Last Updated: 10/23/13
Article contributed and written by Garth Epp, of BuildingMyPond.com, 1/21/09
Edited by Robyn Rhudy, 1/26/09
Unfortunately, many people are discouraged and turned off from building a backyard pond because of the fear of creating a mosquito problem within their landscape.
Everyone knows that still water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. These insects have kept many homeowners from adding beautiful ponds and water gardens to their property. Thankfully, there are many precautions you can take to rid your ponds and water gardens of these unwelcome insects. Aggressive pond maintenance on this front will keep the mosquitoes at bay. Water features and eco-friendly bacteria are the simplest ways to defeat mosquitoes in and around your ponds.
First and foremost, mosquitoes will not lay eggs in water that is moving. So, you simply need to keep your water going. Adding garden waterfalls, pond fountains, and aerators will ensure that your water moves, and mosquitoes will not lay their eggs in it. In addition to adding these water features, mosquito dunks are also ecologically friendly. Mosquito dunks are donut-shaped objects that will slowly dissolve in the water and release bacteria that will kill the mosquito larvae. This bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis, is safe for mammals as it is simple to digest. Ponds with large koi and non-predatory fish are ideal for dunks.
Adding water features such as garden waterfalls and pond fountains will make pond care easier by keeping the water of your pond moving. This movement deters mosquitoes from laying eggs on the water's surface since the water will be moving. In addition to this, environmentally friendly dunks can be placed in ponds as well to help in the prevention of mosquitoes. Remember that aggressive care can mean the difference between enjoyment of your water and the water becoming a hassle.
There is actually a mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) that you can add to your pond that can eat over 100 mosquito larvae per day. They are easy to care for, easy to breed, and range in size from 1 to 3 inches long. The downside to these fish is that they also eat other water insects and pond fish as well. They are best suited for ponds and water gardens where no other fish live.
Adding mosquito fish to your uninhabited pond is one way of ridding yourself of the insects. Goldfish and fathead minnows can be added with other fish that are already in the pond. Goldfish are also fervent mosquito eaters. They are easy to maintain but they will feed on plant roots thereby stirring up the bottom of your pond making the water mucky. Fathead minnows are a welcome addition to any still body of water as well.
Pond care not only means keeping your pond or water garden chemically balanced but free from unwelcome inhabitants as well. Mosquitoes can carry disease and make still water unappealing. Taking the proper steps in the care of your water can ensure that your pond stays free of mosquitoes.
Garth Epp wants to help people create the landscape of their dreams by providing information and support regarding pond maintenance and constructing a garden pond with an easy to install pond kit. It is out of this desire that he developed the supportive online ponding community Building My Pond.com.
I have pages on my web site about most everything mentioned in this article. Go to my mosquito page to learn more. Mosquito larvae can exist in moving water but, as the flow rate increases, the likelihood of having larvae decreases.
Also, I will note that mosquito fish will eat fish fry and amphibian larvae and are not suited for every watergarden. Fathead minnows also prefer moving water over still water.
The views in the above article are those of Garth Epp and not necessarily my views.
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