Hillsborough County residents will have eight chances to pick up free mosquitofish this summer at events across the county to help fight mosquitoes on their own property.
The free mosquitofish giveaways are for Hillsborough residents with intentional standing water like koi ponds or other bodies of water that are filled 12 months a year. Mosquitofish fight mosquitoes before the insects can bite by eating mosquito larvae. They are small enough to hide from predators, and their favorite food is mosquito larvae.
Hillsborough operates its own mosquitofish hatchery to breed healthy fish for the giveaways. The result has been healthier fish with a greater survival rate.
The Mosquito Management Services educational trailer will be on-site at each event to help residents learn about eliminating mosquitoes and to illustrate the work Hillsborough County does to keep residents healthy and safe.
Things to know about the events:
• To receive fish, you need a photo ID showing that you live in Hillsborough County.
• County staff will scan or enter your ID information into the county’s mosquito database.
• Quantities are limited, and mosquitofish will be available only while supplies last.
• Mosquitofish are small, native freshwater fish that eat mosquito larvae.
• Place the fish in intentional standing water, such as backyard ponds, fountains, animal troughs and unused swimming pools, to effectively and naturally manage mosquito populations.
• The fish require no feeding, and care is limited to protecting them from garden sprays, chlorine or other chemicals used for cleaning.
• Mosquitofish do not lay eggs and require no special environment for breeding.
• Mosquito Management Services’ goal is for the county’s entire mosquitofish supply to be raised at its headquarters, making the operation more sustainable, as homegrown fish are more likely to be healthier than fish transported from farms.
Schedule and Locations
The Mosquito Management Services Public Education Trailer will be on-site at the mosquitofish giveaway locations from 8 a.m.-12 Noon on the following Saturdays:
June 10: Keith Waller Park, 1318 Sydney Dover Rd. in Dover.
June 24: Northdale Park, 15550 Spring Pine Dr. in Tampa.
July 8: Gadsden Park, 6901 S. MacDill Ave. in Tampa.
July 22: Fishhawk Sports Complex, 16000 Fishhawk Blvd. in Lithia.
August 5: Oscar Cooler Sports Complex, 766 W. Lutz Lake Fern Rd. in Lutz.
August 19: Keystone Rec Center, 17928 Gunn Hwy. in Odessa.
September 9: Southshore Library, 15816 Beth Shields Way in Ruskin.
September 23: Providence Skate Park, 5720 Providence Rd. in Riverview.