Raul Zevin, a county mosquito control spray technician, checks the drainage ditch at the Tangerine Greenway for mosquito larvae.
Some people know them as “mosquito fish” but people like Ruel Zevin knows them as Gambusia. As a Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services-certified spray technician, he knows all the tricks to keep mosquitoes at bay. Instead of spraying after last week’s heavy rains, he went a more environmentally-friendly way: fish.
The county, he says, breeds its own Gambusia in local ponds, but he says local pet stores may stock them as well. If not, you can buy them online from biological supply companies and eBay.
“They’re pretty hardy little suckers – we put them in abandoned pools,” he says. Pinellas County Mosquito Control puts fish in several Gulfport locations, including the ditch line by Wood Ibis Park, Veteran’s Park, and Tangerine Greenway. He says the fish can survive in very little water, so if Tangerine drains down to puddles they will survive. He also noted that the dragonfly larvae he observed in the Greenway will also eat the mosquito larvae.
Mr. Zevin asks all readers to empty any containers in their yard, as even tiny puddles offer mosquito larvae fertile ground.
“That's a huge problem for us- getting people to dump their containers,” he says.
For more information about how to stop mosquitoes, please visit Pinellas County Mosquito Control.