Not really fitting into any other mosquito kill category, Mosquito Dunks help control mosquito populations by killing the larvae. Like other insects, mosquitoes go through a larval and pupal phase before reaching adulthood.
The female mosquito lays her eggs in standing water. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae stay submerged during development, but get air through breathing tubes. They feed on organisms in the water.
Mosquito Dunks are donut shaped disks that contain a special bacterial organism, Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, or Bti. This bacteria forms spores and in the process creates unique crystalline bodies. When the mosquito larvae eat the spores, they ingest a toxin that paralyses the gut and keeps digestion from occurring. The larvae cease feeding, and death results in a few hours to a few days.
Bti has been found to be very effective in combating mosquito populations in tropical areas. In Central America, malaria is a serious health risk. In 1998, the government of Nicaragua decided to use Bti and another bacillus, B.spaericus Griselef, as an alternative to toxic pesticides. They found that the bacillus reduced mosquito populations by 90- 100% for 3-5 weeks. The program established that 3-5 applications per year were sufficient to keep the mosquito population substantially reduced.
After spraying, malaria cases in Managua dropped from more than 19,000 in 1996 to 1575 in 2000. Bti is completely safe for humans, pets, birds, fish, bees and other wildlife.
For the home residence, Bti is available in two forms. Mosquito Dunks are donut shaped disks that are designed for larger areas of water, like ponds and backyard water features. They can cover up to 100 square feet and last for 30 days.
And they are versatile enough for a wide variety of uses. Long touted as a great addition to the water garden, they are indispensible for all home owners. Mosquito Kill Bits are smaller granules that can be used to protect smaller water filled areas, like birdbaths, plant saucers, pet bowls and gutters.
Both kinds break down rapidly in the environment, and have a storage life of about six months.
Mosquito Dunks are an indispensable weapon in the war on mosquitoes because the bacillus kill them before they ever have the chance to mature. Dunks and Bits are easy to use, safe and last long enough that it is worth it to reapply a few times during the season.