It’s tough to completely avoid standing water, but this is where mosquito larvae live and eventually grow into irritating adults. Even worse, larvae only need a tiny amount of water, something as small as a puddle is enough. 

Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to prevent larvae from forming in your yard rather than deal with the results later. If you do have standing water, however, and suspect mosquito larvae are present, there are several things you can do to address the issue. 

Preventing Mosquito Larvae in Standing Water

The best way to deal with mosquito larvae is not to have them. To avoid this nasty situation, remove sources of standing water from your property such as barrels, buckets, plastic bags, toys, and other clutter. 

If something can hold water, it can also host mosquito larvae. Keep your gutters and drains clean. If you have a birdbath, change the water regularly. 

Killing Mosquito Larvae in Standing Water

If you notice standing water on your property and believe that it might be hosting mosquito larvae, there are several DIY ways you can kill them safely. You may need to experiment with a few methods to find the one that works best for you. 


Putting a thin coat of oil on top of standing water will suffocate mosquito larvae. Choose natural oils like vegetable oil or olive oil. For every gallon of water, you only need about one teaspoon of oil. But avoid using this method on bodies of water that contain other wildlife, like fish. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

You can also add apple cider vinegar to standing water to kill mosquito larvae. The effect takes up to a day to work. This is a non-toxic and environmentally-safe solution, but you need to use enough vinegar for it to work. The ratio should be about 85% water and 15% vinegar to kill mosquito larvae. If unsure, using a bit more won’t hurt. 


Just about any type of soap will work, but you can put some insecticidal soap in the water, which you should be able to find at your local hardware store. To get rid of mosquito larvae, just put a few drops of soap into standing water, which should kill them within a day. 


Bleach will kill mosquito larvae, but it isn’t an environmentally friendly option. If you’ve exhausted other methods and need something else to try, you put a tablespoon of bleach per gallon of standing water to address the issue. Only do this the water won’t touch plants or come into contact with wildlife. 


Finally, mosquito dunks are another way you can safely kill mosquito larvae, but they aren’t household items. These are ring-shaped items containing bacteria that is only toxic to mosquito larvae. Each treatment lasts about a month and will treat up to 100 square feet of water surface. It is also harmless to wildlife and pets. 

If you live in the Columbia, SC area and want to get rid of pests in your home or yard, MidSouth Termite and Pest Control, Inc. can help. We are a family-owned and operated business that has been keeping client’s homes free of unwanted pests since 1999. Contact us today to learn more about our guaranteed services.