How do I control mosquio larve in the horse water troff??

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by FLchook, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. FLchook

    FLchook Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    Orlando, Florida
    I looked down this morning, and the freshly filled water troff is already full of mosquito larve!!! How do I control this? Those things are going to hatch and be nasty little beasts! besides, is it safe for the horses to be drinking that water?

  2. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
    Get a couple small minnows and throw them in there. Some people use a goldfish or two.

    How big is your though?

    We have minnows in our trough and it keeps the mosquito larvae out very well.

  3. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    Have you tried Mosquito Dunks? They're supposed to be safe for livestock. I put them in my rain barrel.
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    There are also mosquito fish, which as the name suggests prey on the larvae. DO be careful though with these, as I believe releasing them accidentally into native waters is often a no-no.
  5. My friend was just telling me that our local Mosquito and Vector Control Dept. will come out and stock anything you have, fountains, ponds, etc, with mosquito fish for free. Do you have one of those departments in your area?
  6. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    Have your horses had their West Nile shots? Other than that, my DH says to put fish in the trough as they often do that in the windmill tubs on the ranch.
  7. robinaggie

    robinaggie Flew the Coop

    May 25, 2008
    As suggested above - mosquito dunks are available at Lowe's, and they're safe for birdbaths and animal water.
  8. Florida chick

    Florida chick Songster

    Jan 19, 2008
    They take a couple of days to hatch. There is no WAY a freshly cleaned trough is full of the larvae. If you rinse and fill the buckets or trough daily there is 100% never a problem. I also live in FL, it happend in stagnant water. Its more work but makes for healthier horses.
  9. robinaggie

    robinaggie Flew the Coop

    May 25, 2008
    Any eggs or larvae left clinging to the trough will end up in the fresh water. [​IMG]
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    They actually *could* be there in a freshly filled trough, if the eggs were sitting in there for a coupla days and did not get thoroughly swished out when the trough was dumped/refilled. However it is not an immediate emergency as it will take most of a week, even in hot weather, for them to get towards pupating and becoming adults. Mosquito larvae are totally safe for the horses to drink.

    I would not personally put Bt dunks in a water trough -- it is generally said to be capable of causing intestinal irritation and you know how horses are about colicking. If the dunks are labelled as ok to use in livestock water then that is a change from the way it used to be and I frankly would not trust it too far.

    If you are in Florida then the simplest thing is to toss some mosquitofish (Gambusia) into the trough. They're already all over the state, mostly native, so there is no ecological aspect to worry about. The only thing is that once you have fish in your trough you obviously can't tip it out to completely empty it when cleaning/refilling (unless you net them out first). But I would recommend Gambusia over goldfish as being more 'task oriented' and causing less of a nasty-green-water problem than goldfish can. Also they are free, just go to any natural body of water with a dipnet [​IMG]

    Personally I just dump the water between fillings (and lightly spray or scrub the tank out), which in my case happens to be a shorter period than the maturation time of the skeeter larvae.

    Good luck,


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