If you’re like many in the U.S, you might be worried about the spread of Zika virus — especially if you have a lake, pond, or decorative water feature that tends to attract mosquitoes during the months of spring and summer.
While most of the Zika cases diagnosed among American residents so far have been related to travel, the simple transmission of this illness from person to person by mosquitoes (or via sexual activity) can lay the framework for a latent epidemic.
As Atlanta’s premier mosquito control experts, we want to share our knowledge and expertise on mosquitoes, and methods for mosquito control with all of our reader. With that in mind, here’s how ordinary fish could become mosquito eating fish and help you battle the Zika virus in your own neighborhood.
How can fish protect against Zika?
For young fish, mosquito larvae (or offspring) are one of the most tasty and nutritious food sources available. Thus, by placing a few fish in standing water, which is the likely destination of a mosquito when she decides to lay her eggs, you’ll be eliminating these pests at the larval stage while avoiding the risk of mosquito-borne diseases like dengue virus, yellow fever, Eastern Equine encephalitis, and of course the Zika virus.
The fewer mosquitoes that are able to reach adulthood, the lower the threat of mosquito-borne diseases — and the less you need to spend on ineffective methods, such as store-bought citronella candles and DEET sprays in order to have an enjoyable evening outside.
While larger fish (such as sunfish) are typically the happiest in lakes or ponds, at least once they reach the adult stage, smaller fish can be kept in water fountains, birdbaths, as well as other bodies of water, which can frequently serve as a depository for mosquito eggs.
As the warm summer weather turns into cooler autumn weather, you’ll be able to transplant these fish to public water sources such as creeks or rivers, or you can even store them in your own indoor aquarium to allow you to use them to control the mosquito population on your property during the spring and early summer.
Where can you find mosquito eating fish?
Many states, including Atlanta, have engaged preventive efforts that are meant to avoid the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses by distributing five free varieties of mosquito eating fish — the freshwater killifish, bluegill sunfish, mosquitofish, pumpkinseed sunfish, and the fathead minnow.
All of these fish are available at a number of local pet shops, or you may even be able to directly contact the Office of Mosquito Control Coordination in order to request some of these fish for your property.
If no mosquito eating fish are available, free of purchase, in your area, you may want to consider buying some from an agricultural supply store or a pet shop. Not only are these fish extremely low-maintenance, but they’re inexpensive, and can substantially minimize your risk of contracting the Zika virus or other potentially harmful mosquito-borne illness.
We hope you’re finding our Atlanta Mosquito Control blog helpful and informative! For more information on what makes Mr. Mister Atlanta’s premier provider of innovative Atlanta mosquito control solutions and techniques click here. Or, visit our Testimonials page to see what some of our satisfied customers are saying.