Mosquito larvae - bad move?

Colorado Springs, CO(Zone 6a)

So as I was pulling weeds today, I looked at my new in ground bird bath/wildlife water hole and noticed a TON of mosquito larvae. The Houstonian in me freaked out (they aren't normally too bad in Colorado) lol...visions of being eaten alive because I apparently have sweet blood. Anyway, I digress. I looked up online natural ways to kill the larvae, ways that I have on hand - trying to save a trip to the store to get a mosquito dunk. Found nothing really.

I have long used clove oil as a "humane" way to euthanize sick fish in my aqaurium hobby. So I sprinkled a few drops in the water (only about 3-5 gallons) and went in to boil some water to help with the deed. When I came out to dump the boiling water in, most of the larvae were dead and once I poured in the hot water which mixed in the clove oil it appears as though all are dead.

So, was I successful or did I just kill the plants in my watering hole(a yellow flag iris and a Crium amabile) and make it unfit for the birds I hope to lure, too!?!? Should I be worried??

(Tammie) Odessa, TX(Zone 7b)

Wow.. never heard of using clove oil.. I just have a ton of dunks on hand to use in any standing water.. I have 6 fish in my little pond so I don't have to worry about any mosquitoes but I have rain water containers that they just LOVE to lay their eggs in.. I just laugh and drop in a piece of a dunk.. dead larvae! Lay away you silly mosquitoes.. at least you can lay your eggs where I lay my dunks....

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

once you dump the clove oil in, it may be very difficult to get it out, and adding fish in the future will...?

Do you have mosquito fish or some kind of minnow in your area that you could put in? Depending on how large your hole is, you can add a splash fountain, the birds will love it, the mosquitoes do not like moving water.

Wells, TX(Zone 8b)

a small pump to move the water will keep you free of skeeters...in addition to attracting more wildlife... I add a touch of bleach to my rain barrels to kill the skeeterswhen I see them forming but then I wait a few days before I use it to make sure disapated and doesnt harm my plants... add the pump and somesmall fish and youll be fine...

Colorado Springs, CO(Zone 6a)

Lol Tammie :) Feels good to watch them die!

Well this morning there is no larvae, and the plants are still alive. I think you're right though- it will be very hard to get all trace of the clove oil out...I can smell it when I walk by, and I don't happen to like that smell either. But I don't intend on putting any fish in there because there are only about 2 inches of water at the deepest spot and it's only about 2 feet in diameter.

I have two other ponds that have fish and a pump - so no worries about larvae in the back yard, thank goodness. But the front of the house has no power outlet, so it's almost out of the question to put in a pump. I would love one of those solar ones if they weren't so danged expensive...
The moral of the story is, I'm going out to by dunks today! lol thanks for yall's quick responses.

Wells, TX(Zone 8b)

I saw a solar pump for about 30.00 at harbor freight seems to me with the costs of the dunks the pump would pay for itself in no time...

Colorado Springs, CO(Zone 6a)

Yea that's not bad at all. I don't think we have harbor freights here - maybe a farm store would have one? In the meantime, does Ace Hardware carry mosquito dunks you think?

Colorado Springs, CO(Zone 6a)

I'll be darned, we do have Harbor Freights here! Just found them. I'll go over there today.

Pueblo West, CO

I moved recently to CO from AZ. I had to leave behind three ponds in AZ. We just did a stock tank pond and although I'd rather have an inground pond I like my stock tank pond. I wasn't sure if there was a problem with mosquito's here but, put in dunks just in case. Got these lil cuties a couple of weeks ago.

Thumbnail by SUNNYAZ
(Tammie) Odessa, TX(Zone 7b)

Nice coloring.... pretty fishies. My .29 cent gold fish I bought at Walmart last year have really grown. I made sure I bought 6 different looking ones so I could tell them apart.

I bought a big package of dunks on e-bay last year. I could not find them in the stores here anywhere. I just use a piece of a dunk in each rain container or even just some crumbles so I now have a lifetime supply.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

Hey Nancy, I really miss having my Phoenix water lily buddy here, but maybe you can still answer a question for me. I'm looking for a hardy pink lily with similar bloom to Whole Melon and Lemon Mist. Do you remember any that you had that would be that look? Sort of a double starburst effect.

Pueblo West, CO

Hey Judy...Check out Arcenciel. I love the pads on this one.
I miss my ponds so much! I'm making do but, someday I will have another. [=
Would you happen to have Shady Lady or any other dwarf lily?

Thumbnail by SUNNYAZ
Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

The only dwarf I have is Aurora and you're welcome to plenty of it. I've had a Lemon Mist tuber floating in the pond since I repotted some a month or two ago and it's now blooming and has tiny leaves. You might be able to dwarf it by withholding fertilizers. The blooms are small and very pretty. Let me know, I'll send you what I've got.

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

You can get Clove Oil from health food stores and most pharmacies (WalMart even carries it if you ask the pharmacist) They use it in lesser forms to sedate a fish that needs medical assistance (like large koi that have ulcers, etc) But that's only a few drops per 10 gallons of water. In the olden days it was rubbed on infants gums while teething, to numb the pain, but is no longer suggested for that, because it's not FDA approved.
Dunks take a while, but are effective for mosquito control, although the little feeder fish are much cheaper.

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

Maybe its not FDA approved because it's cheap and it works :) just sayin'.

since you don't plan on putting fish in it, maybe you could just put a tsp or so of the clove oil in once a week, might be cheaper?

Colorado Springs, CO(Zone 6a)

Well I went by our Harbor Freight (cool store!! ) and found a solar pump for 20 bucks. But they were all sold out! Not another HF for 40 miles, so it might be a while before I do that. I was shocked to find such a deal. They have it in stock on their website, but I'm not willing to pay shipping when I could get it locally.

So...I am thinking dunks or clove oil might be the option for a bit. Frilly, clove oil is by no means cheap - 15$ an ounce. But it's a good thought, since it only took 5 drops to kill all of the larvae this first time. The water still smells strongly of clove.
I'm hoping there are no affects on birds if they use the water?? Any thoughts?

Wells, TX(Zone 8b)

see to me 40 mile or 80 miles rt is nothing.. I have to go 20 miles oneway just to get to a decent town with a grocery..lol... but then Ive been known to get on my motorcycle and ride 250 miles to nowhere and back just for fun...lol.. and for 20 bucks.. Id go for get it if I could find it...

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

SunnyAz, I just ordered a new lily. It's called Sunny Pink. :-) It will remind me of you, although that's not why I chose it. I hope it doesn't outgrow my pond too quickly. Has anyone here ever grown it?

See it here. http://www.victoria-adventure.org/waterlilies_images/james_ks/sunny_pink_gallery.html

Pueblo West, CO

Ah.....Judy thanks! (= That is a pretty one. I brought Fox Fire, Southern Charm and June Allison with me but, why didn't I bring a couple hardies! So far my tropicals haven't started to leaf out. They are alive but, not doing anything yet. I may take you up on the Lemon Mist. [=

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9a)

Yes, you definitely need hardies in CO. I was amazed to see Lemon Mist blooming. I just went out and took a picture. It doesn't have open blooms but you can see the closed one and the leaves in comparison with my foot, which admittedly, is large.

edit to add it has some aphids that you can see in the picture which of course wash off

This message was edited Jun 2, 2010 3:01 PM

Thumbnail by judyb
springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

well if 5 drops did it, and it still smells, Try using even less. Also, unless that stuff evaporates from the water, will it just stay active unless you change out the water? The water will evaporate and need topped, but the oil won't ?

I think birds are pretty sensitive so they probably know it is in the water. I really don't know about that.
I think the solar pump thing would be the best eventually to keep the water moving. The birds love a small spray head to play/bathe in.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

I find dunks at Home Depot, or even Walmart up here ANG.

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