Mosquito Dunks – Stop Mosquitos Before They Hatch

This in-depth guide will teach you how to use mosquito dunks effectively. I'll also show you my field-tested recommendations.

Many homeowners understand that mosquitos are more prevalent in dark and moist areas.

However, they don’t make the connection that this is because mosquitos grow and breed in those wet areas.

Thus, attacking mosquitos at their source and where they breed can be a highly effective solution. Mosquito dunks provide an effective solution to mosquito control.

Why you should place mosquito dunks in standing water

Most mosquitoes lay their eggs right in the water, which can be even just a small amount such as a low spot in your yard or the water in a bird bath.

Other mosquitos will lay their eggs in close proximity of water, as even the surrounding areas tend to have enough moisture to aid survivals.

Eggs then hatch into larvae in just 24 to 48 hours and the larvae can grow to approximately five millimeters in length.

mosquito life cycle

Larvae and pupae can rarely survive without water. If a water source evaporates or is disrupted and moved before the larvae and pupae transform into adult mosquitoes, the young mosquitos will die.

  • Within one week to ten days after becoming larvae, the larvae will then begin moving through the pupal stage.
  • After a mosquito is fully developed during this pupal stage it will then become an adult.

Adult female mosquitoes will then look for an animal to provide their next meal – and when I say animal, that just might be you.

And get this – females can fly for miles when they need to and can proceed to lay over 100 eggs during one single hatch. If you are like me, this is an astounding number. It is no wonder that mosquitos tend to come in the hundreds at a time – it’s because they really do.

Stop mosquitos before they hatch – the benefit of the mosquito dunk

moskito dunks summit

Understanding that mosquitos grow and thrive in moist environments, then it is logical to think that if a mosquito is stopped at its source, then we can provide better protection to ourselves and our loved ones from those itchy mosquito bites.

This is exactly why mosquito dunks are such a great option – you drop them into standing water and can control mosquitos before they hatch for up to 30 days.

Recommended: Summit Mosquito Dunks

Summit mosquito dunks are made in the USA and offer what they call biological mosquito control.

The Summit mosquito dunk product is safe in fish habitats as well as animal troughs, which can really help with mosquito control on you ranch or at your farm or cabin.

Mosquito Summit Dunks (8 Dunks)
My preferred brand of mosquito dunks

Summit dunks work for up to 30 days.

This product is also great in your yard if you are subject to standing water – you can use this item in flower pots, tree holes, bird baths, rain barrels, roof gutters, old tires, swimming pools that are no longer used, etc.

You’ll notice that I talked about this very topic in my post about eradicating mosquitos in or near your swimming pool. And I want to reiterate my points about this now because these mosquito dunks really do work.

How do mosquito dunks work?

The active and primary ingredient in mosquito dunks is Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies Israelensis (Bti), a dried bacterium which is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and helps not only against mosquitoes but also fungus gnats.

Bti is used all over the United States for the control of mosquitos. In fact, Bti has been used for aerial spraying in several states to help control mosquitos as it can be sprayed over ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams.

mosquito dunks
All forms of standing water provide a habitat to mosquito larvae.

Bti is used to kill mosquito larvae in standing water where larvae are generally found.

Bti can also be used around the exterior of homes and throughout your yard where water tends to collect and build up, including flower pots, old tires, abandoned fire pits, and bird baths. Not only that, but Bti can be used to treat irrigation ditches as well as lakes and ponds.

I have had great luck with mosquito dunks in my pool and in my fish pond. But, I also tend to complement the efforts of the mosquito dunks with that can be spread in the other areas. You can read more about this in my article about mosquito beater granules.

When using both of these strategies, I find that my space stays quite mosquito free and it helps with fungus gnats too. Please ensure that you are very cautious when using either of these products though, especially around children and animals.

Another mosquito-dunk type option

If you want another option in addition to the Summit brand that I recommended above, then I suggest Terro larvacide pouches.

  • This product is a bit different than the dunks I have mentioned, but work pretty much the same way.
  • Instead of a disk, the Terro product has dissolvable pouches that effectively eradicate mosquitos when added to stagnant water.

These pouches contain a selective microbial insecticide which effectively goes after larvacide in a variety of mosquito-prone habitats.

These pouches can be applied in areas with plants and aquatic life, as well as areas frequently used by humans, pets, birds, and other wildlife. And don’t worry, because the dissolvable pouches are dust-free and contain no mess related to breaking open a package.

Terro T1210 No Mess Mosquito Larvacide Pouches - 10 Pouches Included
Pouches are a great alternative to mosquito dunks

Dust-free and mess free!

Are mosquito dunks safe near pets and children?

As mentioned above, the EPA has indicated that the use of mosquito dunks are non-toxic to people, pets, fish, and all other wildlife.

But I want to put caution out there that even though these items ae non-toxic, use of the dunks should be carefully monitored in homes that have pets or small children.

Mosquito dunks are about two inches in diameter and have a narrow hole in the middle so that you can use a piece of string, wood, or metal to place the dunk where you want it to go.

So, these items do look like a treat or a cookie to a child or a dog. And, because mosquito dunks are designed to dissolve slowly and float through the water, inquiring minds might get a bit curious. I would never recommend that mosquito dunks are safe for ingestion.

Not only that, but if placing your dunks in a mosquito or pond, it is important to supervise children so that they don’t try to venture into the water. We need to keep your children safe!

Natural mosquito dunk alternatives

If this is concerning to you, I do have another recommendation, so don’t fret.

mosquito dunk alternatives

Clarke Natular DT mosquito larvicide is a great option as it looks more like a small tablet and less like a snack.

  • This product goes to work in less than two days and lasts up to 60 days. This product is made from spinosad, which is derived from naturally occurring bacteria.
  • I also recommend this product for low spots in your yard that might fill up with water but then drain, and then fill-up again.

This can also work really well if you have pot-holes in your cabin driveway. These tablets work as a slow release that stops working when dry, and begins working again when the moisture returns.

So, not only is this great for those yard low-spots and those driveway pot-holes, but it can also be used at construction sites, plant nurseries, farms, businesses with outdoor seating (especially useful for wedding receptions taking place on a rainy day or after a recent rain.

Clarke - Natular DT Mosquito Larvicide - Bi-Layer Tablet
Great for homes with small children or pets – looks less like a snack!

This product gets to work in 24 hours and can last up to 60 days.

Where should I use mosquito dunks?

As I mentioned, mosquito dunks work well wherever you have standing water or container water.

You can use mosquito dunks in flower pots or planters, bird baths, fish or garden ponds, water gardens, rain barrels, fountains, ornamental pools, abandoned swimming pools, roof gutters, old tires, tire tracks in an uneven driveway, tree holes, pool covers, roof top catchments, buckets, wheelbarrows, garbage bins, floor drains, French drains, rock holes, pot holes, or any other natural or man-made depression.

homemade mosquito dunking
Use (homemade) mosquito dunks around your property before mosquito season starts.

Consider that the typical life cycle of the mosquito varies between the unique species and is highly dependent upon certain environmental conditions including temperature and moisture. However, all mosquitoes go through the life cycle the egg, larval, pupal, and ultimately the adult stages.

A male mosquito lives an average of ten days, though a female mosquito can live over 40 days.

The difference in life span is because male mosquitoes survive only on plant nectar, while females extract the blood of their hosts in order to develop and nourish eggs. This additional menu pursuant just to females results in a longer life span.

Why is all of this important? Because it explains that these little buggers live a short life and can wreak an awful lot of havoc in 40 days or less.

With over 100 eggs laid in a single patch, getting in front of these mosquitos by leveraging mosquito dunks wherever you have standing or stagnant water will help you to create a more comfortable and mosquito-free environment.

Further recommendations

Mosquito traps, which like they are named, work to lure in mosquitos and then trap them in a device of some kind.

mosquito lantern

These devices do a great job of attracting these nasty little bloodsuckers and killing them by the thousands. Mosquito traps are an excellent choice if you want to keep your yard and the perimeter of your home mosquito free. You can also find indoor mosquito traps that keep you safe while sleeping.

Finally, mosquito killer spray sometimes is the only way to go, especially if you seem to do an exceptional job of personally attracting those mosquitos.

Combining natural remedies with some of these additional strategies can do an excellent job of repelling mosquitos for quite some time. So, get planting, get outside, and enjoy your newly mosquito free yard!