Ponds are calming additions that improve the overall appearance of any property. However, if negligence and improper upkeep can cause them to become the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes that carry diseases such as Zika, breakbone fever, and chikungunya.
To prevent mosquitos from overpopulating and conquering ponds, a keen understanding of how they breed and where they inhabit must be present.
Female mosquitoes lay a minimum of 100 eggs in water. The eggs that turn into larva will survive in the water for about ten days, eating surrounding plants and other living organisms. This cycle is an excellent example of the saying “they grow up so fast” because a young larva will change into a pupa and emerge into an adult mosquito in just a matter of two days.
Unlike mosquitoes, there is no need to squash dreams of having a beautiful pond. There are tips and tricks to preventing mosquitos from making a home out of them.
1. Swimming with the Fishes
Koi fishes are a favorite among many pond owners, but they are too big to prey on larvae. Although they do eat adult mosquitoes, Kois do tend to be on the pricier side. Goldfish and guppies are two types of inexpensive fishes that are known to eat mosquito larvae.
In the case of natural ponds, fathead minnows are also a great option since they are natural predators of mosquito larvae.
If an abundance of mosquito larvae is present, the mighty mosquitofish or Gambusia will be a pond owner’s best friend. A large female Gambusia is fully capable of consuming over 300 mosquito larvae in an hour. However, it’s important to keep them separated from other fishes since they are aggressive by nature.
2. Trimming Surrounding Vegetation
Mosquito larvae feed on plants until they’re strong enough to develop. Pruning all plants that hang over the edge of the pond and getting rid of aquatic vegetation eliminates their primary source of nutrients.
3. Adding Bacillus Thuringiensis
Bacillus Thuringiensis or BTI is a naturally occurring bacterium that effectually kills mosquito larvae. Unlike oil, which is an old remedy for killing mosquitoes, and methoprene, an insect-growth regulator, BTI doesn’t harm other insects, fishes, and wildlife. It contains spores producing toxins that specifically target the larvae of the mosquito.
How Can You Be Sure That It Worked?
It’s ideal to check the pond periodically to determine of mosquito larvae have been successfully eradicated. Scooping water from the pond into a white cup or bowl is one way to do so since any traces of mosquito larvae will be visible against the white surface. As long as nothing is wriggling, it’s safe to say that the method you selected is effective.
Large bodies of water are not necessary for mosquitoes to lay their eggs, but the more water there is, the more it attracts mosquitoes to lay their eggs. The best way to avoid running a mosquito nursery is to ensure that your pond is undesirable to female mosquitoes.