Friday, March 30, 2007
I call this the tiniest pond I have ever done. It is simply a casserole dish balanced ecologically so the water will not be stagnant.
Now I can hear all of you saying, "What about mosquitoes? What about West Nile Virus?"
We use mosquito fish to keep those biters gone.
The fish have a large appetite, and one female can devour several hundred mosquito larvae per day. They reproduce rapidly and are unlike other fish, they bear live young. Each female can produce three to four broods in her lifetime, and each brood can vary from 40 to 100 fry.
Birth usually occurs during the warm spring and summer months. When the young are born, they are active and immediately swim for the nearest cover. Though they are only about 3/8-inch long, they will soon feed.
Sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Well, not quite.
Mosquito fish have negative ecological impacts anywhere they are introduced. They compete with native species of minnow for available forage or harass those competitors until they die. They have been especially devastating in the American Southwest interacting with a wide range of threatened or endangered fish species.
Many states are using the fish for mosquito control. As always, I wonder if the cure will be worse than the disease.