Fighting Mosquitoes With Fish - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Complete coverage of the West Nile virus in North Texas

Fighting Mosquitoes With Fish



    The city of Dallas is taking the fight against the West Nile virus underwater. The city is deploying Gambusia, or mosquito fish, to battle mosquito larvae in stagnant pools that can serve as breeding grounds. (Published Friday, June 28, 2013)

    The city of Dallas is using a finned fighter to combat the West Nile virus.

    The city is deploying Gambusia fish, also known as mosquitofish, into stagnant pools and creeks.
    “Each one of them can eat about 100 to 200 larvae per day,” said Jose Ruiz with the Code Enforcement department.
    On Friday, Ruiz deployed about 150 fish into a large stagnant creek in North Dallas. In a few days, Ruiz said the larvae count should be lower. Less larvae means less mosquitoes.
    “They do eat them, so we do notice a difference,” Ruiz said.
    Ruiz said the fish can survive in hot temperatures and breed three times a year. That means the fish can eat larvae for longer periods of time as more fish are born.
    “They're in our ponds. They're also in other creeks. Sometimes we take them from one creek to 
    another creek so there's not telling we actually have, because they breed a lot,” Ruiz said.
    Ruiz said the city is also dumping the fish in abandoned ponds and pools to fight the spread of West Nile.
    Doctor David Rothbart, a North Dallas resident, lives near the stagnant creek where Ruiz was dumping Gambusia. He said the creek is a problem area, and he’ll take any help he can get fighting the mosquitoes.
    We have our own mosquito abatement, the spray, but as soon as you walk in front of our house, outside the wire, it's like, oh my gosh,” Rothbart said.

    West Nile Virus:
    Click here for complete coverage of the outbreak of West Nile virus in North Texas. Find updated numbers of human cases, spraying schedules, and more FAQs about the disease.