PLANO (CBS 11 NEWS) – With the growing threat of Zika virus the city of Plano is turning to thousands of little killer fish to help in the war on mosquitoes.READ MORE: Arlington Investigators Searching For Hit-And-Run Driver Who Seriously Injured Pedestrian
The pond at Oak Point Park is one of about a dozen areas throughout the city where Plano is releasing mosquitofish that eat the insects’ larvae.
It’s part of a multi-pronged approach to fight the spreading Zika virus.
Larry Resch’s Aquatic Design Aquariums doesn’t usually keep a lot of Gambusia, or mosquitofish in stock, but Monday’s shipment of thousands of them won’t be the last now that the threat of Zika virus has calls coming in asking for the mosquito killers.
“They’re hunters, and they’ll take every larva out of a body of water,” Resch said.
With new information coming in daily on Zika and the link to severe birth defects, public health officials are looking to do all they can to fight the outbreak.READ MORE: Two People Detained After Security Threats At Denton Schools
“And West Nile, it’s not gone away just because Zika is here, so both of them can be controlled by eliminating the larva,” Resch said.
That’s what Plano hopes to do by releasing Resch’s latest shipment of mosquitofish into city waterways. It’s part of a combined approach along with larvicide and spraying.
“This actually will get rid of thousands of larva at one time, so it’s just a very nice, natural way to do that,” Plano Environmental Health Director Rachel Patterson said.
Patterson points out the fish will help in the areas near the waterways, but homeowners still need to eliminate standing water in their yards. They can also get their own mosquitofish to put to work themselves.
“If you have a water feature, coy don’t prey on them, goldfish, which are the two most popular pond fish, they’ll live perfectly fine with them, so no reason not to have them,” Resch said.
Public Health officials stress that even with this strategy in place everyone should still do what they can to protect themselves by covering up and wearing mosquito repellant when you’re going to be outside.MORE NEWS: North Texas Synagogue Hostage-Taker Malik Faisal Akram Told Family He Came To US To Find A Bride
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