Using fish for mosquito control in ornamental pond

Asked May 18, 2018, 6:47 AM EDT

Hello -
We bought a house in southern Vermont last year that has a small ornamental pond (about 20 ft x 8 ft & 3 ft deep). I prefer not to use pump recirculation, but I'm interested in using small fish for mosquito control. Any advice you can give would help (i.e., literature on this specific to New England, species, sources to purchase from, etc). I'm familiar with mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis), but I know they're not native to Vermont, so I expect they should probably not be an option for me. Any advice you can give would be appreciated & thanks.

Windham County Vermont sunfish ponds fish

2 Responses

Hello and thank you for using eXtension for your pond question. Stocking a small pond with fish is okay if you have enough plants for shelter and food. Additionally, they can provide much needed oxygen. Some species of minnows are native and eat plenty of mosquito larvae. I recommend that you contact the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources http://anr.vermont.gov/ for recommended native varieties. Juvenile sunfish also eat mosquito larvae. here is a related expert answer that may be of assistance, https://ask.extension.org/expert/questions/334217

Additionally, consider installing a bat box to attract bats to eat the adult mosquitoes as well. Mature bats can eat their body weight in mosquitoes a night. Plus you would be assisting with bat preservation activities.

Beth, a belated thanks for responding to my question . . . catching up on e-mail, etc. I will contact the Vermont ANR and perhaps the Cooperative Extension office in southern Vermont for more info on appropriate fish species.

Doug