Dona Ana County’s fishy solution to mosquitoes

Las Cruces News

As we come into the warmer months many of us know what’s coming — mosquitoes.

However, Dona Ana County is using fish to combat the mosquito population.

If you live near the Rio Grande or have any type of standing water on your property, mosquitoes can be a big issue. mosquitoes carry viruses, like West Nile and Zika, making it crucial to everyone’s health to keep the mosquito populations under control.

The solution may be a fish that’s capable of doing just that. 

Most commonly known as the mosquitofish or Gambusia, these fish eat mosquito larvae, which is important to help curb the mosquito population and reduce the potential for encephalitis and other dangerous diseases. 

“We also have a percentage of these mosquitoes that are laying eggs with West Nile so our goal is to keep the numbers low enough that we don’t see active transmission to humans,” said Ken Sholar with  Dona Ana County Vector Control. 

According to Sholar, the mosquitofish can eat five times their weight in mosquito larvae each day. It only takes six to twelve fish in any standing body of water to reduce the mosquito population on a half acre of land. 

Dona Ana County is offering these fish free to the public. They began giving them away on Tuesday and they will continue to offer them every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Many people who went to get their own mosquitofish say it really works.

“I don’t do a head count of my mosquito population but I know that it does help because it just the number seems to be less with the fish,” said Tommy Tomlin a Las Cruces resident.

If you want to get your own mosquito fish they can be picked up at the Dona Ana County Minnow Pond, located at 4605 Picacho Avenue.

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