*00PS! I stand corrected. A knowledgeable neighbor tells me this is a yellow-crowned night heron.
my new non-toxic garlic spray that I wrote about earlier this week.
My Water Pond and Mosquitoes
Last summer in the worst of our mosquito plague, I looked out the window and saw one of my neighbors down on her hands and knees peering into my pond. It's a common misconception that water gardens breed mosquitoes. But water gardens do not exacerbate the mosquito problem.
In fact, water gardens helps keep mosquitoes in check. Bodies of water attract dragonflies and damselflies; these creatures are often called "mosquito hawks." The average dragonfly consumes hundreds of mosquitoes every day. Dragonfly larva also eat mosquito larva. And water gardens like mine contain fish, which eat mosquito larvae in the pond.
I have goldfish, and I also bought several mosquito fish from my neighbor Doug Dupin, a mosquito warrior. Doug has been offering what he calls "victory ponds" to his neighbors. He describes these ponds as little fish bowls containing a plant and mosquito fish. The mosquitoes lay their eggs on the surface of the water, and the fish quickly snap them up.
Bill Eck, my Bartlett Tree rep who warned against toxic, commercial anti-mosquito treatments (see http://bit.ly/KOqVZo.), reassured me that my water pond, with its fish and constantly circulating water from the waterfall pump, was not a likely mosquito breeder. But -- just to be on the safe side -- I also toss in floating mosquito "donut dunks" that kill mosquito larvae.
Most residential mosquito problems originate from standing water in downspouts, pots, toys, tarps, etc. I have a jar of small pellets that contain the same chemical used in the donut dunks, and I toss a handful of the pellets into my bird bath and a downspout opening on the ground where water collects... and any other place where I see standing water that can't easily be dumped out.