This summer the Zika Virus is upon us, it’s real and it is in the United States. Zika is spread throughout the world by several species of Mosquitoes; I have outlined this in several blogs. Now that summer is here you must take action to protect your family and Neighbors from Zika as best you can. If you have a small decorative water plant barrel, or a large fish pond, you must add Guppies.
The simple Guppy will eat its weight in Mosquito larva every day, they give birth to more Guppy fry every 19-21 days and the fry eat mosquito eggs and newly hatched larva at birth.
Goldfish and Koi do not and will not eat mosquito larva, plecostomus and cat fish will not eat mosquito larva, you need the reliable Guppy to make that small body of water safe and to protect family and neighbors.
There is a simple solution to keep your property and surrounding area safe from mosquitoes, their eggs and their larvae. You can do it without using harmful chemicals that may negatively affect the environment, damage other wildlife and leach into the water supply. The answer to the problem is simple, the Guppy. The most popular aquarium tropical fish of all time may again be the answer to controlling the Zika virus and it is the least expensive fish in your neighborhood store right now!
You simply need to get 3-5 females and put them in each open stagnant or still body of water around your home area. It could be a bird bath, an old ditch full of water or a Goldfish pond. What’s even better, when you buy the pregnant females they will have a packet of sperm from a male that re-impregnates her 4-6 times without the need of a male.
This is because in its native environment the Guppy lives in flood plains and gets washed from puddle to puddle, and may never see a male again. However as the babies mature there will be males and females to continue the process.
The Guppy is known as the Millions Fish because the young grow so fast, they can actually be impregnated at 4 weeks old and begin to produce more young of their own.
Therefore at the end of 6 months a good size pond of water can be pretty well populated and well able to take care of mosquito larvae potentially infected with the Zika Virus agent pretty quickly.
The CDC says the virus is "scarier" than originally thought. BBC News reports that the CDC is concerned the mosquitoes carrying the virus could spread to more U.S. states than originally thought.
Dr Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director for the CDC, says they have assumed a risk to pregnant women since January of this year. They now have conclusive evidence about the link between Zika and microcephaly. Dr. Schuchat is also recommending couples use condoms or avoid sex if a partner has been to a country where there is active Zika virus transmission.
Kevin Sherin MD, FAAFP, FACP,Health Officer and Director FL Department of Health in Orange County stated “Wolbachia laden male mosquitoes are rendered sterile and when released in the millions can dwindle mosquito populations. They have the potential to be a game changer in the battle against Zika.
With Cuba reporting its first non travel related case http://time.com/4261611/cuba-zika-virus-the need is urgent. Researchers are excited by the possibilities such as Wolbachia.” Dr. Sherin continued, “We must all do we can to protect pregnant moms and babies from a novel threat from mosquito borne Zika virus in and around households.”
Dr. Sherin added, “public health education, communication and protection such as DEET is needed for all communities. The message from the CDC is simple. "Drain and cover", but the Guppy may add additional safeguards.”
Dr Sherin provided the following report on a New Jersey community attempting a small fish solution to the Zika and Mosquito larva problem:
Concerns over the spread of the Zika virus has municipalities all over the country taking extra precautions to control the mosquito population. And in Gloucester County, New Jersey, officials are hoping to stop the disease-carrying insects from ever making it out of the waters where they breed with the help of a little fish. The county, together with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife released on Tuesday the first of 10,000 mosquito-eating fish, called Poecilia reticulata (the common Guppy), into 18 bodies of water countywide. The fish will eat tiny mosquito eggs to reduce the overall mosquito population.
Mike Pratt, Retired Director of Florida’s Blood Centers remarked:
“Zika is of major concern to all blood supplies, and blood banks. As a blood borne disease, Zika virus birth defects and the more serious but rare cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome can quickly contaminate the blood supply. Tests must be developed for incoming blood as this potential epidemic worsens.”
Dr. Thomas R. Reich explained:
“This Zika you keep hearing about is real, don’t be a part of the problem this summer, go to your local tropical fish store and pick up some guppy females today.” Reich continued “As I said earlier; if you have one of those water plant barrels and have no desire to have fish of any kind, you need to get a few of the, mosquito eating Guppy females in that still body of water now!” Reich added with a smile “If you want to be nice get a few males too but it is the females that do the majority of the eating of the mosquito larva (they need the protein to nurture their developing fry) and multiplying (the creation of more larva eating guppies).”
At the same time remember that the Aedes Mosquito can breed in as small as a bottle cap of water, be vigilant, do not leave buckets of water out, remove all old tires and if you have a small closed drainage ditch throw in some Guppies, they will multiply and keep it mosquito free.
ONE LAST NOTE: There is no reason to feed Guppies outdoors, they forage for food just fine, and the point of them being in an outdoor pond is to eat larva of all insects, including Aedes Mosquitoes, don’t make them full! This is a maintenance free solution: go to the pet store, buy the Guppies, take them home, put them in the still water, forget they are there. No pesticide, no doing without a pond or aqua garden, Problem solved the natural way!
For more information check out our Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest and feel free to ask questions by clicking here. If you encounter problems, come back to about.com and I will do my best to help your aquarium thrive.
I love fish and I want you to grow with the hobby. I want you to have all the information at your fingertips to create a happy healthy aquarium community for you and your family.