NewsHillsborough County


Hillsborough County to continue free mosquitofish giveaway all summer

The fish, a natural form of mosquito control, will be given away this Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon in Ruskin
Hillsborough County mosquito fish giveaway WFTS2.png
Posted at 5:40 AM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 05:40:52-04

RUSKIN, Fla. — They’re small, but they have big appetites. What they crave is the vector of several diseases, including West Nile Virus.

They're called mosquitofish, and this weekend, Hillsborough County will be giving them away for free.

The Eastern mosquitofish, a species native to Florida, feasts on mosquito larvae, which develop at the surface of stagnant water sources like ponds, rain barrels, and livestock troughs. According to the Florida Department of Health, a mosquito’s larvae can survive in as little as a bottle cap’s worth of water.

This Saturday, anyone who lives within county limits can receive a free bag of mosquitofish from Hillsborough County at a giveaway event from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Southshore Library at 15816 Beth Shields Way in Ruskin.

“Mosquitoes are vectors for a lot of different diseases, so we want to make sure we’re decreasing their population as much as we can, so they’re not able to spread those diseases around the community,” said Alexa Patrizio, a project coordinator with Hillsborough County Mosquito Management.

The county developed an effective system of breeding the fish and plans to continue its free giveaways, which Patrizio said have produced encouraging results.

Hillsborough County mosquito fish giveaway WFTS.png

According to the county, recipients should place the fish in standing water such as backyard ponds, fountains, animal troughs, and unused swimming pools “to effectively and naturally manage mosquito populations.”

Since their diet consists of mosquito larvae, they don’t require any additional feeding. Care is limited to protecting them from garden sprays, chlorine, or other cleaning chemicals.

To receive fish, you need a photo ID showing that you live in Hillsborough County.

Hillsborough County will hold giveaway events in various locations all summer long:

  • May 21 - Southshore Library, 15816 Beth Shields Way, Ruskin, FL 33573
  • June 4 - Fishhawk Sports Complex, 16000 Fishhawk Blvd., Lithia, FL 33547
  • June 25 - Northdale Park, 15550 Spring Pine Dr., Tampa, FL 33624
  • July 9 - Providence Skate Park, 5720 Providence Rd., Riverview, FL 33578
  • July 23 - Picnic Island Park, 7409 Picnic Island Blvd., Tampa, FL 33616
  • Aug. 6 - Mike E. Sansone Community Park, 1702 N. Park Rd., Plant City, FL 33563
  • Aug. 20 - Oscar Cooler Sports Complex, 788 Lutz Lake Fern Rd., Lutz, FL 33618
  • Sept. 3 - Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33617