Mosquito Killing Pond - FAST & CHEAP!

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Introduction: Mosquito Killing Pond - FAST & CHEAP!

About: Hi! I'm Dee. I hail from filthy overpopulated NJ, where I reside with my boyfriend and our many pets. I'm very interested in arts and crafts, and animals. I spend most of my alone time either gluing things t...

I brainstormed up this project when I got attacked to death by mosquitos on my front lawn, this summer.

It turns out the neighbors had left a garbage can full of water when they moved out. My husband dumped the water, but the damage was done and the buggers were buzzing all over us in the evenings.

Well, I decided to throw something a little earth-friendly together. Citronella wasn't acceptable, because I have dogs and that stuff is pure torture to their noses. Pesticides should be illegal, so I wasn't about to do that. This project is what I came up with.

Hope it works as well for you as it did for me!

This project should take you all of a half hour to assemble, and a couple minutes a week to maintain. The cost is ridiculously cheap. Time spent on getting supplies will vary. Ok, let's get started!

Step 1: Get It Together...

Here are the items you will need:

1) Cat litter box OR another wide, shallow, waterproof vessel to contain your mosquito-eaters. Tall is no good. Without surface tension, the fish will die from oxygen deprivation. Just like with a fish tank... tall = less oxygen / wide = more oxygen. Heck, you could even use an old fish tank, if you have one lying around.

2) Water conditioner, to make the water safe for the fish. Read the instructions on the bottle. I eyeballed the measurements, once I had read the amount per gallon. It's not rocket science, so don't panic! Most pet suppliers will carry this sort of stuff as well. Inexpensive and a little goes a long way.

3) Guppies! You can get them at most aquatic-dealer pet shops, as they are used to feed to larger fish. They're also common as heck in ponds just about everywhere. They're those tiny tiny fish that crowd together and somehow manage to survive in the most stagnant looking waters. They cost about a dollar for a dozen. The amount you purchase will depend on the size of your container. Warning- They breed like mad. I wouldn't recommend starting with more than one dozen for most containers!

4)Plants. More on that later.

Step 2: Make It!

So, you have all your suplies. The res is pretty straightforward:

1) Make sure your container is clean and free of soap/cleaner/cat crap residues.

2) Place the container in the desired outdoor location. Make sure it's not in full sunlight all day, or you'll end up with stinky guppy soup. It should get a little sun, though, depending on which pond plants* you choose.

3) Fill it up with dechlorinated tap water, spring water, or filtered water.

4) Float the plastic bag full of guppies in the "pond" for ten minutes, to allow them to acclimate to the water temperature. Release them into the water, gently.

5) Drop your plants in. Voila! Earth-friendly mosquito killer fully assembled! Congrats!

Upkeep/Tips/etc:

- Check weekly for dead guppies. You should see lots of tiny baby guppies, too. Try to choose pond plants that the guppy babies can hide from their parents in!

- Make sure your container doesn't overflow if it rains! Likewise, add more water if the water evaporates too low. You may want to syphon out a wee bit of the water from the bottom, if the fish seem to be struggling/dying/not breeding at all. Make sure to replace the water with safe, chlorine-free h2o.

- Feed the guppies a VERY LITTLE bit of fish food every few days, if you're keeping them out there and the mosquitos aren't around anymore (reward them for doing their job!)

- Pinch off any dead plant chunks. It tends to keep them nicer.

- Ask a local pond-dealer pet shop, or nursery, which plants will stay small, do well without circulation, etc. I'm not a botanist, so I have no clue which plants available in your area are recommendable.

*Note on plants: They are there to consume nitrogen from the fish waste, and to give the fish a place to hide. Don't overplant, or the fish will not receive any oxygen (surface tension, remember!) and they'll all go belly-up!

Step 3: Disposal - Don't Be Lazy About This Part!

I posted this project to be environmentally-friendly, not to wreak havoc on your native wildlife.

When you're finished with your mosquito-killer pond, you need to dispose of the plants properly. DO NOT toss the plants into any public waters or sewers. Many ornamental pond plants are dangerously invasive and can kill off native plants in a short time.

Return the plants to the store you bought them from. Give them to someone with an outdoor pond. Heck, mulch and compost the things. Just don't dispose of them improperly.

As for the fish, there's a few things you can do with them. You could set up a nice aquarium for them in your basement n_n Then you can use the same trusted fish (or their descendants, whatever) the next year. Otherwise, I recommend that you return them to the pet shop, as well. Don't toss them in any rivers. You don't know if they have any pathogens that wouldn't normally be found in a wild fish population and that's not safe for the environment. Better safe than sorry!

Well, I hope someone finds this useful. Bye for now!

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    87 Discussions

    We have all manner of critters and birds in my yard in san diego ca, like with previous earth worm composting bin, i fear the fish might be preyed upon in such a container,. Wondering if the fish would survive and mosquitoes enter to lay eggs, if i used a rubbermaid container with a top and punched holes in it, too small for critter paws or birds? Would a container larger than catlitter tray though still shallow work ok with small holes in container top? thanks.

    Mosquito larva cannot breach the surface tension caused by vegetable oil on the surface of the water. They die without oxygen, they cannot leave the water as they mature. They get stuck at the surface film!

    Cheap, "eco-friendly" and simple.

    This works for watering troughs that do not constantly overflow, puddles, unwanted ponds, ornamental ponds, garbage cans, etc.

    2 replies

    I think yours is the best comment on this board: when you throw a little oil out on top of your pond it disperses itself over the surface and does the job I have used a little used motor oil but will use veggie oil henceforth. I use about a cup full on a pond of about a quarter acre

    Why thank you PoppyP2!
    A biology professor once told me a single hoof print from a cow hold enough water for 200 mosquitoes to grow.

    My method is quite effective. I bo't a $10 semi rigid kids wading pool and put about 3-5" of water in it. The ladies lay their eggs in it, and as the wigglers develop I dump it on the lawn. This has to be done every three days before the wigglers can get airborne. I also add about a 1/4 tsp of dish detergent so there is no surface tension. Something else that is fairly effective is using a dome lidded barbecue with the small vent hole in the top. In late evening, get a bricket going in there. It gives off a little heat but it's greatest power is the carbon dioxide it gives off. Blood insects are attracted to CO2. A friend found her barbecue full to the top vent holes in the top, all dead. - thousands of them.

    1 reply

    Sorry to be dense, but I want to understand: Are you saying to burn a single charcoal bricket in a covered bbq grill with the vent hole open, and leave it until morning? Mosquitos enter the vent hole and die?

    First of all cjbikenut .. Be careful telling people to transport aquatic vegetation in some areas it is illegal 2nd Anophlese Mosquito larva hide in the aquatic weeds where the minnows can't find them .. If your neighbors have containers laying around knock them over , if your not a fan mosquito control products which most are a BTI or contain Spinosad . Both occur naturally in nature . Also anything that will break the surface tension of the water such as Dawn dish soap or a oil based product.

    7 replies

    soap and oil are also very detrimental to frogs and various surface living insects such as Gyrinus natator, so better not use it

    Your right Bloke. It can . In the late 4 th Instar larva stop eating, and the pupa don't even have mouths. The question is are the mosquitoes that bad in your area. Is there a out break of any kind in your area at the time. I would gladly lose some water bugs and some frogs out of a gold fish pond to protect my family. I'm not saying by any means put it in a stream or river .. Have you seen the Winged Scurge . its a informational video put out by Disney around WW2 .. The EPA would freak out if they did that stuff now

    not really bothered by musquitos. I have a pond and that has a bubbler. The few larvae that I see are usually eaten away by my fish.
    Yes I can imagine EPA would freak out about that :-)
    As a matter of fact, i live in western europe and maybe some 50-60 years ago we still had native malaria in this one water rich part of the country... but pollution and DDT put a stop to that.
    Now we have cleaned up our act.... and are afraid malaria might come back

    Bloke , Historically Malaria in the states is transmitted by the Anopheles Quadrimaculatus. The larva of the Anopheles are different from the other genus of mosquitoes. They lay parallel to the surface amongst the floating water vegetation and almost look like a floating stick. They don't move to much unless disturbed so they mostly go unnoticed by the minnows. here's a picture of the comparison if the Anopheles (top),and other larva (bottom)

    temp_143090492.jpg

    true and my fish love them and all their musquito buddies :-)
    Anyway, Malaria at one time was endemic here (Holland) last seen in 1955 and in 1970 we were officially malaria free, but in 2013 there were two cases of malaria falciparum without travel to malaria countries. Patients were Africans though, which does suggests some tie. Most likely they were infected by a musquito that 'travelled along' in a plane, or might have been in the luggage of friends/acquantances
    The forms of Malaria once endemic here were malaria tertiana and quartana, not the P. falciparum caused 'tropical malaria'
    There are two musquito species here that are considered as capable of transmitting Plasmodium, but not the P. falciparum, but since 1955 all of them are clean.
    Still they are nasty little buggers

    bloke. I'm from Florida and Chikungunya is the flavor of the month here.. we haven't had many locally acquired cases here YET. its mostly travel associated from the Carribean. there's been over a million suspected cases there and thru out the southern America's. the Aedes aegypti is the mosquito associated with this. I've heard ,they believe the Aedes albopictus is also capable of transmission. They are container breeders ,so all theses islands that have sisterns and such for collecting rain water are great places for them to breed. if this sort of stuff interests you check out the WHO/PAHO websites

    yes, Dutch antilles (Aruba, Bonaire Curacao) really have a lot of Chikungunya cases right now.
    Yeah it kinda has my interest, I am a physician, work a lot in SE&P asia and have done musquito eradication programs

    You could collect a bit of duckweed or other native species from your local pond or lake to make sure it will tolerate your climate. You could also try to get a live small bait species from the local sporting goods store to reduce the chances of introducing a non-native species.

    3 replies

    Sorry, upon re-reading I sound like a smart ass. That was not my intention, Just wanted to inform that one might find a solution close to home

    Though all gambusia eat musquitos, it is especially Gambusia affinis who eats them ferociously. Gambusia need warmer water though and Gambusia affinis is considered a pest and ecological threath.

    Goldfish will do just as well

    another way if keeping bugs away is useing marigolds. bugs dont like the smell. i use them in my food garden and they are great for tomatos! eather way its another poison free way to try to keep bugs away.

    1 reply

    I bought lots of marigolds one year and the bugs ate them FIRST. Then when they decimated the marigolds, they ate everything else. *sigh* I learned that in Texas, grow spinach in the winter. NOTHING keeps the bugs off them in the spring/summer.