If you’re like many Americans, you may be worried about the spread of Zika virus — especially if you have a pond, lake, or decorative water feature that tends to draw mosquitoes during the spring and summer months. Although most of the Zika cases diagnosed among U.S. residents so far have been travel-related, the easy transmission of this virus from person to person by mosquitoes (or sexual activity) can lay the groundwork for a latent epidemic. Read on to learn more about how ordinary fish can help you battle the Zika virus in your own neighborhood.
How can fish protect against Zika?
For certain young fish, mosquito larvae are one of the most delicious and nutritious food sources available — and by placing a few fish in standing water where mosquitoes are likely to lay eggs, you’ll be able to eliminate these pests at the larval stage and avoid the risk of mosquito-borne diseases like the Zika virus, Eastern Equine encephalitis, dengue virus, and even yellow fever. The fewer mosquitos who are able to make it to adulthood, the lower your risk of mosquito-borne diseases — and the less you need to spend on DEET spray and citronella candles in order to have a pleasant evening outside.
Although larger fish like sunfish are generally happiest in ponds or lakes (at least at the adult stage), smaller fish can be kept in birdbaths, water fountains, and other bodies of water that can often serve as a depository for mosquito eggs. As the warm summer weather turns to autumn, you’ll be able to transplant these fish to public water sources like rivers or creeks or even keep them in your own indoor aquarium so that you can use them to control the mosquito population on your property during the spring thaw and early summer.
Where can you get mosquito-eating fish?
Many states, including New Jersey, have engaged preventive efforts to avoid the spread of mosquito-borne diseases by handing out five free varieties of fish — the fathead minnow, freshwater killifish, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill sunfish, and mosquitofish. These fish are available at a number of county fairs in New Jersey, or you may be able to contact the Office of Mosquito Control Coordination directly to request some fish for your property.
If no fish are available for free in your area, you may want to consider purchasing some from an agricultural supply store or even a pet store. These fish are very low-maintenance, inexpensive, and can significantly minimize your risk of contracting the Zika virus or another potentially harmful illness.
Need help with mosquitoes? Contact Horizon Pest Control for professional NJ mosquito control. Call 888.612.2847 now!