Mosquitoes transmit some of the most deadly and debilitating diseases—including Zika virus, West Nile virus, yellow fever and dengue fever. During the warmer months when mosquitoes are most active, it is important to reduce mosquito breeding sites to keep mosquito populations down and prevent the spread of disease.
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. So, homeowners need to be vigilant in eliminating places where water can collect and stand in their yards and gardens.
To reduce mosquito breeding grounds, dispose of cans, plastic containers, old tires and other items that can collect water. Turn over wheelbarrows and empty children’s wading pools. Clean clogged roof gutters, which can become prime mosquito-breeding pools. Periodically empty the saucers under ceramic pots to make sure they are not harboring mosquito larvae.
Use Mother Nature’s Mosquito Control
Obviously, it is impossible to eliminate all standing water. But that’s where Mother Nature’s mosquito control comes in.
BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) is a naturally occurring bacterium that kills mosquito larvae. When BTI is present in water, mosquito larvae feed on the BTI and die—long before they can grow up to become flying, biting, disease-spreading adults.
BTI is deadly to mosquito larvae, but it is harmless to people, plants, pets, fish, birds, wildlife and beneficial insects. In fact, BTI is completely target specific when it comes to killing mosquito larvae.
BTI is the active ingredient in Mosquito Dunks®, the world’s bestselling natural mosquito larvicide. To kill mosquito larvae in standing water—including ponds, bird baths, animal watering troughs, stock tanks, neglected swimming pools and rain barrels—simply drop in a Mosquito Dunk®.
When a donut-shaped Mosquito Dunk® is placed in standing water, the BTI in the Dunk™ will continually kill mosquito larvae for 30 days or more. In flood-prone areas, a Mosquito Dunk® can be staked or tied to remain in place. Once flooding occurs, the Dunk™ starts working right away. When flood waters recede, Mosquito Dunks® dry out and the BTI goes dormant until the next flood.
Use BTI for complete control
In areas that are difficult to treat with Mosquito Dunks™, use Mosquito Bits® for complete mosquito larvae control. The small Mosquito Bits® granules are perfect for areas like turf tracks and low spots in a yard, the saucers under potted plants, tarps on boats or woodpiles, under decks, in tree holes and in tropical plants that hold water such as bromeliads.
Mosquito Bits® granules contain BTI, and the granules can be sprinkled into virtually any place where water can collect. Mosquito Bits® can also be used to kill mosquito larvae in swampy areas and larger areas where water cannot be drained.
In addition, Mosquito Bits® are highly effective as a “shock treatment” where immediate larval control is needed due to an extremely dense population of mosquito larvae. Mosquito Bits® release their active ingredient (BTI) very quickly, which provides a fast kill of mosquito larvae. Unlike long-lasting Mosquito Dunks® though, Mosquito Bits® need to be reapplied every 7 to 10 days for maximum mosquito larvae control.
Once you have reduced mosquito breeding grounds in your backyard and used BTI to kill mosquito larvae, get your neighbors involved in mosquito control, too. The mosquitoes in one yard can easily travel into the yards of everyone on the block. It’s important for the entire neighborhood to take mosquito control seriously.
Mosquito Dunks® and Mosquito Bits® are available at fine garden centers, hardware stores, farm stores and home centers. You can buy them online here.
Written by Randy Schultz