Identifying mosquito larvae

Identifying mosquito larvae

May 02, 2022

One of the best ways to prevent mosquitos from ruining your outdoors is to stop them from ever even reaching adulthood. But in order to kill mosquito larvae, first you'll need to know how to identify them. Fortunately, doing so is a fairly easy process. In order to identify mosquito larvae, you'll need to know what they look like and where they live.

What Do Mosquito Larvae Look Like?

While you might be an expert in identifying mosquitos, you might not know what their younger versions look like. Mosquito larvae are sometimes called "wrigglers," and pupae are called "tumblers." Mosquito larvae, like many insect larvae, live in the water. They have large heads with fuzzy thoraxes, and narrow, wormlike abdomens. You'll find them at the surface of the water with their abdomens out in the air - this is how they breathe. When disturbed, mosquito larvae will "wriggle" downwards - which is where their name comes from. Similarly, mosquito pupae also hang out at the surface of the water but are curled like commas.

Where Will I Find Mosquito Larvae?

You'll find mosquito larvae in water - standing water specifically. Shallow puddles, both indoors and outdoors, are breeding grounds for mosquitos. They can grow in ponds, puddles, buckets filled with water, and generally damp environments. You won't find them in streams or rivers, though larvae may show up in calm pools that spring off of these areas. Generally, mosquitos love to lay their eggs in quiet water - and due to the speed that mosquitos mature, this can even be in warm, standing water that's accumulated after a rainfall.

What Do I Do When I Find Larvae?

So you've found a pool of standing water and located mosquito larvae - good work. The easiest way to get rid of mosquito larvae is to eliminate areas of standing water. This might mean dumping out accumulated rainwater, checking inside areas where water may drip and accumulate like under washers or air conditioning units or even modifying your landscape to drain out water that might gather in low areas.

If you can't seem to find the mosquito larvae or you can't eliminate their standing water home, it may be time to call the experts. Mosquito fogging treatments eliminate mosquito larvae before they reach adulthood, and misting systems are a great way to eliminate larvae automatically or on-demand. This might be after a heavy rainfall or when you've noticed the problem - but these systems can prevent the issue as well as any future problems.

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