend bleach.
DISH SOAP, APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, OR OIL
If you are desperate to try a DIY method, you can attempt one of these three solutions, although they are not guaranteed to be effective. Some say that these solutions work, but it is much easier to just contact an extermination company to take care of the situation without error.
Call an Exterminator
The best thing to do when you are trying to kill mosquito larvae and get rid of them for good is to contact an exterminator. If you do not handle the situation properly, you risk having your property overrun with mosquitoes. A professional will be able to locate and identify potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
We suggest having a professional handle mosquito infestation so that you can be sure that you will no longer have a mosquito pest problem. This will also prevent you from damaging your outdoor environment in the process.
WHERE DO YOU FIND MOSQUITO LARVAE?
Sometimes it is difficult to find where all the mosquitoes around your property are coming from. After the female’s eggs have been fertilized by the male mosquito, she finds a place to lay anywhere from only a few up to 300 eggs at a time.
When the mosquito hatches from the egg, it is in the larva stage of its life cycle. The larvae have not grown enough yet to fly, so they will remain in the water until they have developed their wings.
So, what would be some common places to find mosquito larvae and where do mosquitoes like to live?
Although mosquitoes like to lay their eggs where there is plenty of food for their larvae, they will lay their eggs in almost any stagnant body of water.
Some common places and objects to check around your house if you notice many mosquitoes in the area include:
If you have a fountain or some type of water feature around your house, this could be a gold mine for a mosquito. If there are algae and other things that may be growing in something like this that has not been used for some time, this is most likely a hotspot for mosquito larvae.
Something as small as a dog bowl or overturned frisbee can be large enough to provide a nice landing spot for a mosquito looking to lay its eggs. Make sure that you do not have any objects that will collect water around your property.
If you see mosquito larvae in your pool, you may have a big problem on your hands. If you do not put a cover over your swimming pool, or don’t clean it regularly, it may become a hotspot for mosquito breeding in the warmer months.
“If the regular swimming pool is not attended to, yes. Most swimming pools are pretty attended to and have vacuum pumps and things of that nature, and that’s unlikely for you to have a mosquito problem. But pools that are unattended with stagnated water, you’re definitely going to have some mosquito issues.”
Small ponds are a major attraction for mosquitoes as they would love to lay their eggs in them. There is an abundance of food for the mosquito larvae to feed on in small ponds. The adult mosquito looks for habitats like this to lay its eggs.
These are all locations that will attract mosquitoes and cause them to call your backyard their home. Reducing the number of places that a mosquito will lay its eggs will help lower the population in your area.
CAN YOU KILL MOSQUITO LARVAE NATURALLY?
When you are treating an area of water that has other wildlife in it like a pond, you should avoid putting harmful chemicals in the water. What is a natural way that you can exterminate mosquito larvae in larger bodies of water.
What better way is there to exterminate a pest than using the natural cycle of the food chain?
There are natural predators of the mosquito Larvae that like to help us out with extermination. Since mosquito larvae reside under the water’s surface, they are helpless targets to several species of underwater predators looking for a meal.
One species, the mosquitofish or Gambusia, is named after its primary diet choice of mosquito larvae. The mosquitofish is a freshwater fish that measures only about 2 inches long.
These fish have been known to eat up to 100 mosquito larvae per day, and that’s only one of them!
If you have a small freshwater pond that you suspect is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, perhaps you could attempt to stock your pond with a predator of the mosquito larvae such as the mosquitofish.
When mosquitoes are in the larva stage of life they are easier to target and exterminate. Trying to exterminate hundreds of tiny mosquitoes with a fly swatter would be nearly impossible. Knowing where to look for a mosquito’s breeding ground and finding their place of spawning is a key part of mosquito control.
At Clegg’s pest control, we exterminate mosquitoes from the source as we have described. When you have been dealing with mosquitoes for a long time, you start to know exactly where to look for them, and how to strike them while they are vulnerable. That is our job as pest control specialists. We will identify where the mosquito problem is coming from and bring you the solution. If you are tired of mosquitoes ruining the warm evenings when you are enjoying the outdoors, contact us at Clegg’s right now to schedule a free inspection.