You may have heard them referenced over the years, but what exactly are mosquitofish? Why are these tiny little fish so prolific at mosquito control? You might be surprised to find out that the gambusia fish is quite a hardy fish with an unending appetite.
The Mysterious Mosquitofish
Gambusia affinis, or more affectionately known as the mosquitofish, is a small fish that is surprisingly hardy. Though not native to the region, these little fish are surprisingly adaptive to their environments, as long as they have some shade to hide in when the New Mexico heat sets in. The gambusia is known to eat five times their weight daily, and their primary source of nutrition, as their namesake states, is mosquitoes. More specifically, mosquito larva.
Mosquitoes only need two things to produce quickly. The first is that the female mosquito needs blood to produce a clutch of eggs effectively. The other is water. Preferably stagnant or undisturbed water. Once hatched, mosquitoes can go from larva to adulthood in about a week. So, allowing mosquito control in any water source is critical. That’s where mosquitofish come in.
Much like mosquitoes, mosquitofish are very adaptable to where they live. Though land certainly is off the list, these little fish can live in fountains or troughs, small ponds, or larger water sources. These little fish prefer places where they can have 20 square feet of surface area each if they are to feed on mosquitoes without much support. If you can help with their nutritional needs, they can survive pretty much anywhere there is water. It is recommended to feed gambusia in water sources without plant life to ensure that they are getting adequate food.
These guys are bottomless pits when it comes to their hunger. They eat five times their body weight daily, making it hard for mosquitoes to populate your property when the mosquitofish have access to the same water sources. This roughly equates to 100 larvae a day for one fish. These fish also live for about a year and have a relatively fluid reproductive cycle. Mosquitofish give birth to live young, allowing them to start eating right away to help their parents with mosquito control. They also are noted not to overbreed and adjust their population to what their environment can support.
Effective Mosquito Control, But Not for Everyone
Having a small army of little fish working on mosquito control with little to no work on your part is promising. Owning a school of fish isn’t for everyone. They might not be ‘pets,’ but you are responsible for caring for them and ensuring they do not get into the wild. This can be very bad for the local wildlife.
So, what can you do if mosquitofish aren’t for you? You can start by evaluating your property and follow the 7 T’s of Mosquito Control provided to you by Mosquito Squad of Las Cruces. Removing any place that mosquitoes might find a hold in your yard is key to reducing their numbers.
When you’ve done evaluating your property, or if you need assistance, feel free to contact Mosquito Squad, and we’ll be happy to help. Our most popular option is the Traditional Mosquito Barrier Treatment, which will create an invisible wall around your property and help reduce mosquitoes by 85-90% in your yard for up to 21 days.
Keep the mosquitofish in mind if you have a pond and follow the 7 T’s of mosquito control to prevent mosquito habitats in your backyard. Hiring the Las Cruces mosquito control professionals will ensure the best outcome. Mosquito Squad of Las Cruces looks forward to helping you enjoy the outdoors. Contact us online or call our team today to request a free quote for Las Cruces mosquito control services.