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We have a lot of mosquitoes, especially near the pond. With the recent concern over the Zika virus, what can I do to fix this? | Ponds & Lakes Q&A

Q: We have a lot of mosquitoes, especially near the pond. With the recent concern over the Zika virus, what can I do to fix this?

Q: We have a lot of mosquitoes, especially near the pond. With the recent concern over the Zika virus, what can I do to fix this?

Kym – Lake Butler, FL

A: Your concern is justified. According to the CDC, mosquitoes – specifically the Aedes species (Ae. Aegypti and Ae. Albopictus) – are one of the main transmitters of the Zika virus. The bite of an infected mosquito can cause fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis and other unpleasant side effects.

Mosquitoes should be eradicated from your property – and here are six ways to decimate their population.

  • Create Water Movement. Ever notice how mosquitoes avoid moving water as much as possible? This is because the movement isn’t conducive to their life cycle. A female mosquito lays her eggs in stagnant water that’s full of nutritious algae, plankton, fungi and bacteria. When the eggs hatch, the larvae and pupae thrive and grow, developing into adult mosquitoes that perpetuate the population. Stop that cycle with aeration. The water movement created by the pumped-in oxygen creates an inhospitable environment for the mosquitoes while promoting your pond’s overall health.
  • Check for Standing Water. An old tire, ceramic flower pot, cracked bucket – mosquitoes aren’t particular about the vessel of standing water they use to lay their eggs. If it holds stagnant water and contains some type of food source, it’s fair game. The CDC recommends a once-a-week check for standing water around your property. Empty containers, scrub them clean, and turn them over or cover them to reduce your overall mosquito population.
  • Eliminate Food Source. Developing larvae and pupae need algae to fuel their rapid growth to adulthood, and so another way to reduce their population is to reduce their food source. In your pond or lake, use algaecide to remove suspended plant matter and muck reducers to break down detritus on the bottom of your pond.
  • Trim Shoreline Vegetation.  Unlike their developing larvae, adult mosquitoes live in the plants and vegetation along the pond’s shoreline. Evict those pests by clearing out and trimming back grasses and aquatic weeds. Use some herbicide to kill aquatic weeds and grasses, and use weed removal tools, like a weed cutter, rake and debris skimmer, and remove the dead plants and overgrowth.
  • Boost Fish Population.  Fish and other mosquito-eating pond life, like tadpoles, minnow, bass, bluegill and catfish, love gobbling those mosquito larvae and pupae. If you don’t already have a fish population living in your lake, consider adding some! The American Mosquito Control Association, in fact, recommends adding predacious minnows or native fish to lakes and ponds for biological control of the insects.
  • Keep Unused Standing Water Bug-Free.  Despite your best efforts, it can be impossible to completely eradicate mosquitoes in places with standing water – like around a pond or lake. Likewise, vessels like stored rainwater, water troughs and even bird feeders can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. So what can you do? Consider mosquito dunks or bits. These handy little disks or bits contain a specially formulated biological pesticide designed to kill mosquito larvae. You simply toss them in unused bodies of water and let them go to work.

Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases are a real concern. Plus, all that buzzing can be annoying when you’re trying to enjoy your pond or lake during the warm days of summer. Use these tips to keep your yard mosquito-free – and your family and friends happy and healthy.

Pond Talk: Have you stocked your pond with mosquito-eating fish? If so, what types?

Keep Your Pond Water Moving - Airmax(r) Aeration Systems

How can I keep mosquitoes away from my pond? | Ponds & Lakes Q&A

How can I keep mosquitoes away from my pond?

Q: How can I keep mosquitoes away from my pond?

Marcella – Aspen, Colorado

A: Buzzing, biting, irritating mosquitoes are the bane of pond and lake owners. Besides causing itchy welts, these little blood-sucking insects can transmit dangerous and deadly diseases, like malaria, dengue, yellow fever, West Nile virus, dog heartworm, and equine encephalitis.

Before we get into how to eradicate the little pests, let’s first learn their life cycle.

Eggs, Wigglers and Tumblers

Mosquitoes begin life as tiny eggs on the surface of fresh or stagnant water. Twenty four to 48 hours after they’re laid, they hatch into mosquito larvae, a.k.a. “wigglers.” The little half-inch larvae live on the water surface for four to 14 days, and they eat algae, plankton, fungi and bacteria and other microorganisms that float by. As the little wigglers develop, they molt four times and, after the fourth molt, they go into their pupa stage. Mosquito pupae, commonly called “tumblers,” live in the water from one to four days. When they emerge from their pupal case, they’re full-fledged adults – and the females are ready to suck your blood.

Deterring Mosquitoes

To crush these tiny vampires, your best bet is to prevent the females from laying eggs in the first place. Here’s what we recommend:

  •  Remove the habitat: Because mosquitoes prefer to lay their eggs in stagnant water, cut down dead debris around the edge of the pond with your Weed Cutter and Pond & Beach Rake as these calm, secluded areas are perfect for developing wigglers and tumblers. Also drain containers with standing water, like buckets, gutters and ditches, and regularly change the water in animal troughs, pet dishes and bird baths.
  •  Keep the water moving: In your pond or lake, use an aeration system, like the Airmax® Large Lake Aeration System, to keep the water moving. The females won’t want to lay their eggs in agitating water, so this preventive measure can cut down tremendously on the mosquito population.
  •  Resort to mosquito dunks: If all else fails and you get swarmed whenever you get within 50 yards of your lake or pond, Mosquito Dunks® or Mosquito Bits® provide an excellent temporary solution. These mosquito destroyers contain Bt-israelensis (Bt-i), a specially formulated biological pesticide just for mosquitoes. They’re safe for use around fish and plants, and they provide relief for up to 30 days.

Of course, you may not be able to completely eradicate the mosquitoes, but you can at least suppress them using these measures. You can also contact one of the state, county or city mosquito control organizations, which can help with larger-scale efforts. For more information, check out the American Mosquito Control Association at www.mosquito.org.

Pond Talk: What do you do to control the mosquito population around your pond or lake?

Mosquito Bits & Dunks - Keep Mosquitoes Away For 30 Days

Reducing mosquitoes in my pond – Pond & Lake Q & A

Reducing mosquitos in my pond

A Cure For The Itch

A great way to spend your evenings at home is to sit out in your yard and enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery. It is nothing short of maddening to be chased back into your home by hundreds of swarming mosquitoes buzzing around your head and painfully biting your arms, neck, and legs. You can use citronella candles and bug spray to keep them at bay but you’ll have much more luck if you treat the source directly.

Mosquitoes use stagnant water as a breeding ground to produce millions of larvae. You may not be able to dry up every rain puddle around your home but by cleaning removing junk items and treating areas where water pools in your yard, you can greatly reduce the number if mosquitoes that multiply there.

Running an Aeration System in your pond will create constant motion and break the waters surface tension, which makes your pond an almost impossible breeding ground. You can apply Mosquito Bits® to small water bodies or areas that only temporarily accumulate water to kill mosquito larvae. For long term results or to treat large water bodies use Mosquito Dunks®. Both products are safe for your pets, fish, and plants as well yourself. The only types of water bodies you do not want to treat with Mosquito Bits® or Dunks® are those that are used specifically for household human consumption. You can re-apply mosquito bits ever 7 to 14 days to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Try to be thorough in your search for potential breeding locations and try to clean and maintain them as necessary, common areas like your house gutters and buckets hold water that mosquitoes use to multiply. Keeping your yard neatly trimmed and clutter free will reduce the number of mosquito bites you’ll get this season so you can actually stay outside and enjoy your handy-work.

Kill Mosquito Larvae Fast

How Do I Reduce Mosquitoes Around My Pond? – Pond & Lake Q & A

Picture of a Mosquito Close Up.

Pond & Lake Q & A

Q: I get a lot of mosquitoes. Are they coming from my pond? Is there anything I can do you to do to get rid of them? – Wendy of Ohio

A: There nothing worse than getting attacked and annoyed by mosquitoes. It’s hard to sit back and relax by the pond when swatting at mosquitoes! Well, like most topics I write about, I always like to start with the cause of your problem first.

What Causes Mosquitoes: Two words: Stagnant water. That’s right, any stagnant or standing water can be come a breeding ground for mosquitoes. And unlike the last few years, most of the country has had a wet spring, so expect mosquitoes to be a problem! The majority of your mosquitoes come from low areas, unclean gutters or any where water is allowed to collect and sit stagnate. A pond in most cases is not a great spot for mosquitoes to breed, especially if there is an aeration system or fountain
present. The constant ripples caused by an aeration system or fountain will make it very difficult if not impossible for mosquitoes to breed. Although, however, if your pond shorelines become overgrown with cattails or other emergent plants, they will block the rippling effect from an aeration system or fountain, thus contributing to mosquito growth.

Reducing Mosquitoes:

Use Mosquito Dunks® & Bits® to Reduce Mosquitoes:

  • Mosquito Dunks® are donut shaped and are simply placed on the water’s surface. Each dunk can treat 100 sq. ft.. Dunks are great for small ponds, water gardens and birdbaths.
  • Mosquito Bits® are recommended for a pond or lake. You just simply sprinkle the bits around the shoreline or any where the water is still. With Bits you don’t have to treat your entire pond. 1 oz of Mosquito
    Bits will treat up to 125 sq. ft. for 30-days.
  • Note: Mosquito Dunks® and Bits® are not recommended for ponds that are used for drinking.

POND TALK: What do you do to keep mosquitoes at bay?

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