Thursday, June 26, 2003

W. Nile fear may boost skeeter fish



The Associated Press

CORBIN - A Whitley County woman hopes to calm fears of West Nile virus and make summer more enjoyable with her mosquito-eating fish.

Nancy Jones, owner of Jones Fish Hatchery on Ky. 26 near Williamsburg, is selling Gambusia - or mosquito fish - that help control mosquito populations by eating the insects' larvae.

"I've had several people say the mosquitoes were bad until they put some of the Gambusias in their pond," Jones said.

She said that in the past couple years the spread of West Nile virus has also caused her business to improve.

A pair of the small, guppy-like fish can consume more than 5,000 mosquito larvae in about 11 weeks, she said.

An adult female can devour several hundred larvae per day.

Some wildlife officials, however, warn that Gambusia are aggressive eaters that can quickly displace native fish species.




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