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;
- 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.