Preventing Mosquito Larvae

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Siler, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. Siler

    Siler Songster

    Jan 25, 2010
    Central Indiana
    I did a search and came up with a wide variety of old topics on the matter. Most of them don't really answer my question so I'll ask here. I'm having a big problem with mosquito larvae in water all over the property. The only true solution is to dump the water or to add mosquito fish. The problem for me is that my girls are free-range and wander all over the yard. I put water in buckets and bird baths everywhere so they have easy access to water when It's really hot out. I have a bird bath on both the north and south side of the house along with large saucers, buckets, and bowls everywhere. I dump them as often as possible and refresh the water. I scrub them out about once a week. I also have 3 small water gardens. Two are heavy with plants as well as dragonflies and frogs. They're side by side surrounded by all of my sun loving flowers and I've fenced the area off to keep the duck out of the water and destroying my water lillies as well as keeping the chickens from stomping on my flowers. They occasionally get in to drink the water so I'm afraid to treat the water.

    Question is how do I treat the water. Before I had chickens I would add a chemical that kept the mosquito larva from progressing any further. I can't use that anymore for fear of killing my ladies or causing issues with the eggs. I have used a small splash of bleach on occasion and mixed it quick. It's good to keep string algae away too. What about vegetable oil? It would coat the surface, but at what cost? Is it harmful to chickens? Is it harmful to the plants in the water?

    Dogs that drink mosquito larvae often end up with heartworms so how can they not be harmful to chickens?
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  2. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    You can get some "Dunkers" at walmart garden center they go in the water last for 30 days, is non toxic to critters but kills mosquitoes larvae.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  3. saladin

    saladin Songster

    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    Simple solution: bleach. Add at the rate of 1 to 2 oz per gallon of water.
  4. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    Hi Siler, look for Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) cakes. They are made from a bacteria that is more or less specifically lethal to mosquitos (will kill some gnats too) by working on their digestive tracts. It won't affect most things, especially your chickens, dragonfly larvae and frogs. Our city provides them for free. They work very well.
  5. WonderChicken

    WonderChicken In the Brooder

    Aug 14, 2010
    High Ridge, Missouri
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I think the water gardens with the frogs and dragonflies will take care of themselves. I sorry I can't offer advice about your other concerns. Maybe you could google for non toxic water treatments (mosquito larvae) and see if anything comes up. From what I've read the Nile virus mosquitoes don't lay eggs in water but, the other kinds do.
  7. MakNugget

    MakNugget Songster

    May 31, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I agree with post 2 and 4. Look for Mosquito Dunks. I got mine from Amazon and they've been most effective for me. Plus side is it's not a chemical, and is safe for fish if you're using it for a pond.
  8. Siler

    Siler Songster

    Jan 25, 2010
    Central Indiana
    Thanks for the suggestions. Wonderchicken, I have Pre-Strike and I've used that for a few years. It works wonderfully in the ponds, but it has so many warnings on it that I never once thought about using it since getting chickens. I looked it up and it's the largest ingredient in Frontline Plus that I have sitting on my desk to treat my cat. I kept looking it up online and after link after link I finally found a study that someone did. It says that in poultry at about the amount listed on Frontline the poultry passed it along in the yolks. At the level in the Pre-Strike it probably wouldn't be toxic at low consumption, but after years of eating the eggs I worry about my exposure at long term. On top of that the dishes I want to put it in are shallow enough that the hens would peck it out and eat it. I also have a duck that sifts through for bugs and such. He doesn't eat all the larvae tho. The dog and cats also drink from the same dishes and birdbaths.

    Gallo del Cielo, I have never heard of Bti. I like the sound of it. I'll keep researching it and see if Perdue University happens to give them out. If not I'll see where I can buy it. We have a local pond supply place where I actually bought the Pre-Strike.

    I thought about buying a bug zapper too. I know the ladies would love that, but would butterflies go at it at night if I only used it at night? My yard is filled with the floating beauties who come for the fallen peaches and pears. Would it even work on mosquitoes?
  9. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    I use the dunks from Ebay, they are non toxic
    The bug zapper works, it should have an energy saver option - it will only go on at night so as not to harm anything else. It does work on mosquitoes and moths, plus the hens LOVE to eat the bugs when I empty the chamber!!!!

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