When I first heard about using goldfish in water troughs for mosquito control I assumed it was just a novelty. After all, how could a few tiny fish make a difference? Well I’m here to tell you THEY DO! And they don’t require any extra care. It almost sounds too easy, doesn’t it?
How Does it Work?
“Female mosquitoes like to lay their eggs (about 100 to 300 at a time) in a dark spot in still water. The eggs then float on the surface of the water for about 48 hours before hatching into larva. The larva will live in the water for about 10 days eating tiny plants and animals. It then changes into a pupa that floats on the surface of the water for about two
days before the adult mosquito emerges.” Source
The goldfish feed on the larva before they get a chance to mature, which can greatly diminish the mosquito population without any chemicals or pesticides. This also keeps the fish full and happy all summer long, no feeding required! Just remember to top up your water trough regularly (which you probably already do), and check on them to remove any dead fish or debris. Some of mine have lived over 3 years and do well over the winter. I use a tank heater to keep the water from freezing, but they’ve even survived a few “heater malfunctions” and are surprisingly hardy.
– Choose smaller fish that can easily reach all corners to the trough. Goldfish are most common but you can also try guppies or killfish.
– If your fish are being eaten by predators try placing some rocks beneath the water to create hiding places. Dark colored goldfish will be better at camouflaging than bright colored ones.
– Don’t forget to check for other standing water on your property. I like to keep buckets and wheelbarrows overturned when I’m not using them. You can also add goldfish to ponds, fountains and rain barrels.
If fish aren’t your thing try these Mosquito Dunks. They’re organic, pet safe and last for about a month.
P.S. There’s lots of great tips, opinions, and new ideas in the comments section below 🙂