Mosquito Farms? Is That What Water Gardens Are?
What is nicer that a lovely backyard garden pond. The lush growth rising above the water, graceful fish darting about and the soothing sound of the water. These are just a few of the reasons people are drawn to water gardens.
But when you think about adding a water feature to your garden, you are torn, because you know that a charming pond can also be a mosquito hatchery. And, everyone is concerned; rightly, about mosquitoes and the diseases they spread.
It is true, mosquitoes do need water to breed, but at the same time, there are so many effective ways to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in ponds, you should not let that stop you. Water gardeners are in a unique position; they can have wet spaces that can actually help stop mosquitoes from breeding.
Just a few simple precautions are all you need to feel safe and enjoy such a wonderful addition to the landscape.
If you have a water garden, or want one, try these suggestions.
- Have moving water in your water garden. Mosquitoes will not lay eggs in running water. The newly hatched mosquito must rest on the water's surface for a few minutes to let its wings dry. If the water is moving, the female mosquito will not lay eggs there.
- Get some mosquito fish for your pond. Mosquito fish, or gambusia affinis, are very aggressive predators of mosquito larvae. They are also aggressive to other fish and will also eat dragonfly larvae, or nymphs. If mosquito fish are too predatory for your particular tastes, several other types of fish readily consume mosquito larvae, such as guppies, killifish, and small goldfish. Koi are too large and will not target the larvae.
- Add Bti to your pond. Bti is a naturally occurring type of bacillus that is eaten by the mosquito larvae, and rapidly kills them. It is not harmful to fish, pets, wildlife or humans. It is sold under such names as Mosquito Dunks, or Mosquito Bits.
- Add dragonfly larvae, or nymphs, to your pond. They are voracious predators of mosquito larvae, and while the mosquito larvae stay in that stage for only a few days, the dragonfly nymphs stay in the larval stage for up to two years, and can prey on many generations of mosquito larvae. And, when they become adults, the dragonfly feeds on adult mosquitoes too.
- Invite toads into your yard. One toad can consume up to 100 mosquitoes and slugs per night. They lay their eggs in water, so the pond will attract them. If happy with its environment, a toad can grace your garden for up to 20 years. And the tadpoles will eat mosquito larvae also.
- As an overall precaution, get a propane powered mosquito trap, such as the Mosquito Magnet, to reduce the mosquito population in your garden area. These are the most effective mosquito killers around, and they will capture (and kill) the mosquitoes that your natural controls miss.
With the growing concern about mosquito diseases, like West Nile virus, malaria, and dengue fever, it is natural to feel reluctance to add any water source around your home. With the right precautions, you can beautify your garden and still feel secure that you are not inviting mosquitoes into your immediate environment.
If water gardening appeals to you, just educate yourself, take the needed precautions, and get ready to enjoy the beauty and serenity a water feature adds to your home.
About The Author
Scottie Johnson is a life long mosquito warrior and freelance author. For more detailed information about mosquito kill and having a mosquito free life, please visit her website at www.mosquito-kill-net.com.
Copyright 2004, all rights reserved.
This article may be duplicated for use provided all biographical information and web links are preserved.