While mosquito Dunks work well for mosquito control in most regular bodies of standing water, not everyone has a gigantic pool. And as I mentioned earlier, mosquitoes don’t discriminate when it comes to choosing where they’ll lay their eggs; therefore, sometimes mosquitoes lay eggs in dirty or marshy water, such as water in dumpsters and swamps.
Dunks won’t be effective in these situations due to the bodies of water being small and short-lasting, and that’s what mosquito Bits are for: a larvicide dedicated to dirty water and hard-to-reach bodies of water.
What are Mosquito Bits?
Mosquito Bits are made by Summit Chemical Company and work for mosquito control in a variety of habitats. Summit makes similar products, like Dunks, which are used to kill mosquito larvae. The first difference you’ll notice between Dunks and Bits is the appearance; Dunks look like grey Lifesavers, whereas Bits take the appearance of a grain due to it being made of corn cob granules, hence the name Bits. These corn cob granules are covered in B.T.I., the same bacteria that makes Summit’s Dunks so effective.
Mosquito Bits were made due to the situations mentioned in the opening, as Dunks don’t really, well, work in those conditions. However, Bits were made with those conditions in mind, so instead of a slow-acting, long-lasting solution that Dunks provide, mosquito Bits offer a quick kill, but the effects won’t last very long in the water.
Similar to Dunks, Bits only work against larvae, so don’t expect the mosquitoes biting you to clear out anytime soon; you’ll still need a repellent on hand for them.
Fun fact: Summit Bits work against fungus gnat larvae in plant beds according to their website.
How Do They Work?
Bits work similar to Dunks, releasing the active ingredient B.T.I. in the body of water they’re sprinkled in. As the Bits float around in the water, the B.T.I covering the corn cob granules will start releasing into the water. From then on, the larvae will consume the B.T.I. and die afterward, clearing the potential mosquitoes from the body of water. Bits are biological mosquito larvicide and the product kills mosquito larvae. Unlike Summit Mosquito Dunks, however, they are not made for long-term control.
According to the US EPA, B.T.I has no toxicity to people and is approved for use for pest control in organic farming operations.
However, one caveat of Bits is the fact they don’t last a whole month (30 days) like Dunks do. Instead, Bits will last 7-14 days, with Summit recommending sprinkling more Bits every two weeks.
How Do You Use Them?
Instead of plopping down a dunk in the water and leaving it, you’ll need to take a more “active” role. Due to Bits being granular, you need to pour the Bits into the water while spreading them around to make sure you’re covering the whole area.
Once spread around, the Bits will release the B.T.I. and kill off the larvae in a quick and timely manner.
Where to Use Them
As mentioned earlier, Bits are best used in small bodies of water or in water that contains a lot of organic material or is plain ole dirty, such as marshes or other swampy areas. Bird baths, water gardens, rain barrels, flower pots, tree holes, roof gutters, and other spaces like these are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Summit Mosquito Bits and Dunks can be a great method of pest control and biological mosquito control.
Granted, you can use Bits in larger bodies of water, but it would be a waste of time and money compared to using Dunks, so keep Bits for the small and dirty bodies of water. However, who’s to say you can’t use both?
When to Use Them
Because Bits are quick but short-lasting, you can use them in tandem with Dunks to ward of any larvae in the water. At the start of the season, spread Bits into the water to make sure all the larvae will not have time to grow into adults, killing off any potential annoyances. After waiting a few days from the initial bit spreading, throw in a dunk to protect the water. Simply add a new dunk every 30 days and you’ll be set.
Aside from that, use Bits if you notice areas near dumpsters, marshes and vice versa are becoming breeding grounds for mosquito larvae.
How Much to Use
When estimating the number of Bits you’ll need to use, keep in mind how many square feet you’re trying to cover. One teaspoon will cover up to 25 feet and half a cup will cover 600 square feet.
Due to the area Bits can cover, they’re sold in 8oz(will cover 2,178 square feet) and 30oz(will cover 8,000 square feet) containers, so you won’t need to constantly buy Bits unless you’re constantly covering a large area.
Are They Effective?
Since Bits are using the same B.T.I. found in Dunks, they are just as effective, though not as easy to apply as Dunks are. While you can get away with only Dunks most of the time, they won’t kill larvae in a quick manner like Bits do, so I recommend at least keeping some stored away in case you find yourself unable to kill larvae with Dunks alone.
The true effectiveness of Bits is displayed when used in hard-to-reach places or in dirty water where Dunks or other larvicides may struggle to work. WIth a simple spray-and-spread application, Bits work well for all situations. Don’t take it from me though; instead, take it from people who’ve used it for their mosquito infestations. Here are some customer reviews.
“I use this for the birdbath and rain barrels in summer, then sprinkle a few Bits on the soil around houseplants to get rid of fungus gnats when I bring them inside for the winter. Works like Gnatrol and I don’t need to buy two different things.”
“I like Bits better because they dissolve and animals can’t eat them. I was finding Dunks on the shore of my pond half chewed the day after I’d add them. Either my dogs or raccoons or something were dragging them out.”
“Don’t get too excited because this won’t solve all your mosquito problems. We still needed to buy a trap because they’re coming from somewhere else, but we used to see a cloud of mosquitoes hatching from the drainage ditches behind our house on warm days, but we use this every two weeks when they’re flooded and we don’t see that anymore. Kills them before they hatch and the trap gets the rest.”
“Was hoping once at the start of warm weather would do it, but you need to keep reapplying it. The larvae keep coming back. It does kill them fast though, and I like it because it’s safe for the birds and frogs.”
“You don’t need to measure. I use the sprinkle top and just shake it in wet places. After you measure once or twice, you can guess how much you need.”
“I put Bits in an old bathtub used for watering horses. Next day the surface was black from all the dead larvae. Really works fast.”
Are They Worth Using?
Summit made Bits with troublesome situations in mind that Dunks or other larvicides wouldn’t prevail in, so they are definitely worth it. For example, if the dumpster at your restaurant is constantly suffering from leakage, you may notice a few puddles piling up. Sure, the smell is one problem, but the potential mosquito breeding ground is a whole other, and more important issue. Dunks won’t work well in those puddles, but the fast-acting nature of Bits will guarantee that any present larvae die out before becoming annoying mosquitoes.
How Long do Bits Take to Work?
Unlike Dunks, Bits will work immediately after being applied to the water. However, the catch to this is that they only last two weeks maximum, whereas Dunks would last a whole month. However, this fast-acting approach guarantees the death of larvae before they can grow to become adults.
Will the Bits Expire
Just like Summit’s Dunks, Bits are not guaranteed to last forever, but no test exists that proves Bits can expire. To play it safe, assume they will last as long as Dunks do i.e. 8 years minimum. However, you’re likely going to go through a whole thing of Bits before a thing of Dunks, so you’ll probably stay under the 8-year mark.
How Expensive are Bits?
Believe it or not, Summit charges almost the exact same prices for Bits as they do Dunks. However, there is a more…expensive option available if you feel so inclined.
Sizes include an 8oz container, a 30oz container and a 20lb container. The 8oz can be found for as low as $12, while the 30oz can be found for $20. However, the 20lb bucket will set you back $110 and some change, making it, by far, the most expensive option.
It’s time to put together all the information we have and rate Bits on a grading scale akin to your old highschool. Our rating will focus on 3 features:
- Efficiency/Effectiveness = 35%
- Price = 25%
- Ease of Use = 25%
- Safety = 15%
Efficiency = 9/10
While Bits are just as effective and efficient as Dunks, they don’t tend to last as long. In your case, this may not be a big deal, but the fact Bits only last 14 days versus Dunk’s 30 days keeps Bits from hitting that 10/10 score.
However, credit where credit is due, the fact Bits are effective at killing fungus gnat larvae as well keeps the score at a cool 9/10.
Price = 8.5/10
I hate to keep comparing Bits to their Dunks counterpart, but the similarity in products demand I do so, and when it comes to price, Bits come out the loser; they remain just as expensive as Dunks even though won’t last as long, depending on your usage.
However, the price is still fair, so all of this isn’t a bash against Bits, just a slight criticism. Overall, price is an 8.5.
Ease of Use = 9/10
Bits remain simple to use, though there is a bit more guesswork involved than Dunks. Whereas with Dunks you only need to drop in one Dunk (or half of one), Bits require you to figure out how much you’ll need to sprinkle in for the body of water in question.
Though this process isn’t difficult unless you’re sprinkling them into a large body of water, and even then, it’ll only take a couple of minutes to guess.
After you figure out how many Bits you’ll need, all you do is sprinkle them around, then you’re done! After all that, I think a 9/10 is a fair rating.
Safety = 10/10
Just like their Dunks counterpart, Bits are 100% safe to you, your pets and every other form of wildlife that isn’t mosquito or gnat larvae. Rather than that, there’s not much to say about the safety of Bits other than it’s a 10/10.
Overall Grade = 90.25% (A-)
Q: Will my mosquito Bits expire?
A: Just like mosquito Dunks, Bits are not given an expiration date, though you should have the mindset of them lasting at minimum 8 years.
Q: How long will mosquito Bits last once used?
A: Mosquito Bits last 7-14 days, with more needing to be used every 14 days.
Q: Will the Bits harm anything other than mosquito larvae (dogs, cats, fish, etc.)?
A: No. B.T.I. is harmless to every other living being besides larvae.
Q: Can Bits be used for anything other than mosquito larvae?
A: Yes. Summit claims that fungus gnats are vulnerable to the effects of B.T.I. if the Bits are spread in the plant beds their larvae are in.
Q: How do I store mosquito Bits?
A: Optimal places to store your Bits are well-ventilated areas, though anywhere not in direct sunlight is ok, as UV rays lessen the effectiveness of mosquito Bits.
Q: Can I cover a wide area of water with Bits?
A: Yes; one 30oz container will cover up to 8,000 square feet of water. However, keep in mind that you’ll have to go back over again in 14 days.
Q: How expensive are mosquito Bits?
A: One 30oz container of Bits will set you back by around $20, same as a 20 pack of Dunks.
Q: Will Bits work against all species of mosquitoes?
A: Yes. Just like Dunks, Summit guarantees effectiveness against all species of mosquito larvae plus fungus gnat larvae.