A mosquito-eating fish called crimson-spotted rainbow has reportedly been deployed on Gold Coast amid plague caused by mosquitos spreading due to record rainfall in Australia. The mosquitos drastically soared in population due to rainfall ideal for their breeding, confirmed reports.
Councillor Hermann Vorster told the media that the government's efforts to control the breeding of the mosquitos by spraying chemicals is hampered due to wet conditions. He added that the situation was out of control and required a different method, considering the heavy rainfall.
The ground has become saturated due to rain and the low-lying areas in the city were now small inland puddles and lakes, he added. The lakes and ponds created suitable conditions for mosquitoes to breed in that are now spreading plague around in the city, he said. Hermann emphasized that the council resumed spraying of chemicals in the residential areas particularly in Northern areas to kill the mosquitos, but it has proved to be ineffective.
According to the reports, the local government has now deployed crimson-spotted rainbow fish in areas with permanent water features such as fountains, ponds, or dams to curb the breeding of the mosquitos and control plague. The blue-grey fish with a rainbow coloured tail is an omnivores fish that feeds on the larvae of the mosquitos.
Patricia Dale, Professor of Environment at Griffith University, told the media that using fish to eat mosquito larvae could be very effective. She said that the council sprayed salt marshes with larvicides to prevent the mosquitos from breeding into adults and fogged residential areas with machines, but it turns out that the real problem was mosquitos breeding out of the water bodies during the rain.
Patricia said that mosquito larvae mostly bred in the pool of water in the rainy season and a new technique was needed to avoid the population growth. Therefore the fishes will eat the larvae preventing the further growth of mosquitos bringing their overall population down in the city that is currently struggling with the plague.