You Must Understand the Mosquito Life Cycle to Stop It
When it comes to curbing the mosquito life cycle, it’s important to understand how they live and where they breed.
If you know what they look for to survive, you can reduce mosquito breeding grounds around your home by limiting their essentials for survival.
In this case, stagnant water is very important for the survival of mosquitoes. That’s why we’ve brought together our knowledge to give you the best mosquito control tips for ponds and water features.
Mosquitoes Breed in Stagnant Water
Adult female mosquitoes lay their eggs along water lines or in wet soil. This includes lakes, rivers, and ponds. However, it takes a very small amount of water to attract a female mosquito. A mosquito female could lay up to 100 eggs at a time in:
Puddles around your yard
Bird baths and barrels
Water that gathers in empty soda cans!
That means you might see reproduction cycles as rapid as every 10-14 days—and this life cycle can get even faster, depending on the circumstances. Wetter conditions help the process along. Wetter conditions at hotter temperatures speed up the process even more.
It takes less than an inch. Even something as small as a bottle cap! If an object has standing water in it, it’s probably enough for a female to lay her eggs.
These eggs are extremely hardy and will survive drying out for up to 8 months. Once another rain comes in, the eggs become larvae, pupate, and become adults within 8-10 days. And once they’re adults, they’re looking to breed and lay eggs.
Even if the moisture dries up, dormant mosquito eggs remain viable for months.
Eliminating Standing Water Is the Best Prevention Method
One of the best methods of curbing the mosquito population is eliminating any unnecessary standing water around your home. If you do so long enough, it is more difficult for the short-lived males to survive and breed with the longer-lived females.
However, doing this is often a difficult task. It’s not guaranteed that you’ll get rid of every potential source. That’s where other repellent options come into play.
Top 10 Tips for Preventing Breeding in Stagnant Water
Application of Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis (BTI):
Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis (BTI) is a type of biological mosquito control.
The naturally occurring bacteria is completely healthy for other organisms and wildlife. However, to mosquito larvae it’s deadly. That’s what classifies this as a larvicide. Once ingested, the BTI releases a toxin into the stomach of the mosquito larvae that causes it to stop eating and die.
It’s a good option for preventing breeding grounds. However, it only works when a mosquito is in the larvae stage. It doesn’t affect pupae or adults. So, mosquitoes will still be flying around until the end of their life cycle, but with BTI, a new life cycle won’t start on your property.
Introduction of Predators:
The circle of life in the wilderness is alive and well, and mosquitoes are pretty low on the food chain. They have many natural predators that you could easily introduce to your standing water:
This is just a short list of the many options you’d have. Because it’s all natural, the ecosystem would continue to take care of itself and you wouldn’t have to do anything. The mosquitoes would simply stop buzzing around your property.
Taking measures into your own hands, you could try various water treatments that aim at killing the larvae before they can hatch.
Larvicides are a form of insecticide that specifically targets mosquito larvae. They kill the larvae before they can emerge, thus preventing the renewal of the mosquito life cycle.
Liquid larvicides are applied directly to the water and can be purchased over the counter. There’s also tablet, pellet, granular, and briquet forms that can be used in the same manner.
Vegetable oil is a home remedy that is quick and cheap. It sits on the top of the water and increases surface tension. For most wildlife, it’s not an issue. However, for mosquito larvae, they’re not strong enough to break through. Thus, making it difficult to breathe and feed.
There’s many options for insecticides that can be used to chemically treat the water against mosquitoes. In today’s day and age, formulas have been created that protect the surrounding wildlife and specifically target pests like mosquitoes.
Just be sure to read the label before applying and ensure that you’re applying correctly or have a professional apply it for you.
It’s no question that ponds and water features are attractive to mosquitoes. They breed in the stagnant water to keep the life cycle going. So, an option to prevent this is keeping the water moving.
Water circulation increases the surface tension preventing larvae from surfacing for air. They will die in the water before becoming a full-fledged mosquito.
To promote water circulation, there’s many different methods that can be used:
As long as it’s fairly constant, water circulation will act as a great deterrent.
This is another example of a great natural mosquito deterrent. Adult mosquitoes often look to breed where there’s plenty of food and protection from the sun and predators. That’s where your yard comes into play.
If you have a lot of organic debris, excess vegetation, or something similar, mosquitoes could be using it to aid in the breeding process. Remove all such content and your property is no longer as attractive an area to continue the mosquito life cycle.
Water Depth Maintenance:
Because mosquito larvae must surface to breath, creating water features that are deeper than 2 feet will prevent a lot of mosquito problems. It becomes more difficult for them to surface, especially with steep or vertical walls.
Regular Cleaning and Maintenance:
A simple preventative measure that can be taken against mosquito breeding is to regularly clean out anything that does contain water:
Water Storage Containers
These are all objects that if cleaned weekly would prevent stagnant water accumulation and naturally deter mosquitoes.
If you’re going to have containers, cover them with a wire mesh. If something breaks and begins to leak, fix it. Even properly sealing water tanks can make a difference. Regular maintenance on such items blocks mosquito access to water and prevents breeding there altogether.
Regular yard maintenance is another successful preventative measure. Mowing the lawn reduces resting areas for adult mosquitoes. Checking trees for holes can help eliminate standing water. Maintaining swimming pools keeps larvae out. These are all easy ways that can be very effective in preventing the breeding cycle from ever beginning.
Professional Pest Control Services:
Of course, we’re fans of professional pest control service. We’re trained in preventing mosquitoes from breeding in stagnant water. It’s our profession to keep you mosquito free and we love doing it!
Mosquito Shield Is the Answer
Give us a call anytime. We can walk you through any questions you may have, give you a quick quote over the phone, and be there as quick as you need us to be to service your yard.