Residents in Florida Are Using Fish To Combat Mosquitoes
Mosquito season has officially arrived, and citizens of the United States are determined to avoid a repeat of 2016 when Zika dominated the headlines. If there is one positive thing that has come out of the Zika outbreaks, it may be the increased awareness among the American public concerning mosquito-borne diseases. Many more people than usual are planning on using anti-mosquito products regularly this summer in order to protect against diseases like the Zika virus and the West Nile virus. Some regions in the US have even experimented with issuing free mosquito-repelling products to the public. Offering free mosquito repellent to members of the public may help spread awareness about how to prevent mosquito bites. In one Florida city officials are not handing out free cans of mosquito repellent; instead they are handing out free fish. This may sound crazy, but the free fish specimens that are being offered to members of the public have been used to eradicate developing mosquito larvae, and the fish have proven useful in the effort to reduce mosquito population sizes.
In Hillsborough County, Florida government officials are issuing small fish specimens to residents. These fish specimens are well known for eating mosquitoes and their larvae within small bodies of water. The idea is to have residents place the fish into small containers of standing water, like a bird bath, so that the fish can eat visiting mosquitoes and the larvae they leave behind.
By now most people know that mosquitoes are attracted to areas of standing water. These areas of standing water can be as small as a bottle cap containing rain water, or as large as a swimming pool. Typically, residents are urged to get rid of any signs of standing water within their yards, but now residents will be using these areas against mosquitoes. Luckily, the fish do not require any form of care; simply place them in an area of standing water and wait for the mosquito population to decrease.
Do you think that more state and/or local governments should experiment with novel mosquito control methods like the one described above?