How to Kill Mosquito Larvae in Standing Water With Household Products

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Image Credit: Alexey Koza/iStock/GettyImages
See More Photos

Dealing with mosquitos seems almost inevitable, and no matter how many times you layer on repellent, they're still a nuisance. If mosquitoes regularly take over your yard, consider ways to kill mosquito larvae in standing water with household products. Killing them before they develop into adults is the best solution to lower the number of mosquitoes living rent-free in your space.

Advertisement

Video of the Day

It's important to note that using any household product not labeled to kill mosquito larvae poses a health hazard to backyard birds and other animals that may drink from or immerse themselves in areas of standing water. It's environmentally responsible to use a product formulated for killing mosquito larvae, such as "dunks" or "cakes," which do not harm fish or other vertebrate animals.

Advertisement

Get Rid of Standing Water

The best way to get rid of mosquito larvae is by not giving mosquitoes a place to lay their eggs. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, and eggs can hatch in 1 inch of water or more. That's why it's vital to get rid of standing water in pet water dishes, kiddie pools and anywhere else in your yard. Also, try to remove piles of leaves because leaves can become a breeding ground for mosquito larvae.

Advertisement

If it's too late and you notice mosquito eggs in standing water, you need to act quickly. Mosquitoes go through four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Depending on the mosquito species, eggs are laid singly or side by side. The eggs stick together and form a raft that floats on standing water's surface, and these rafts can consist of 100 to 400 eggs.

Advertisement

After about a week, the eggs hatch in the standing water and become mosquito larvae. They have a hard, round head, a soft body and an abdomen with 10 segments, and their size can be less than 1/4 inch long. You want to kill the mosquito larvae in this stage as soon as you notice them.

Household Items to Kill Larvae

If you want to kill mosquito larvae in standing water with regular household products, you can use apple cider vinegar, dish soap or shampoo. You can even use oils such as vegetable oil, extra-virgin olive oil or essential oils, like cinnamon oil. Although you can use bleach, you have to be careful because bleach can harm pets and wildlife. Bleach should only be used as a last resort because of its harmful effects to the environment as well as wildlife, and it shouldn't be necessary because other household products should help your yard become larvae-free.

Advertisement

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a household product that kills mosquito larvae. All you have to do is pour apple cider vinegar in standing water, and after about 18 hours, the apple cider vinegar should have killed the mosquito larvae. When you pour the apple cider vinegar into the standing water, you want to make sure that the concentration is about 15 percent vinegar to 85 percent standing water.

Advertisement

Dish Soap, Shampoo, or Oil

Any liquid soap can kill mosquito larvae, so all you have to do is grab some dish soap or shampoo and add it to the standing water. A millimeter per gallon of standing water will kill the mosquito larvae in about a day.

Oil is a super quick solution when it comes to killing mosquito larvae. If you have vegetable oil, extra-virgin olive oil or even cinnamon oil, pour 1 teaspoon of oil per gallon of water. Although a teaspoon doesn't seem like a lot, a thin layer of oil kills mosquito larvae.

Advertisement

references