Natural, Ecologically Sustainable Mosquito Control Solutions in Your Community
The war between humans and mosquitoes is a timeless one. Mosquitoes cause more suffering and spread more diseases and death, worldwide, than any other cause. They currently rank #1 on the Top Ten Most Annoying Insects’ list, completely able to ruin a nice day outside within minutes. Mosquitoes can breed in the smallest pockets of standing water, which brings us to our concern: your pond! With the potential to house millions of eggs, you may put yourself on the front lines!
There are many eco-friendly & sustainable solutions to minimize the amount of mosquito activity on your lake or pond this summer:
Pond or Lake Aeration
One of the easiest ways to keep the water from remaining stagnant is by adding a fountain or aerator. Pond aeration can help to reduce water temperatures and keep the water circulating.
Stocking fish such as minnows or bluegill is a very effective and natural way to control mosquitoes. When proper numbers are stocked, minnows can be effectively used in lakes or ponds, but bluegill can be a great option, too, depending on the types and amount of predator fish in your waterbody. Many ponds have minnow populations, but due to predation, the minnow populations become depleted and need to be replenished, oftentimes annually. Minnow and bluegill stocking should ideally be done in the early spring to control mosquitoes and they will reproduce through mid-summer and will continue to help control mosquitoes as fish populations expand. Your lake and pond professional can help you determine the correct number of minnows or bluegill to stock in your pond.
Hydro-raking and Dredging
Altering the environment and structure of the pond is another method to minimize mosquitoes. Some less desirable vegetation growing in the water and along the edge can create pockets of calm and shady water, even if you have a large fountain agitating most of the surface. Overgrown vegetation and overhanging bushes and trees should be trimmed and managed. Certain aquatic plants, such as cattails, provide a resting area for adult mosquitoes and should also be managed or removed. Areas that flood frequently, but take a couple of weeks to dry, along with shallow water, can also create a big problem. Digging shallow areas deeper and eliminating any gradual slopes on the embankment is recommended. Not only will it cut down the mosquito population, but it will also help with pond algae and nuisance aquatic vegetation growth.
Dragonflies are strictly predators and both the larval form and the adult dragonfly feed on other insects, with mosquitoes being the primary choice of food. One safe, easy and inexpensive way to control mosquitoes is to create a dragonfly habitat around your pond.
Biological larvicides can also be an excellent way to control mosquitoes. These naturally occurring beneficial bacteria inhibit the viability of mosquito larvae and pose no known risks to the environment when applied at the proper rates. Usually, this type of treatment will last around a month per application and can be used throughout the breeding season to achieve year-round mosquito control.
Some beneficial plants to have in the shallow areas around the perimeter of your pond would be pickerelweed, arrowhead, spatterdock, lizard’s tail, and lilies. These plants not only provide excellent cover for the dragonfly larvae but also provide nice platforms for the adult dragonflies to perch or mate on. The female will also lay her eggs in the water around these plants or occasionally, make a small incision on them where she will deposit her eggs.
So, the next time you find yourself itching at all of those annoying mosquito bites, remember these natural, ecologically sustainable solutions for effective mosquito control in your community.
Contact SOLitude Lake Management to speak with an expert biologist, ecologist or scientist for all of your lake, pond and fisheries management needs. 888-480-LAKE (5253) or [email protected] Services are available throughout the Eastern US. Aquatic products and consultation are available nationwide.