Garden ponds are an attractive addition to any backyard, but they can become a problem if you don’t regularly clean them.
Backyard ponds do attract mosquitoes, especially if the water is still and becomes stagnant, which provides the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes that lay their eggs in the shallow water. When the larvae hatch they then eat the algae on the surface and quickly grow into biting adult insects.
Let’s dive down into the subject of mosquitoes in backyard ponds in greater detail, and discover how we can stop them from becoming a problem in the first place…
Does Having a Pond Attract Mosquitoes?
No question, backyard ponds are a welcome addition to anyone’s home. But if not well-maintained they often hold stagnant, shallow water, which is an ideal environment for female mosquitoes to lay their eggs during their breeding season.
Once they hatch, the stagnant water will provide the main food source for the mosquito larvae – as they’ll eat nutrients such as algae to survive and thrive until they become fully-grown mosquitoes.
Your best option to remove mosquitoes from your backyard pond is to build an ecosystem inside with freshwater flow. The main reason is that mosquitoes’ eggs cannot survive in water that has a current.
Creating a flow of water through your pond is accomplished by installing a pump inside the pond, which will keep the water circulating continuously. An environment will be created that stops the larvae from breathing air at the surface of the pond’s water. So adding a water pump will limit the mosquito population inside your pond over time.
How Do I Keep Mosquitoes Out of My Backyard Pond?
Mosquitoes are a nuisance for everyone in your backyard. Granted, backyard ponds are a central breeding ground for mosquitoes, but so are the surrounding areas on your property where any water can pool and stagnate.
In this context, with your pond being the main mosquito hatchery it’s important to regularly clean and maintain it. Firstly, remove all the algae as it is a common food source for mosquitoes.
Bacterial insecticides are a good alternative resource in removing mosquitoes as well. You may also want to fill your backyard pond with fish and animals that eat mosquito larvae as part of their regular diet – such as tadpoles, goldfish, guppies, and minnows.
These fish all enjoy feeding on mosquitoes. By adding them to your pond you’ll effectively limit the level of mosquito infestation that occurs. Plus, they’re natural algae eaters, which helps to reduce the level of nutrients available for mosquito larvae.
All of these measures will shorten their lifespan and stop your pond from becoming the main breeding ground for mosquitoes in the spring and summer months.
Can I Use Mosquito Dunks in a Pond?
Mosquito dunks are a non-toxic, organic larvicide that helps control the spread of mosquitoes while they’re in their feeding stage. Dunks are best-used from April-September, which is the mosquito’s most active breeding season. Usually, their eggs are hatched in warmer weather conditions.
Each mosquito dunk can treat 100 square feet of water space. Simply drop the donut-shaped dunk into the pond, and it will float on the surface and start killing mosquito larvae within hours.
Gradually, the larvicide will dissolve into the water and effectively protect your pond for 30 days. You should see a difference in the overall condition of their backyard pond within 48 hours after usage.
If your pets are allowed to swim inside the pond, keep them away from the area for at least 30 minutes following the mosquito dunks being placed in the water. Plus, remove all floating granules leftover by skimming the top of the water surface.
Here’s a great video on how to use dunks in ponds and other planters where water is present and could attract mosquitoes:
How Many Mosquito Dunks Can a Pond Have?
Each mosquito dunk is approximately two inches in diameter with a small narrow hole in the middle to keep it in place during usage. The chemical makeup will keep your backyard pond free of mosquitoes for 30 days as one mosquito dunk will treat 100 square feet of water. Simple math will determine the number of dunks needed to treat your pond.
First, you need to know the square footage of the pond. The depth of the water is not needed as the dunk will release its ingredients at the water’s surface level. This is the location where mosquito larvae feed and consume their food. Experienced pond owners believe larger spaces need two or more dunks to have a larvae-free environment for 30 days.
In rare cases, you may need to use more than the required amount of mosquito dunks if the pond water is highly contaminated. It will help to keep mosquitoes away and make your backyard pond more attractive to visitors.
When Should I Put Out Mosquito Dunks?
To prevent an outbreak of mosquitoes, the sooner, the better is the best option when it comes to putting mosquito dunks in your pond water. It’s wise to begin using the product by early spring.
This will help to disrupt the breeding cycle of mosquitoes. It doesn’t matter what time of day you place the dunks into the pond water. Once they’re placed on the surface level, it will take several hours before the removal process of the mosquito larvae begins.
You must remain consistent and set a rigid schedule of using mosquito d throughout the summer months until the beginning of fall. There is no need for using them during the winter months, but don’t forget to begin the process once again when the warm weather re-appears.
Prevention is the best cure in this context, and most homeowners feel this method is the only logical choice for eliminating mosquitoes from breeding in their backyard pond.
Are Mosquito Dunks Harmful to Pets & Fishes?
Mosquito dunks are non-toxic, highly effective larvicide that eliminate mosquito larvae before they can become biting, disease-carry adults. Dunks are not harmful to the well-being of pets, fish, and other wildlife animals.
Generally, they dissolve after floating on the surface of the water for a short period of time. The diluted water with mosquito dunks in will not harm any fish you already have in your pond.
However, should one of your mosquito dunks remain in its solid-state and not dissolve, then it could be dangerous for your cat, dogs, and other pets.
If consumed, your furry friend will suffer from severe stomach pain and constant nausea – so it’s best to shut your pets inside while you keep an eye on the dissolving dunks until they have fully disappeared. If you believe your dog or cat may have ingested a mosquito dunk, then phone the vet right away and seek professional help.
Summary: How Do I Get Rid of Mosquito Larvae in My Pond Naturally? (Without Killing My Fish)
Backyard ponds provide tranquility for an afternoon in the sun. But one of the consequences of having a pond that you don’t clean out is stagnant water, which increases the likelihood of mosquito population in the surrounding area. As mentioned, they lay their eggs near the water’s surface, which will infest the pond with mosquito larvae.
Sorting out your mosquito problem during the larvae stage is ideal. There are several natural methods to eliminate this problem without killing any fish that swim in your pond.
Some homeowners use a mix of apple cider vinegar and water to remove mosquito larvae from the pond’s surface. The concentration level should be 15% apple cider vinegar to 85% water. Spray the mixture over the pond’s water surface and the odor of the vinegar will repel the mosquitoes.
When larvae ingest the vinegar spray, they’ll begin to suffocate as their breathing tubes will get blocked. By as soon as the next day, your pond should be mosquito larvae-free.
Another natural method for removing mosquito larvae is reducing the amount of vegetation near the shoreline of the pond – so you need to remove aquatic weeds and thin out other thick vegetation close to the water that adult mosquitoes love to live in.
However, if the weed and vegetation growth has got out of hand, then you may want to use non-toxic aquatic herbicide, which is environmentally safe for all species inside the pond.
Plus don’t forget – another natural method to kill mosquitoes in your pond is those larvae-eating fish we mentioned earlier – our friends the goldfish, guppies, and minnows – plus those tadpoles that will turn into cute little frogs. Of course, frogs eat mosquitoes too so they’re doubly helpful. 🙂
Homeowner and property investor Larry Jones founded Take a Yard in 2020 to bring you the very best outdoor living content, based on his years of experience managing outside spaces. Read more >