Fish Stocking and Other Natural Solutions to Help Reduce Mosquitoes
Winter has been showing us some varying weather this year which has many of us longing for spring. Unfortunately, as spring arrives, pesky mosquitoes also begin to appear and try to ruin the warm weather fun. Mosquitoes are certainly an annoyance, but an even greater concern is that they pose a significant risk to public health. These pests carry and transmit a number of dangerous diseases such as West Nile virus and Zika virus, making it vital to implement mosquito prevention and management measures in and around your lake or pond. So to help manage mosquitoes in your waterbody, we have tailored a solution that may be just right for your aquatic ecosystem.Mosquitoes place their eggs on the surface of calm water where they incubate and hatch. The more water movement in your lake or pond, the less opportunity mosquitoes will have to reproduce. Therefore, waterbodies with aeration will have fewer calm areas available for mosquito reproduction, but unfortunately pockets of calm water may still be present. These pockets of calm water provide mosquitoes with the appropriate conditions needed to reproduce. Adding forage fish such as Fathead Minnows or Bluegill to consume mosquito larvae is ideal when trying to reduce the mosquito’s reproduction success. Both species reproduce frequently and feed on mosquito larvae, making them good candidates to help naturally control mosquito populations. Many lakes and ponds have forage fish populations, but due to predations, the small fish become depleted and need to be replenished, often times annually. Winter is an ideal time to schedule your annual stocking. An experienced fisheries biologist can help you determine which species are right for your waterbody and legal to stock in your state.The number of recommended minnows to stock will vary from property to property and our lake management professionals will work with you to help determine the right amount of minnows, or other species such as Mosquito Fish or Bluegill, to stock based on the fish population and unique characteristics of your lake or pond.In addition to minnow stocking and aeration, planting a beneficial buffer around your waterbody can also help control mosquito populations by attracting dragonflies. Dragonflies, both adults and their larvae, are natural predators of mosquitoes, and having a vegetative buffer around your lake or pond provides the necessary habitat for dragonflies to survive. A proper buffer also helps to maintain shoreline stability and promotes good water quality by filtering excess nutrients from runoff.It’s also important to know that mosquitoes will deposit their eggs in just about any form of standing water. Specifically, several types of mosquitoes utilize containers for breeding, including species that carry West Nile virus and Zika virus. Mosquito larvae can be found in a variety of artificial containers, such as buckets, tires, cans, and flower pots. These containers should be eliminated where possible or emptied after any rainfall. Homeowners should also inspect rain gutters for clogs, gardening equipment and backyard children’s toys.Stocking minnows, circulating water with aeration, and planting beneficial buffers can all be effective solutions for greatly reducing mosquito populations in and around your lake or pond. The SOLitude team is also experienced to conduct full site assessments and to make recommendations for additional mosquito prevention and control measures on your property and throughout your community or municipality.
Contact the professionals at SOLitude today at 1-888-480-LAKE (5253) to get started with a mosquito management and prevention program for your lake or pond.
SOLitude Lake Management is committed to providing full service lake and pond management services that improve water quality, preserve natural resources, and reduce our environmental footprint. Our services include lake, pond and fisheries management programs, algae and aquatic weed control, mechanical harvesting, installation and maintenance of fountains and aeration systems, water quality testing and restoration, bathymetry, lake vegetation studies, biological assessments, habitat assessments, invasive species management and nuisance wildlife management. Lake, pond and fisheries management services, consulting, and aquatic products are available nationwide. Learn more about SOLitude Lake Management and purchase products at www.solitudelakemanagement.com.