How To Get Rid Of Mosquito Larvae

Mosquitoes are one of the most annoying and potentially dangerous types of pests. They can ruin picnics and other outdoor events while leaving you covered in itchy red bites that can easily get infected. Mosquitoes can also transmit a variety of different diseases that are dangerous to both humans and pets. At Amco Ranger Termite and Pest Solutions, we have been helping residents in our area eliminate mosquitoes for more than 50 years. The best time to go after them is when they are in their larval stage.  

What Are Mosquito Larvae?

St. Charles County warns that there are more than 50 different types of mosquitoes in Missouri. While they have a short life span ranging from a week to several months, they can do a lot of damage during this time. A female mosquito can lay up to 200 eggs per pregnancy. They typically hatch after several days into a larva. These live in shallow water, where they hang suspended right below the surface. They breathe air through a siphon tube, similar to a snorkel. 

Killing mosquito larvae can help to prevent large infestations, but you have to act quickly. They typically have a 4 to 14-day lifespan, which provides only a short window of opportunity. If you do not eliminate them during this time, they will molt and eventually become full-fledged mosquitoes, wreaking havoc in your yard and continuing to populate in large numbers. 

Where Are Mosquito Larvae Found?

Mosquito larvae require still, shallow water, which allows them to penetrate the surface for air. The University of Missouri advises that common breeding sites include flood-prone areas, slow-moving streams, ditches, marshes, and wetlands around lakes. Once they have made their way onto your property, places you are most likely to find mosquito larvae include: 

  • Birdbaths and ornamental ponds;
  • Wading pools;
  • Fishponds;
  • Water barrels;
  • Old watering cans and plant pots;
  • Clogged gutters and catch basins;
  • Hollow tree stumps;
  • Old tires and other debris that collects water on your property.

Anything that holds even a small amount of water could provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes and their larvae. While you can keep larvae from growing by eliminating yard debris and emptying birdbaths or water barrels regularly, ponds and more permanent water features require additional efforts. 

Ways To Eliminate Mosquito Larvae

The Missouri Department of Conservation warns that mosquitoes can be carriers of West Nile and the Zika virus, both of which have the potential to be life-threatening. They also can cause yellow fever and transmit the parasites responsible for malaria. In dogs, mosquito bites can result in heartworm, a fatal condition if left untreated. To protect yourself, your family, and your pets, eliminating mosquito larvae is a top priority. In addition to eliminating the potential places for mosquitoes to breed, natural ways to accomplish this on your own include: 

  • Applying a thin coat of cinnamon, eucalyptus, or other essentials oil to the water’s surface: Mosquito larvae require air to breathe. Applying a thin coat of essential oil to standing water makes it impossible for them to penetrate the surface, which cuts off their oxygen supply. 
  • Applying garlic juice: Yes, mosquitoes are bloodsuckers, but this remedy has nothing to do with vampire lore. Instead of biting humans, mosquito larvae rely on organisms in the water for nutrients. Garlic juice applied to standing, stagnant water acts in the same way as an essential oil in helping to suffocate the larvae. 
  • Applying an apple cider vinegar solution: Alongside oil, vinegar and water do not mix. As a result, it also blocks the surface and can be a natural and effective treatment to kill mosquito larvae. 
  • Bleach tablets or solution: The same as you use bleach tablets in your pool to kill various organisms, bleach acts as a poison for mosquito larvae. 

Reach Out To Us Today For Help

While all of the above methods may be somewhat effective in killing mosquito larvae in small areas around your home, none of them address the threat posed by ponds, creeks, lakes, or similar areas of standing water near your property. To ensure all mosquito larvae are eliminated and to prevent reinfestation, call in the professionals at Amco Ranger Termite and Pest Solutions. 

Providing the best customer service in the industry and a 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee, you can trust us to keep mosquitoes from threatening you and your family. Call or contact our Missouri mosquito control experts online and request a free, no-obligation inspection today.

How To Get Rid Of Ant Colonies In Yards

Ants are one of the most common types of pests. In Missouri, they can wreak havoc in your yard and in other outdoor areas. If not addressed, they may eventually make their way into your home. At Amco Ranger Termite and Pest Solutions, we have been helping residents throughout our community deal with ant problems for more than 50 years. Find out where ants may be hiding in your yard, the damage they can cause, and how you can eliminate them permanently. 

Why Are Ants So Bad In My Yard?

The Missouri Department of Conservation warns that there are more than 700 different types of ants living in North America. While ants can be spotted in and around your home, common types of ants in Missouri likely come from colonies formed outdoors, in some cases as far as 100 yards away.  While ants can be good for aerating the soil and may even kill other insects, such as caterpillars, you do not want these pests inhabiting your yard. In addition to increasing your risks of a home invasion, other hazards ants pose in your yard include the following: 

  • They can invade picnics and barbecues, preventing you from enjoying outdoor areas;
  • Certain species can bite, leaving behind painful red welts;
  • They can damage plants, eating leaves and any fruit or vegetables growing;
  • They can interfere with your lawn, killing off the grass;
  • They cause unsightly mounds and anthills, which serve as a home for thousands of these pests.

How Do I Find Ant Colonies?

Ants are social creatures and live in large colonies. They are also hard workers and adhere to a rigid hierarchy. Ant colonies typically consist of a queen, who is responsible for laying eggs, males, whose primary job is mating, and worker ants. These take care of eggs while maintaining the nest and gathering food. One of the ways they do this is by burrowing tunnels to other areas. 

Following trails of worker ants are one of the ways you are most likely to find the colony. Knowing where they like to hide is half the battle. The University of Missouri identifies four common types of ants and the most likely places for them to build colonies: 

  • Odorous house ants: While often found in homes, colonies are generally located outside. Look under stones, old bark, or areas of shallow soil;
  • Pavement ants: As their name implies, these can be found near sidewalks or paving stones;
  • Larger yellow ants: These nest in soil along your home’s foundation;
  • Field ants: These include a variety of different species, including fire ants. They are easy to find due to their large mounds, which can measure up to one foot in diameter. 

Carpenter ants are another common type of ant and one of the most destructive. Rather than spending time underground, they are likely to build colonies in decaying wood around your property or in old railroad ties used for landscaping. 

Common Ways To Get Rid Of Ants

There are several do-it-yourself methods for eliminating ants in your yard. Gardening Know How warns to beware of harsh over-the-counter chemical sprays or baits, as children or animals may be playing nearby. Safer methods include: 

  • Use boiling water over the colony: This kills the ants and floods the colony. 
  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth over it: A white powder containing skeletons of small sea creatures, diatomaceous earth acts as small shards of glass when ingested by acts, killing them from the inside.
  • Spray the colony with a solution of dish soap or borax and water: This acts as a poison for the ants while also causing them to dehydrate. 
  • Get rid of the hill: When dealing with mounding ants, flattening the hill can destroy the colony. 

Eliminate Ants In Your Yard Permanently With Amco Ranger Termite and Pest Solutions

Even if you are able to identify the nest and use one of the above treatments, there is no guarantee they will not return. Ants are industrious, quickly rebuilding and repopulating colonies. To get rid of them permanently, call in the experts at Amco Ranger Termite and Pest Solutions. 

We pride ourselves on providing the best service in the industry and back our work with a 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee. Do not let ants ruin your yard or give them the opportunity to enter your home. Reach out and call or contact our Missouri ant control experts online today. Request a free, no-obligation ant inspection to locate colonies in your yard and to discover ways to eliminate them completely.