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New Orleans Enlists Fish to Fight Mosquitoes in Swimming Pools

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posted on Jul, 25 2006 @ 10:19 PM
As if New Orleans and the surrounding areas didn't have enough to worry about already. It has been an on going effort by the NOMTCB and local government to try and stay a head of this particaular scenario of the probable infestation's of infected mosquito's and the possible threat's of the "West Nile Virus" which they said was more than likely a "Over estimated chance of ever happening" in New Orleans. Well, it look's as if the city is worried now.

If there are ATSer's out there from the area of the New Orleans and Orleans parishes and need assistance in acquiring these fish for pond's, pool's or the like, please call the New Orleans information Hotline by dialing "311" or our toll free number at (877) 286-6431 (toll-free non-emergency hotline for calls received outside of the city)Calls received 24/7, call any time.

I work for the New Orleans information Hotline, there is always someone there to assist you!!

"We have thousands of pools. We know a bunch of them are breeding mosquitoes, and there's the potential for West Nile virus," said Steve Sackett, an entomologist with the New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board (NOMTCB). "We're concerned with pest problems, but we're really concerned with disease transmission."

posted on Jul, 25 2006 @ 10:59 PM
My uncle who lived in Picayune, MS, not too very far from New Orleans, died from West Nile virus just a couple of years ago. He was elderly, but the threat is very real.

posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 03:23 PM
Well, here's a topic I'm good with. I work in Environmental Protection / Pest Control. I deal primarily with extermination of mosquitos and invasive plants.

West Nile bearing mosquitos are Salt Water Mosquitos, the only way a normal mosquito will carry west nile is if it gets bitten by a salt water.. Therefore, they cannot reproduce in pools. They need salt water, primarily non-flowing marshes. They can reproduce anywhere that has non-flowing salt water. As well, a salt water mosquito can travel anywhere up to 50 miles a day to feed. Therefore, you can live up to 50 miles inland, and away from salt water areas, and still see them.

Mosquitos need stagnant water to breed. If there is moving or flowing water, it is almost impossible for them to breed since the larvae need something to latch onto. A current would just wisp them away and kill them. A pool is flowing. It has a current going to keep the water circulating. The only way this is not true is if it's a small pool for little children and such. But even then, those shhould be turned over when not in use so not to catch water. Any stagnant water a mosquito finds, it will breed in. I've applied larvacides to tire ruts, honey holes, low lying ground, and more. Some of these place would boggle your minds if you saw where they breed.

As for ponds, yes. Add fish, but not just fish. Get frogs, turtles, plant any type of plant life, lillypads and algae work great. And if you're in an area that has dragonflies... even better.

And remember, theres one huge pieces of information you should know to know if you're getting fed on by a salt-water or normal mosquito.

A normal mosquito, as seen above will only feed at dawn and dusk. They do not come out in the day time. As well, take a look at it's legs. They're solid colored. This is the primary indicator that it's not salt-water.

A salt water mosquito will feed at any time of the day. So if you get bit during the night (past sunset) or daytime (past sunrise, early morning), it's almost definately one of these. Take a look at thhe legs, thhey're striped. Thats what you've got to look for. These are the ones that carry the virus.

Personally, I'd suggest you contact your local DEP and have them tell you the numbers for any pest management in the area. Have them come and professionally spray. It costs a bit of money though, anywhere from $125 and up depending on the size of your yard.

[edit on 24-9-2006 by TheAnt]

posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 04:01 PM
Well, I suppose it is a mixed feeling really. I am happy that they haven't been spraying, I do enjoy the idea of life returning, which has been amazing! On the other hand, West Nile is a serious threat. I have to say though, introducing new species to this area is a bad idea.

We have :
water hyacinths:

Water Hyacinth grows profusely, forming dense mats that can spread across water surfaces eventually choking the entire water body. It can destroy native wetlands and waterway and kill native fish and other wildlife. Furthermore, it causes high evaporation rate and loss of water and degrades water quality.

Chinese Tallow:

Chinese tallow, which we freely spread ourselves - just a few years ago, we gave them as Christmas presents, they're so pretty and shady. Then the birds found the tallow berries and seeds, and now this tree infests thousands of acres of Florida's wildest forests. And also the wild forests of Louisiana, Texas and South Carolina.

Another plant, that has been provided for purely aesthetics: Cat's Claw:

I'd strongly advise against using this plant in areas that don't have regular, hard freezes. It can quickly cover trees and buildings and is nearly impossible to control, much less eradicate, in the coastal South. It forms large, extensive underground tubers that make it withstand even treatment with glyphosphate (RoundUp). It can germinate in the crack of a sidewalk and thrive there. I've seen them growing out of unused chimneys and covering the rooftops of houses. This plant spreads by seed and stolons. Established plants produce prodigeous numbers of seed. On the upside (?), I've never seen it growing in wild areas, only in urban settings.

It tears apart our buildings and homes. It is a scourge to homeowners.

Nutria Rat:

Wetlands – The voracious appetite of nutria for vegetation in wild areas has led to severely damaged wetlands. By 1998 scientists had placed the total area of damaged wetlands in Louisiana alone at over 100,000 acres. (Faibisch, 2001)

Barrier Islands - Where Nutria feed on sea oats, sea dune stability may be threatened.

Wildlife – Recent declines in muskrat populations have been attributed to competition with nutria for food resources.

Crops – Extensive damage has been reported in rice, soybean, and sugar fields both from direct predation and from damage caused by nutria burrowing.

Parasites and diseases – Louisiana nutria have been found to carry several diseases, viruses, and parasites. Most notably, they carry the nematode Strongyloides myopotami, which can cause a severe itching rash in people handling nutria.

I'm sorry, but I'm absolutely against the introduction of a species that has not been studied for long term effects. Louisiana has dealt enough with foreign species being introduced that have wreaked more havoc than they have helped. I'm sorry, it's just not appropriate unless they have studied it.

Of course, us humans come first. It'll be great when they eat all of our fish, or mess something else up with the food chain and cause trouble in the future. Of course the now is what we typically go for, and get bashed for in New Orleans. This New Orleanian is saying "think it through!!!"

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