We read an article the other day, about an outbreak of West Nile virus, somewhere in California.
West Nile virus appeared in the United States in 1999.
Although it is usually harmless to humans it can be deadly to those older, younger and with compromised immune systems. Backyard ponds and mosquitoes seem to go together.

It seems California is experiencing the largest outbreak in history.
Part of the problem seems to be back yard ponds and water gardens. The fairly recent proliferation of water features is adding to the already handy spots that mosquito’s use, such as old tires, pails, and any where water gathers.

Our cold climate and icy winters does not exempt us from the problem and danger of West Nile and other mosquito borne diseases. And we do not wish to abandon our water gardens.
There are a number of solutions to the problem from floating oil on the water to larvicides but the one we like the best is the mosquito fish but there are dangers associated with using the fish to control the larvae.

The mosquito fish are very competitive and invasive so it is very important that they not be released into free running streams and bodies of water where they would compete with local indigenous species.
Goldfish will also eat the mosquito larvae and are another choice. As with the mosquito fish do not release the gold fish into local waters.

In the mean time keep your property free from any container that would provide a breeding spot for insects. Hundreds and thousands of mosquitoes can breed in a pail of stagnant water.

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