Using Mosquitofish In Your Backyard
- October 19, 2020
Fall is here, but in Texas, mosquito season still has a long way to go. Homeowners are always looking for new ways to win the war on mosquitoes. Today, we are going to be talking about an interesting little fish with a shark-like appetite. The fish is no other than the eastern mosquitofish, and it loves to eat mosquitoes.
Gambusia Holbrooki, commonly known as the Mosquitofish, are grey in color and don’t get much bigger than three inches. They are usually found in shallow water because they are the prey of many larger fish and turtles. But despite their little size, they are a valuable resource for controlling mosquitoes in backyards and water features. Despite their name, the mosquitofish doesn’t feed exclusively on mosquito larvae, but it feeds on them enough to put a dent in the mosquito population.
These tiny eating machines consume mosquitoes during all phases of their life. If there are no mosquito larvae available, it will turn to other insects and other invertebrates. If times are desperate, it will even turn cannibalistic in the name of survival. Just to give you an example of how ferocious an appetite these little fish have, they can consume the equivalent of its own body weight in mosquitoes and larvae on a daily basis. Adult females of this species can literally consume hundreds of mosquito larvae a day.
The eastern mosquitofish can be purchased at many fish hatcheries and online. Given their popularity this time of year, it is advisable to call and confirm inventory availability before making a trip. Mosquitofish can be added to your freshwater water features to protect them and your family from biting mosquitoes. Mosquitofish should be used responsibly. They should not be placed in any natural habitat such as lakes, streams, rivers, or creeks because these fish are aggressive eaters and could disrupt the sensitive ecological balance.
To get mosquitofish acclimated to your water features, you must keep them inside their container and place it directly in the water for 20 minutes. This will slowly bring the water inside the container to the same temperature as the water outside it. Mosquitofish prefer temperatures around 77-86°F. During the winter, mosquitofish hibernate in the deepest parts of the water and reappear in late spring when the water temperature warms.
Mosquitofish are very easy to take care of. They can survive extreme temperatures and salinity. It will also do well in low oxygen environments. Mosquitofish are usually kept in ponds and fountains, but they can also be kept in aquariums if you need to bring them indoors.
Mosquitofish are pretty good at finding their own food if it’s available. If there are no insects, they will feed on plant material. If no other food is available, you can feed them high-quality lake food which you can purchase at any pet store. They also enjoy frozen bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp.
Don’t let mosquitoes keep you from enjoying your backyard. Call the experts at DFW Mosquito and get set up on a year-round mosquito control program that will keep these pests out of sight and out of mind.
Are you hosting a special event such as a graduation, wedding, birthday, or holiday and don’t want your guests running home in fear? Call and ask about our mosquito control for special events.
After you sign up, our mosquito control specialists will assess your property and create a program that fits your needs. Give us a call at (817) 615-4944 or send us a message. Forget to follow our blog for helpful mosquito control tips in Texas.