General Question

Evan's avatar

Is there an all-natural additive that can prevent mosquitoes from breeding in still water?

Asked by Evan (805points) May 11th, 2010

I’m wondering if there’s something I can add to a pond, or a small pool, or some kind standing water in my backyard that is all-natural and, most importantly, non toxic and totally safe for dogs. I’ve got a couple of dogs that love water and get hot in the summer, but I don’t want to create more mosquito havens in my backyard…

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

18 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Goldfish or Mosquito fish.

They can even be used in horse/livestock troughs.

There is a very high end ranch near my house that raises Arabians and Draft horses, they have stone watering fountains with goldfish in them. Pretty cool!

WestRiverrat's avatar

put a bubbler in the pond. Most Mosquito larva will not hatch if the water is not still.

Evan's avatar

@Coloma – wouldn’t my dogs potentially just eat the fish..? :) and what are “Mosquito Fish”?

@WestRiverrat – i’m imagining something like a plastic kiddy-pool.. but perhaps a bubbler could work.. maybe?

Coloma's avatar


I wouldn’t think the dogs would eat the fish. They will just lap the water and if it is more than a few inches deep the fish will be fine.

Mosquito fish are used for mosquito control, they are smallish minnow type fish. Available a lot of places, call around and ask your country mosquito control people.

earthduzt's avatar

Tadpoles and there are also mosquito bushes you can add I have a 1600 gallon koi pond and have a couple of the bushes around and I have noticed not so many mosquito’s lately. They don’t like the aroma I suppose. I also have about a gazillion tadpoles, and minnows in the pond along with the koi.

jazmina88's avatar

i thought mosquito doughnuts were non toxic.

Nullo's avatar

Salt, maybe. Or perhaps a small fountain to keep the water moving.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Pyrethrum is a natural flower extract that is shown to kill mosquito larvae. It’s also an effective repellant.

grumpyfish's avatar

The mosquito fish are going to be the absolute best way to control them, adding a bubbler or fountain pump should also be able to help a bit.

Chemical methods (chlorine, insecticides) are generally not that effective (according to an article I read from UC Davis), but can help a little.

Also, changing the water every few days will keep the larvae down—the aquatic part of a mosquito’s life cycle is minimum 5 days, so if you throw out the water every 4 days, you won’t breed them.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

There is a bacteria that works to control them. It’s in the donuts someone else mentioned. Check Mellinger’s web site.@stranger in a strange land: I think that’s a pretty potent chemical isn’t it? I’d hesitate to let the dogs in. It’s deadly to fish.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Peppermint oil is an effective insecticide, but I’m not sure how often you would have to add it. I think the others have a good solution, i.e., put something in the pond to aerate the water or keep it moving. I’ve seen little fountains and waterfalls for backyard ponds that are quite decorative.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Found it. Its Bacillus thuringienis ssp israelensis. It is eaten by the larvae and destoys there digestive tract. Kills half of the bacteria in 15 minutes, the rest by an hour. Doesn’t affect other animals.

syz's avatar

I use the Bacillus doughnuts – it’s safe, even in fish and koi ponds.

MissAnthrope's avatar

The doughnuts you guys are describing are called ‘mosquito dunks’ (in case OP wants to search for/buy some). They are also supposedly a good organic control for fungus gnats, which frequently come in store-bought soil and are impossible to get rid of. The larvae are supposed to ingest the bacteria and die, but it didn’t seem to do much when I tried it.

lilikoi's avatar

Another vote for mosquito fish. Trust me, this is the best way to go. No, your dog will not have any interest in the fish.

perspicacious's avatar

I think sulphur is used for this.

Evan's avatar

Thanks everyone! A lot of great answers!

wyrenyth's avatar

Probably wouldn’t hurt to throw some citronella stuff around the pool area. That ought to help repel the buggers from landing on the water to begin with.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther