Mosquito Larvae in the Pond: Fight Mosquitoes in Your Garden Pond

Mosquito Larvae in the Pond

Mosquitoes can become a real nuisance, especially on hot summer days. A garden pond is a place of relaxation, but it is here that mosquitoes like to stay. The garden pond offers ideal conditions for mosquitoes to lay their eggs as early as spring as a standing body of water. The bites are incredibly unpleasant because they itch, but they can also inflate and lead to severe infections. Therefore, it is all the more critical that you fight the mosquitoes in your pond.

Why You Should Do Something Against Mosquitoes

Everybody knows the problem: You are sitting outside on a warm summer evening, perhaps winding down the day at the barbecue, when mosquitoes cloud your joy. They become active and bite. Mosquitoes also love balmy summer evenings with high temperatures. They don’t leave you alone and bite. By the way, it is only the females that suck blood. They need it to produce their eggs. The stings are highly unpleasant and can become infected. In 2017, it was reported in the media that dengue fever is also spreading in Germany. The blood-sucking pests can transmit not only dengue but also other diseases. As a standing body of water, a garden pond offers ideal conditions for mosquitoes to multiply. It does not matter whether it is an ornamental pond with water plants, a pig pond, a pond with fish, or a swimming pond. Ponds are stagnant bodies of water used by mosquitoes to lay their eggs. It is therefore essential to control pesky mosquitoes.

The Garden Pond as a Breeding Ground for Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes also called Nematocera, love swamps, wetlands, and bodies of water. Standing waters, which include garden ponds, are the most popular breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The mosquito is the most common mosquito species found on garden ponds.

When the water temperature reaches 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius), the mosquitoes are no longer waiting for you. They often haunt your garden pond as early as mid-May. The smaller your pond is, the faster it can warm up, and the earlier the mosquitoes appear on the scene. The mosquitoes already come with a longer warm period in spring in rain barrels because the water warms up fast. If your garden pond has reached the appropriate temperature, the mosquitoes spread.

Once the mosquito has found a suitable place where it is undisturbed, it lays the eggs directly on the water surface. Mosquitoes mate from March to October. Female mosquitoes, which develop from larvae, are incredibly reproductive. A single mosquito can lay between 100 to 200 eggs. With the first cold snap, reproduction is far from over.

In the fall, the relatively robust females look for a place protected from the cold where they can hibernate. In spring, they lay their eggs again. The mosquito plague starts all over again. If the correct control measures are not taken, the mosquitoes will stay and make your life difficult.

How to Prevent the Plague of Mosquitoes

If you have just created your garden pond, you should already take the appropriate precautions to prevent mosquitoes from coming in the first place. These measures are also crucial once you have successfully controlled the mosquitoes.

Water Movement

Mosquitoes prefer still, calm waters for laying eggs. If the water moves, the females will look for a quieter breeding site. You can create water movement with a fountain or an artificial waterfall. The mosquitoes do not like this at all and stay away. Mosquitoes are also active at night. If you use a filtration system to clean the pond water, you should also run it at night to drive away mosquitoes.

Mosquito net

Mosquito nets are designed for mosquito protection on doors and windows, but they can also do well when stretched over the pond. Mosquitoes disperse because they then cannot lay their eggs on the surface of the water.

Measures for Mosquito Control

To get rid of the annoying mosquitoes, you can take several measures. You can kill the mosquitoes, but you can also drive them away.

Control of Mosquito Larvae

It would be best if you focused on controlling the mosquito larvae. Mosquito larvae are responsible for making mosquitoes a nuisance. By controlling mosquito larvae, you break the cycle and prevent the plague from starting the next season again. You can recognize mosquito larvae by various characteristics:

  • twitching movements over in the water
  • small black body
  • head underwater
  • hide among the plants in the pond or submerge when danger threatens.

Manually Fishing off Mosquito Larvae

The easiest way to get rid of the pesky mosquito larvae is to manually fish them off the water surface with a close-meshed landing net. The net is suitable for cleaning the water surface from pollen or leaves.

Before mosquito larvae pupate, they go through four different stages. This can take up to three weeks, depending on the ambient temperature. If you discover the mosquito larvae on the water surface of your garden pond, you will not be able to tell with the naked eye in which stage of development they are. You should, therefore, immediately reach for the landing net. This could prove problematic, as the larvae usually submerge when threatened. Until you have caught all the mosquito larvae, it may take a few days.

You Should Proceed as Follows:

  • Approach your garden pond calmly and without sudden movements.
  • Move the landing net into position above the pond surface.
  • Position the landing net to make long swims and do not have to take it out to turn it over.
  • Slowly submerge the landing net three-quarters of the way into the water. This way, you can also catch diving larvae.
  • Pull the landing net out of the water quickly without stopping.
  • Dispose of the fished larvae in a plastic bag if you have to stop.
  • Submerge the empty landing net again and fish for more larvae.
  • Try to reach the spaces between the pond plants as well.
  • Repeat the process at least once after three hours. Then the submerged larvae will be back on the water surface.

Tip: You do not have to throw away the fished mosquito larvae. They are a popular food for your pond fish. You can also freeze the larvae and feed them frozen.

Control With Predators

For some pond fish, mosquito larvae are a real delicacy. This is only true if the fish are carnivores and are interested in insect larvae. Perhaps such carnivores are already swimming in your garden pond. This way, the problem can naturally solve itself. Use fish food sparingly so that your fish have an appetite for mosquito larvae. The fish will no longer be hungry for larvae if you mean it too well with the feeding.

Good Larvae Eaters Are

  • Minnows (Phoxinus phoxinus)
  • Goldfish (Leuciscus idus)
  • Goldfish (Carassius auratus)
  • Roach (Rutilus rutilus)
  • Tailor Carp (Leucaspius delineatus)
  • Rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus)

Dragonflies are natural predators of mosquito larvae. The predatory insects like to eat larvae and small insects on the water surface. Unfortunately, dragonflies are becoming increasingly rare in Central Europe. Therefore, the chance of controlling mosquito larvae with dragonflies is slim.

However, you can attract dragonflies, specifically with certain plants near the pond. The handsome, large flying artists like to settle on such plants or go there searching for food. Well suited are

  • reeds (Phragmites)
  • Hornwort (Ceratophyllum submersum)
  • Water lilies (Nymphae)
  • spiked watermilfoil (Myriophylluma spicatum)

Carnivorous Plants to Combat

To combat mosquito larvae, you can also try carnivorous pond plants. Floating tubes are ideal. These floating plants have a network of trapping organs instead of roots. The trap organs do not reach the bottom and spread out widely. Such carnivores feed on tiny organisms such as mosquito larvae. With their pretty flowers, they are decorative and resemble orchids.

Control With Chemical Agents

Biocides can be used to control mosquito larvae. They contain the bacterium Thuringiensis Israelensis. It is used for mosquito control, mainly in tropical and subtropical areas. Mosquitoes infest entire residential regions and spread dangerous diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue, or the dangerous Zika virus. The bacterium can be used to control almost all types of mosquito larvae. In Germany, it is explicitly used for mosquito control.

For humans and beneficial insects such as bees, the bacterial biocide is entirely harmless. It also does not harm desirable pond inhabitants and valuable plants. You can obtain products containing the bacterium under the name Neudomück from Neudorff or as tabs from Culinax. However, the duration of effect is limited and is given as four to six weeks.

Say the Fight to the Mosquitoes

Not only the mosquito larvae but also the mosquitoes themselves you can fight. Mosquitoes live for several weeks. During this time, the females can suck a lot of blood and cause frustration with their bites.

Dragonflies eat not only the larvae but also adult mosquitoes buzzing around. Carnivorous fish, for the most part, do not harm mosquitoes. Only rarely do hungry fish jump up to grab a mosquito flying close above the water surface. You can therefore take further measures to declare war on the pests.

Mosquito Traps

Mosquito traps work with CO2 and can be placed near the pond. They emit carbon dioxide enriched with unique attractants, which attracts mosquitoes. With the suction function, the traps suck in the mosquitoes and kill them. With this measure, you can also efficiently prevent a new mosquito infestation.

Insect Spray

Against mosquitoes flying around, you can use an insect spray, which comes in a wide range of products. Chemical insecticides are available, as well as environmentally friendly organic products. However, the insect sprays usually kill all insects, including such beneficial animals as bees or bumblebees.

Scents Against Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes do not like various odors at all. Scents have the advantage that they do not kill beneficial insects but only drive away mosquitoes. Scented sprays are less suitable. However, there are several plants you can place near your pond that will repel mosquitoes:

  • Catnip
  • Spicebush
  • Tomatoes
  • Sage
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon balm
  • Walnut tree


Garden ponds are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The female mosquitoes lay their eggs on the water surface. Mosquitoes prefer stagnant water and settle when the water temperature is at least 15 degrees Celsius. If you don’t want to let mosquitoes dampen your enjoyment of the pond, you can incorporate a waterfall or fountain into the pond. If the water is moving, the mosquitoes feel disturbed. You can fish off the mosquito larvae with a landing net. You can also use predatory fish or carnivorous plants for control. You can drive away from the mosquitoes themselves with plants that emit scents. To declare war on mosquitoes, you can use mosquito traps. Mosquito sprays have the disadvantage that they also destroy beneficial insects.

Florian Egert

I am Florian Egert, the owner of I live with my wife and two children in Germany in a small village in the countryside.

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