The mosquito uses standing water to facilitate a breeding ground. That’s why homeowners need to ensure no standing water sources on their property, like buckets or poorly draining areas. What happens if you have a pond or another body of water on your property for cosmetic purposes? How do you stop the mosquitoes from breeding in these ideal conditions?

That’s where mosquito dunks come in. These disks contain a potent larvicide called “Bti.” It’s easy to administer to any water source and non-toxic to humans. This post unpacks everything you need to know about mosquito dunks and Bti.

What are Mosquito Dunks?

Mosquito dunks are a disk-shaped larvicide consisting of formulation with Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti). You can buy dunks or bits from local suppliers in your area or online. Both are sources of Bti specifically designed to deal with mosquito larvae in water.

What is Bti?

The Bti bacterium naturally occurs in soil. Bti stands for “Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis.” We’ve already been using this potent mosquito killer for over 30 years. The EPA states Bti spores produce toxins that only affect the larvae of insect pests like mosquitoes, fungus gnats, and black flies.

The FDA has five strains of Bti registered on its database. Bti is also common in more than 48 household, agricultural, and commercial pesticide products.

How Does Bti Kill Mosquitoes?

Bti is especially productive for exterminating mosquitoes, fungus gnats, and black fly larvae. After the hungry larvae consume the Bti spores, they stop eating and perish. Bti will only work against larvae that choose to feed on it actively. Bti doesn’t affect adult mosquitoes and is not an effective repellant.

Terminating the larvae shortly after hatching larvicides like Bti assist government, commercial, and residential projects with lowering mosquito populations. Plenty of studies are backing up the efficacy of Bti in mosquito control programs.

Some research indicates Bti may be useful in controlling mosquitoes carrying dangerous diseases like Dengue, Zika, and Chikungunya in rural locations and exotic destinations like Puerto Rico.

How Do You Use a Bti Mosquito Dunk?

Bti comes in several formats, with the dunk being one of the most popular variations. Other types of Bti products include tablets, pellets, briquettes, liquids, or granules.

You can add it to standing water, like ponds, and it won’t contaminate the water. Toss dunks into fountains, rain barrels, ornamental ponds, and natural pools where the water isn’t moving.

After tossing the dunk in the water, it dissolves, sending the Bti spores out into the aquatic environment to do their thing.

Is Bti Safe for People & Pets?

One of the best features of Bti is that it’s non-toxic to people and pets. You don’t have to worry about cross-contamination anywhere in the home or your environment. Bti is safe for use in local ecosystems without disrupting the delicate natural balance of the surrounding area.

Both the CDC and the EPA state Bti is safe for use in residential properties across America. Bti won’t affect aquatic animals or insect populations and doesn’t harm bees. Bti is also a popular larvicide used in organic farming practices.

Since Bti relies on organic spores to do the dirty work, there’s no need for chemical additions in pesticides using this compound. Some Bti products cannot be used around drinking water sources, and others can. Research what’s available to you in your area and online.

Can Mosquitoes Build Resistance to Bti Mosquito Dunks?

No. Mosquitoes show no accumulation of resistance to Bti since its inception three decades ago as a mosquito larvicide. A 2013 study confirms previous research results indicating a lack of Bti resistance in mosquito populations treated for decades.

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