Photo: Mosquito Fish (Gambusia affinis) by Arizona Aquatics Garden
The dreaded mosquitos are back! With the rising rates of foreclosures, more swimming pools, spas and ornamental ponds are being neglected, providing mosquitos the perfect breeding ground. Did you know that mosquitos only need a few tablespoons of water to complete a life cycle? An unmaintained swimming pool or spa is an ideal source for more than 1 million mosquitos that may go on to become infected with West Nile virus, and infect people within a 5 mile radius!
In order to control the mosquito population, Gambusia affinis a.k.a. "mosquito fish" have been introduced to these isolated stagnant bodies of water. Mosquitofish are live bearing freshwater minnows related to guppies. Adult mosquitofish measure 1 to 2 inches in length, and can eat 500 mosquito larvae a day! They also eat wind-blown organic debris at the surface of the water.
To get free mosquitofish, check with your local Mosquito and Vector Control Associations.
Contra Costa County's Mosquito and Vector Control District are giving away free mosquitofish to its residents. They are available for pickup at the District's office located at 155 Mason Circle, Concord, CA Monday through Friday (except Holidays).
Contra Costa residents can also report neglected swimming pools here.
If you cannot get free mosquito fish in your area, you can purchase them online at Arizona Aquatics Garden.
Important: Please do NOT release any live mosquitofish in open waters. It is against the law to do so, and may disrupt the ecological balance in natural habitats.