COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - As mosquito populations rise in Southwest Florida with this summer's rains, there's now a new way to help "fight the bite." Collier Mosquito Control is offering homeowners free "mosquitofish" that eat the pests before they even become biters.
"These are excellent predators for mosquito larvae," said Rachel Bales, a biologist with Collier Mosquito Control. "They can eat up to a hundred a day."
The eastern mosquitofish, which are native to Southwest Florida, grow no more than two inches long. The fish thrive in the kind of shallow, standing water where mosquitoes breed.
"They're non-invasive," said Robin King, a spokeswoman with Collier Mosquito Control. "They're a very natural solution to help control mosquitoes around your own home."
"These would be a good fish for any retention ponds or swales, or any yards that are just flooded for prolonged periods of time," Bales added.
The mosquitofish are available for the public to pick up from the Collier Mosquito Control Office at 600 North Road in Naples, Mondays from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Thursdays from noon to 5:00 p.m. The fish can also be picked up on the Saturdays of July 14 and 28 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.