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I've been noticing creatures in my garden pond that I'm hoping are not mosquito larvae. How can I tell the difference between mosquitoes and tadpoles? I wouldn't mind having frogs, but I don't want to breed mosquitoes!
The following may help you tell the difference between mosquito larvae and tadpoles.
Mosquito (note their hairy appearance):
New South Wales Mosquito Monitoring image 1
Tadpole (note their smooth sides):
University of Richmond biology professor W. John Hayden's photos
If you are concerned about mosquitoes in your pond, there are a number of preventive steps you can take. Mosquitoes are less likely to thrive in moving water, so you may want to install a submersible pump. Washington State University Extension provides information for homeowners on West Nile virus prevention and mosquito control. Here is an excerpt:
"Manage weeds; keep vegetation short around water. Adult mosquitoes are attracted to dense, tall vegetation around water.
Remove unnecessary floating structures or debris from ponds. Mosquitoes are often found around floating debris.
Keep drains, ditches and culverts clean to allow proper drainage.
Consider stocking ornamental or permanent, self-contained ponds with insect-eating fish, such as goldfish.
Shape pond edges to a shelf or steep slope. Mosquitoes prefer shallow pond edges."
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Garden Tool: Urban gardeners can do their part to conserve natural resources and restore the environment. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service has adapted agricultural practices in a new online publication called Backyard Conservation. Ten "chapters" with detailed instructions show how to build a backyard pond or wetland, how to promote wildlife and how to manage nutrients to prevent pollution of lakes and streams.
Season: All Season
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January 13 2017 10:35:53