While ponds may seem like a sound choice for a tranquil landscaping option, swarms of mosquitoes can destroy the peaceful atmosphere quickly. The female mosquito can lay up to 100 eggs, increasing the risk of diseases like West Nile Virus in addition to being an annoyance. Pond owners can take certain actions to eliminate mosquito larvae from their ponds while supporting an ecologically sound environment for other wildlife.
Add larvae-eating fish to the pond. The species gambusia affinis is known as the mosquito fish because it is quite aggressive in eating the larvae. However, it will also eat the larvae of dragonflies, which are beneficial pollinators. Guppies and goldfish are a good alternative because they are hardy, inexpensive and aren't as bold as the mosquito fish in going after the dragonfly larvae.
Attract dragonflies to the pond. Unlike the short 48-hour cycle of mosquito larvae, the cycle of dragonfly larvae spans six months to seven years. To attract dragonflies, place brightly coloured rocks along the edge of your pond, and don't cover more than 65% of the surface with vegetation.
Add toad tadpoles to your pond. While tadpoles will make a meal out of mosquito larvae, a fully grown toad will eat all forms of the mosquito throughout the insect's life cycle. Most pond enclosures are hospitable to toads, and a content toad will live up to 20 years in its pond environment.
Add Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis) to the pond. Bti is a bacteria that feeds on mosquito larvae. It is usually found in bait form, either as disks or powder. It is easy to use, requiring treatment every 30 days. The product is eco-friendly, ensuring safety for the pond's plants and wildlife.
Add running water to the pond environment. This can take the form of a fountain, sprinkler or aerator, any of which will cause a disturbance of the water surface. Most mosquitoes will not lay eggs on water surfaces with a lot of movement because newly emerged young need an area to dry out their wings. For eggs that have been laid, the movement lowers the rate of survival during the larval stage.
While pesticides can destroy both mosquitoes and their larvae, they also kill beneficial insects. It is better to use the least-invasive method first to safeguard the local flora and fauna of your pond.
Things you need
- Goldfish, guppies or mosquito fish (gambusia affinis)
- Dragonfly larvae
- Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis) in bait form