Mosquitofish take a bite out of buzzing pests

Reporter: Elizabeth Biro
Published: Updated:

So you don’t hear the buzz of mosquitoes or feel their bite, Jamie Fowler with Lee County Mosquito Control District deploys Gambusia, also appropriately known as mosquitofish.

“Our inspectors will take these fish and they will put them into the water,” added Fowler.

The fish are native to Florida and their favorite snack is mosquito larvae. “It’s a win-win, because if we get mosquitoes in the larvae stage, then that’s saving from the potential of biting adults,” said Fowler.

FILE: Mosquitos. (Credit: WINK News)

Right now, the District is targeting Sanibel, where many backyards are in disrepair and have stagnant pools. They are a mosquito-breeding paradise. Biologist Robert Scarpantonio showed WINK News Environmental Reporter Liz Biro how they do it.

“Sometimes you’ll see larvae on the surface depending on how many might be there. But a lot of times, we use this tool. It’s called a dipper. We’ll come up, we’ll dip the water and then just take a close look at it and see. We’ll look for any mosquito larvae that might be present,” explained Scarpantonio.

No larvae present here, but if there were, the dipper would be filled with larvae.
Scarpantonio said not every pool breeds larva, “but it’s something we want to take a look at and check out.”

And, if they do find larvae, you could get new pets – the mosquitofish.

From the City of Sanibel:

The Lee County Mosquito Control District recognizes the incredible challenges Sanibel property owners have faced following Hurricane Ian. District Biologists and Field Inspectors continue to survey neighborhoods and surrounding habitats for mosquito activity and are providing treatments as needed. Stagnant water in unused swimming pools provides habitat for a number of pest mosquitoes that can create a public health risk. If you have an untreated swimming pool that you would like the District to check for mosquito larvae, please make a service request by visiting or call (239) 694-2174.

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