A water feature, such as a backyard pond or fountain, can add a relaxing focal point to your landscape. That is, until mosquitoes find it and turn it into their personal breeding ground. Fortunately, there are ways to enjoy a water feature without inviting unwanted pests.
The first step is prevention — make your pond or fountain a place that doesn't attract mosquitoes. Depth is the first tactic to use. Mosquitoes lay eggs in shallow, stagnant water. The deeper the water, the less likely it is that you will have mosquito issues. Next, make sure that the water is constantly moving. This is pretty simple if you have a fountain. Generally the larger the fountain and the more water it disturbs, the fewer mosquitoes. For ponds, use a filter and recirculation system. Installing bubblers in the pond can also help.
Fish are another way to culturally control mosquitoes. If your feature is large enough, a few fish can clean up the few mosquito larvae that do end up in the water. Just keep in mind that adding fish may limit your options for other chemical treatments.
If cultural changes don't eradicate the mosquitoes completely, then a water treatment may be needed. Treatments are designed to kill eggs and larva, and they don't typically target adult mosquitoes.
Larvacides are treatments added to the water that will kill the eggs and larva on contact. Do not use larvacide if the pond contains fish or amphibians, or if you have children or pets that may drink or play in the water. In these instances, there are bacterial pellets that can be dropped in the water. The released bacteria is deadly to mosquito larva but harmless to other animals.
You may need to treat the area around the feature if the adult mosquitoes that are attracted to the pond are still an issue. In this case, spraying is the ideal option. A one-application spray won't typically get the job done, particularly if there are a lot of overhanging branches around the pond to provide cover for adult mosquitoes.
Your pest service can install a misting system. This system is placed on a timer so that it sprays out a mosquito-killing mist at the time the adults become most active, thus preventing them from living long enough to even lay eggs in the pond.
Contact a mosquito control service if you need more help controlling pest populations around your outdoor water feature, like The Mosquito Masters.