Dozens of mosquito larvae in water.

How to Kill Mosquito Larvae

  Sprinkler Magician
  April 18, 2022

Almost everyone has seen mosquito larvae wriggling about in the water. They’re unassuming enough at this stage in their lives, so it’s easy to forget that half of them will be bloodsuckers in a few short days. But what if you could take action and stop them from turning into mosquitoes?

Keep reading to find out how to kill mosquito larvae and prevent them from being around in the first place.

8 Ways to Kill Mosquito Larvae

The best way to prevent mosquito larvae from developing is to not give them a place to live in the first place.

However, that’s easier said than done. Here are a few ways you can prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs (and how to kill larvae if it’s too late).

  • Remove All Water Sources

Almost all mosquito species lay their eggs in water. By removing standing water sources, you eliminate the ability for larvae to exist there.

To prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in water, make sure to remove any and all sources of standing water in your yard or around your house. This includes piles of leaves, spots in the yard that collect puddles, pet bowls you leave water inside of, upside down toys, or literally anything else where water collects.

If you find them already swimming around in things like a bucket or empty flower pot, you can simply dump them out in your driveway. This will cause them to dry out and die.

  • Put Bti in Water

Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) is a great, natural way to kill mosquito larvae. It is a natural bacterium that produces spores only harmful to a few insect larvae, including mosquitoes.

There is a popular consumer product called Mosquito Bits® that contains Bti – it’s usually found at your local home improvement store. To use it, simply sprinkle it in water where mosquito larvae are swimming around.

According to the EPA, Bti has no toxicity to humans and is safe to use around organic farming operations.

When mosquito larvae eat Bti spores, toxins are released inside them, and they die within 24 hours.

  • Keep Water Moving

For the best chance of survival, female mosquitoes tend to lay their eggs in water with no movement. Mosquito larvae are not good swimmers, so moving water keeps them from being able to surface and breathe. As a result, they will drown.

Introducing movement into water sources, such as ponds or fountains, will work great to deter mosquitoes from laying eggs there or kill larvae if they are already present.

  • Add Vegetable Oil to Standing Water

Vegetable oil is the best oil to use to kill mosquito larvae in standing water. 

While other oils, such as olive oil, will work, vegetable oil is both highly effective and affordable.

To use oil to kill mosquito larvae, simply pour your selected oil into the water containing the larvae. The goal is to create a thin layer of oil across the entire surface of the water.

This works because mosquito larvae breathe air, so they must periodically come to the surface to avoid drowning. The oil prevents them from being able to get the air they need, causing them to drown.

You could also put some essential oils into standing water to both repel mosquitoes and potentially kill larvae. There are many essential oils that naturally repel mosquitoes, such as lavender, citronella, and lemon eucalyptus. However, this option could quickly become expensive depending on how often you need to use it.

This isn’t a recommended method to use in ponds because it could affect other organisms under the water.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can not only repel adult mosquitoes but can also kill larvae before they have a chance to leave the water.

For this method to work, you’ll need a concentration of 15% vinegar. This could be difficult for larger water sources, however, this method works really well.

Apple cider vinegar should kill mosquito larvae in about a day.

  • Dish Soap

Dish soap is one of the best methods for killing mosquito larvae. As a bonus, a little goes a long way. You will only need about one milliliter per gallon of water.

Does Soapy Water Kill Mosquito Larvae?

Yep! Sometimes all you need to kill mosquito larvae in water is a few drops of dish soap.

It works to kill mosquitoes in two ways. First, it creates a barrier on the surface from the oils it contains and suffocates the larvae. Next, it is toxic to most insect larvae, including mosquitoes.

  • An Alternative Insect Repellent (like Mosquito Magician!)

Like removing the water source and introducing movement into the water, Mosquito Magician is a method that prevents mosquitoes from laying eggs in the first place.

It is an effective mosquito repellent that is safe to use around animals, and even kids (when used as directed).

  • Chlorinated Bleach

While chlorinated bleach is an effective mosquito larvae killer, it shouldn’t be the first thing you grab. It will kill just about any plant it touches or any creature that ingests it – even when diluted. This includes grass, fish, and any animal that drinks it. Because of this, its applications to kill mosquito larvae should be limited.

One of the safest ways to use bleach to kill larvae is to dilute two tablespoons of it in a gallon of distilled water and use that to clean clogged gutters.

Adult mosquitoes often live in gutters with a lot of debris. So if a gutter is clogged, they can live there and lay eggs in the trapped water only inches away. If they don’t properly drain water, hundreds of mosquito larvae could be in there.

If you use this method, be mindful of where the downspout drains. Even when diluted it is likely to bleach hard surfaces and kill your grass or other plants.

The best way to solve this problem is to set up a collection bucket under the downspout to catch what comes through.

With your bucket in place, pour your diluted bleach solution along your gutter. Any mosquito larvae should be dead within a couple of hours.

With your bucket still under the downspout, clean the debris from the gutters and thoroughly spray them out with a water hose. Dispose of the bucket down a drain or toilet.

Keep Mosquitoes Away With Mosquito Magician

You won’t be able to kill all mosquito larvae, so you need a way to keep the adults away. 

The best way to get rid of mosquitoes is by using an effective mosquito solution. Our formula was designed to be effective with essential oils.