Battling Mosquitoes: Ponds + Plants + Fish

May 20, 2016

If you’ve ever dreamed about adding a pond to your yard, now might be the best time to make it happen. 

 

Not only is summer headed our way in the southeast, but so are mosquitoes. You know, the ones we’ve heard oh-so-much about on our favorite news sources for the past several months. The flying bloodsuckers that breed in the nearest water source and spread diseases like the Zika virus. Those guys. 

 

The CDC recently let us know that they’re fairly positive the Asian tiger mosquito – the one that can carry Zika – will be heading our way when the heat hits the southeast starting this month (May!), so it’s important to be aware of the best ways to keep them at bay.

 

Installing a pond and stocking it with mosquito-eating fish is one of the smartest – and simplest – ways to keep your yard’s mosquito population to a minimum, according to a recent Washington Post article. If a controlled, well-maintained pond is the yard’s main water source, the mosquitoes will be drawn to it naturally and lay their larvae; the fish will happily eat the mosquito larvae before they ever mature to become a problem. Keep your pond healthy with aquatic plants to stave off algae growth so the fish can continue to feast without interruption.

 

While you can purchase very specific “mosquito-eating fish,” goldfish will also happily chow down on mosquito larvae. If you choose goldfish, just keep in mind that they need more water than mosquito-eating fish. Both types of fish will breed and multiply on their own, ensuring you continue to have a solid anti-mosquito system in place.

 

A Virginia-based nonprofit called Operation Blessing successfully battled the West Nile Virus in August of 2005 in New Orleans utilizing mosquito-eating fish native to the area called Gambusia. They are now helping to breed and distribute Sambo fish, native to Latin America, in an effort to keep mosquito populations down and limit the spread of Zika there. 

 

There are other important tips to keep in mind when combatting mosquitoes, according to Adrian Higgins of the Washington Post. Mostly, be mindful of anything in your yard or garden that might become a haven for mosquito breeding – from bottle tops, hidden trash like old soda cans, and more obvious vessels such as rain barrels, buckets, fountains, and gutters. 

 

If you want to know more about how the right pond installment, and the development of a natural ecosystem within it, can help your family keep mosquito populations down, contact us at 423-570-1234 or pondsandplants@bellsouth.net.

 

 

 

 

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