Using Biological Controls for Mosquitos

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BURLESON COUNTY, Tex. (KBTX) - In very rainy years like we’ve had for the last three or four years in the Brazos Valley, there are special kinds of problems that are created, not the least of which are mosquito outbreaks. There are different ways to try and control these outbreaks, and Alan Rudd, who is a consulting biologist and sport fish farmer in Burleson County says that there is a small minnow that can be used as an environmentally friendly biological control that only targets mosquitos.

“They’ve been here as long as the State of Texas has been here. It’s called a mosquito fish. The name is appropriate. These little animals feed upon mosquito larvae. They control them and if you have these fish present in a creek bed that entire creek bed is not going to have mosquito larvae in it.”

Rudd points out that mosquito fish can live in small bodies of water that won’t support bigger fish.

“We use them in our water troughs here for horses, for cattle. Any kind of water trough is an attractive reproduction place for mosquitos because there are no predators there. Well, suddenly you add these guys and there’s predators”

Rudd says this becomes a public health issue with the numbers of mosquito borne illnesses that have moved into the southern U.S.

“When you use biocontrol agents like mosquito fish and don’t use any spray, then other animals will survive and the ones that survive and survive well, this is a larval dragon fly. These larvae live on the bottom of the lake their whole life. In spring they hatch out and start flying around. Once they become adults, winged adults flying around, they quickly start feeding on mosquitos.”

Rudd would like to see city and county governments embrace these biological controls.

“If I was AG for the day, and that’s not attorney general, that’s assistant to God, I would have these things spreading greatly and let’s just see what we can do. Let’s see how much we can do over a four county area by really working hard to stock these things at every little road crossing on every little creek.”