Though mosquito control problems are one of the first concerns for those building a fish pond in their backyard, it is one of the easiest pond problems to avoid. A backyard garden pond with the right number of fish, water conditions and mechanical systems should not have a mosquito problem. If you are in the process of planning for your garden fish pond, here is what you need to know about keeping mosquitoes away, the natural way.
Goldfish and Koi Eat Mosquitoes
Fish are mortal enemies of mosquitoes. If your pond has goldfish or koi, it should not have mosquitoes, unless there is a place for them to hide. Don’t overfeed your fish to the point where they get too fat and lazy to hunt down mosquitoes! Also, design around your pond so that your landscape will attract toads. They like damp sheltered places and are known to be big mosquito eaters.
Keep Your Water Filtered and Circulating
Mosquitoes need stagnant water to lay and hatch their eggs. If you have a properly sized and operating filter and an aerator, there will be enough water movement to keep mosquitoes from hanging around for any length of time. Keeping oxygen levels high and nutrient levels low both contribute to water conditions that deter mosquitoes.
Remember to periodically clean organic matter and layers of leaves out of your pond. This helps your filtration system to work more effectively.
Maintain the Edge of Your Pond
Plants growing right at the edge of your pond, either inside or outside the water, provide refuge for mosquitoes. Branches or foliage that overhang and droop into the water often create pockets of stagnant water and shelter for mosquito larvae. The same goes for surface-growing pond plants. While it is important to have plants as part of your pond’s ecosystem, be sure they are not creating pools of stagnant water around the edges of the pond.
While you are on the lookout for stagnant water, take a look around the rest of your yard. It may be that an old birdbath or flower pot has unknowingly become a breeding place for mosquitoes.
Minimize Shallow Water in your Pond
All of the above recommendations are potentially affected by the design of your pond. Minimize areas of your pond where the water will be less than 6 inches deep. Deeper water allows fish to get to the water surface so they can snatch floating insects. Shallow water only increases the chances you will have pockets of poor circulation and aeration. Those will be the places where mosquitoes find refuge; don’t give them the chance!
It is extremely rare for mosquitoes to remain in a pond that is well designed and well maintained. Thoughtful design, healthy fish, regular maintenance and clear, circulating water are the best forms of natural mosquito control. Follow the above guidelines, and you will be able to enjoy your backyard oasis without worrying about bug bites.