Fish gobbling up mosquito problem in Escambia County
Mosquito season isn’t quite over yet, it stretches until the end of November. In fact, as the temperatures cool, some in the mosquito business say it’s the perfect time for them to multiply. From fogging to larvicide to bug sprays, there are numerous way to combat the insects, but most involve chemicals. There is however one lesser-known method that 100 percent natural and free. A short walk through the woods near Bristol Creek leads to a holding pond. It may not look special, but it’s stocked full of Escambia County’s go-to choice when it comes to killing mosquitoes.
“It’s really loaded with minnows,” said Greg Wiggins, Escambia County Mosquito Control technician.
But Greg isn’t catching any type of minnow, they’re Gambusia fish. Gambusia fish are pretty small, only growing up to about 55 millimeters, but Escambia County Mosquito Control Supervisor Matthew Mellow said their appetite is big.
“They’re small, they’re tiny,” said Mellow. “They’re hungry little things.”
Gambusia fish love to snack on mosquito larvae. They can eat up to 500 larvae a day.
“It’s kind of the neatest thing,” said Mellow. “It takes care of it all. They’ll eat them like nobody’s business.”
Their appetite makes them the perfect natural alternative for combating mosquito overpopulation and mosquito borne illness.
Gambusia fish can be transferred to a number of places including ditches, storm drains, abandoned swimming pools and ponds like this one. Harvesting and relocating these Gambusia fish comes at no cost to the county. Not only are they the cheapest method to fighting off mosquitoes, they are also the longest lasting, as fogging and larvicides only last a few days to a couple of weeks.
“They’re very effective,” said Mellow. “A pond full of those can take care of mosquitoes for years to come.”
Source @ WEARTV.
Mosquito-eating fish being used to get rid of the pests
As mosquito season winds down there are plenty of wys to keep them away from you: bug spray, larvicide, all contain chemicals. There is now a natural way to say no to mosquitoes, and the answer is fish.
Gambusia fish are small, aobut 55 millimeters, but their appetite is big. Mosquito larvae is a favorite snack for the fish. They can eat up to 500 a day.
Gambusia fish are the perfect natural alternative for combatting mosquito over population and mosquito-borne illness, and they’re not just in Escambia County. The fish can be transferred to a number of places, including ditches, storm drains, abandoned swimming pools and ponds.
Not only are they the cheapest method to fighting off mosquitoes, they’re also the longest lasting.
Source @ Local15Tv
The western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) is a species of freshwater fish, also known commonly, if ambiguously, as simply mosquitofish or by its generic name, Gambusia, or by the common name gambezi. There is also an eastern mosquitofish (G. holbrooki)
Mosquitofish are small in comparison to many other freshwater fish, with females reaching an overall length of 7 cm (2.8 in) and males at a length of 4 cm (1.6 in). The female can be distinguished from the male by her larger size and a gravid spot at the posterior of her abdomen. The name “mosquitofish” was given because the diet of this fish sometimes consists of large numbers of mosquito larvae, relative to body size. Gambusia typically eat zooplankton, beetles, mayflies, caddisflies, mites, and other invertebrates; mosquito larvae make up only a small portion of their diet.
Mosquitofish were introduced directly into ecosystems in many parts of the world as a biocontrol to lower mosquito populations which in turn negatively affected many other species in each distinct bioregion. Mosquitofish in Australia are classified as a noxious pest and may have exacerbated the mosquito problem in many areas by outcompeting native invertebrate predators of mosquito larvae. Several counties in California distribute mosquitofish at no charge to residents with manmade fish ponds and pools as part of their mosquito abatement programs. The fish are made available to residents only and are intended to be used solely on their own property, not introduced into natural habitat. On 24 February 2014, Chennai Corporation in India introduced western mosquitofish in 660 ponds to control the mosquito population in freshwater bodies.
Mosquitofish were intentionally introduced in many areas with large mosquito populations to decrease the population of mosquitoes by eating the mosquito larvae. However, most introductions were ill-advised; in most cases native fish had already proven to supply maximal control of mosquito population and introducing mosquitofish has been more harmful to indigenous aquatic life than to the mosquito population. Introductions outside the mosquitofish’s natural range can be harmful to the nonnative ecosystems. Mosquitofish have been known to kill or injure other small fish by their aggressive behavior and otherwise harm them through competition. They are now considered just slightly better at eating mosquitoes than at destroying other aquatic species. Mosquitofish in Australia are considered noxious pests where they pose a threat to native fish and frog populations and there is no evidence that indicates they have controlled mosquito populations or mosquito-borne diseases.
However, from the 1920s to the 1950s, mosquitofish were a major factor in eradicating malaria in South America, in southern Russia, and in Ukraine. A somewhat famous example of mosquitofish eradicating malaria is on the coast of the Black Sea near Sochi in Russia. In Sochi, the mosquitofish is commemorated for eradicating malaria by a monument of the fish. In 2008, in some parts of California and in Clark County, Nevada, mosquitofish were bred in aquariums so people could stock stagnant pools of water with the mosquitofish to reduce the number of West Nile virus cases.
Source @ Wikipedia.com