There are over 3,000 different species of mosquitoes throughout the world; 176 species are currently recognized in the United States. While they may appear to be relatively innocent little creatures that occasionally bite and leave irritating itchy bumps on our arms and legs, they have recently become a more serious health concern to people and pets. With just one bite, mosquitoes can transmit any number of unpleasant, and sometimes life-threatening, diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue, filariasis, several kinds of encephalitis, Chikungunya and West Nile virus. They also have the capability to transmit heart worm disease to cats and dogs.
Fortunately, there are effective ways to reduce and control mosquito populations on and around your property. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water such as bird baths, old tires flowerpots, gutters, rain barrels, puddles, horse troughs and other water-holding receptacles, like ponds. For greatest mosquito control, you either need to eliminate or treat any standing bodies of water. Since we’re pretty sure you don’t want to eliminate your pond, we’ll tell you the best way to treat it and that’s by using commercial products that are designed for use in specific situations.
We recommend using products that utilize the growth inhibitor methoprene or the naturally occurring bacteria Bacillus sphaericus (Bsph) and Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) for mosquito control. These products are approved for use in fish habitats and are introduced into the mosquito’s life cycle when the larvae ingest the active ingredients while they are suspended in the water column. They come in liquid, granules and briquets that provide mosquito control for up to 180 days. AquaShield is another product that we recommend. In addition to reducing evaporation, it also reduces the surface tension of water which prevents female mosquitoes from laying their eggs and larvae from being able to push off and fly. This substantially enhances mosquito control in your pond when combined with one of these ingestible products.