Backyard ponds and mosquitos

I live in Oklahoma, where mosquitoes tend to be a problem for 3/4 of the year. I’m thinking about installing a small backyard pond for the wildlife, but am worried about attracting mosquitoes. Has anybody here successfully pulled off a water feature in a warm environment that doesn’t create a disease hazard without the use of constant chlorination? If so, what’s your secret?

Thanks!

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I’m no pond expert but I suggest adding some native fish that eat mosquito larvae, and if it is clean enough many other aquatic insects that feed on mosquitoes will come to your pond. If the pond ecosystem is healthy enough, mosquito populations wouldn’t be a problem.

Anyway let’s wait for someone else to enlighten us more.

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Not an expert beyond just having one, so take what I say with a pinch of salt, especially since I live in the Great Lakes region of the US, which may be colder climate-wise than what you’re dealing with.

I think mosquitoes have less of a chance to really breed with a pond if there’s something that is moving the water around, like a bubbler, waterfall feature, etc. It’s shallow, stagnant water that they breed in, not water with a consistent current. Besides, if your pond attracts wildlife that like to eat mosquitos (ie frogs), you may find that if any do result, they’re overshadowed by the predators that like semi-aquatic environments.

I will say that the one time I did see mosquito larvae was a small fountain on a pillar growing up that was in direct sun. The water was constantly warm, it had no plants (aside from algae we had to scrub out), and the only wildlife that visited were birds.

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I’m not in a warm climate but mosquitoes can still be problematic where water can collect. I have made a water feature in our yard and I make sure it has fish for this very reason. Of course occasionally something thinks the fish are for dinner so I have to replace them - not sure if it is mink, otter, raccoon or heron (or other).

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Yes, I agree with you, flowing water usually doesn’t attract lots of mosquitoes, and as I said before, if the pond ecosystem is healthy enough other aquatic wildlife may be attracted and control mosquito populations.

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In the US: mosquitofish

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Mosquito larva don’t survive in moving water. In a small water feature, a solar powered water wriggler may do the job of eliminating mosquito larva. As mentioned, mosquito fish are advised for mosquito larva control in larger ponds. I had a little solar powered fountain in a small pond I used to have, along with ornamental fish. It got so there was enough naturally occurring sustenance that the fish did not bother to eat the fish food I gave them. So I stopped feeding them at all, and they did very well (until one year a wily raccoon dug under the fence or came over the trellis and ate all the fish.)

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If there are dragonflies and bats u should not worry at all, dragonfly larvae will feed on mosquito larvae and dragonfly feed on mosquito, hmm I can add some native fishes which feed on insects, good luck with ur project

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I also thought that.

Yeah, totally agree with you!

And those raccoons… why are they so naughty?

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We have a temperate mediterranean climate. I have no fish in the pond as I want to encourage biodiversity. Frogs, dragonflies, whatever water insects. We have a spitter / fountain that moves the water. Lots of established plants.

When we were establishing the pond. At the green hair algae stage, I would use a little pool scoop to skim out mosquito larvae (they have their siphon on the surface, so easy to see and do)

https://eefalsebay.blogspot.com/2016/03/our-false-bay-garden-in-march.html

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Just throw Bti cakes or granules in every week or so. That will take care of the larvae. I don’t recommend fish because they eat all of the other inverts, too, so you’ll be deprived of the interesting insects that might take up residence in your pond. And I think I’ve read that many mosquito larvae are pretty good at finding hidden spots in vegetation that the fish cannot find, so you’ll still have mosquitoes developing. Same for dragonfly nymphs, too: they will eat some mosquito larvae but not all. Bti is the ticket.

https://www.amazon.com/Mosquito-Dunks-102-12-Killer-Pack/dp/B0002ASQ4A

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But it depends on the fish you add, not all will eat other insects, in fact, many will eat algae instead.

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Making sure you have predators, such as frogs is one major thing that can help. A little water circulation would also help to limit larvae numbers. Other than that, I don’t think I could really think of anything else. I have a pond with predators and some circulation, and their are still mosquitoes, but not an overwhelming amount. It’s the ticks in my area that I am more worried about however, as I tend to get one whenever going behind my fence, sometimes even the ones capable of carrying harmful diseases!

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Mosquitofish have become problematic invasives in many areas. In California, mosquito control districts distribute them for use in cattle troughs and other containers that do not connect with natural waterways, but they should not be used where they might get into a natural waterway.

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Well it depends on where you live.

Well, in fact I think you’re right, I’ve been reading that mosquito fish don’t control mosquitoes and eat other insects instead.

At first I was confused about this but indeed fish will eat all the aquatic insects in a. pond, that’s why most aquatic bugs live in temporary, small puddles or stuff, and fish live in bigger, permanente bodies of water were insects don’t thrive as much (but they are not absent either).

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Regardless, its a moot point where I am. Dip a net in any standing water here and you’ll pull up western mosquito fish by the dozen.

Are they native to your area?

I second @colinpurrington 's recommendation of Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis. I have two ponds and several rain barrels in my yard and Bti keeps them free of mosquito larvae. The big plus is that it only affects mosquito, blackfly and fungus gnat larvae, leaving other aquatic life unharmed.

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