mosquito larvae

Hi, I'm new to wildlife gardening and we've just built a pond using liner where the old pond used to be. Newts that had been living in the damp ground in ornamental grasses have taken up residence along with the tadpoles we saved from the old pond (read puddle/mud patch) and raised in a temporary "pond" made with large plastic storage box.

When I came to buy plants for the pond I did lots of reading and purchased native plants from reputable suppliers online. However, it didn't occur to me to quarantine the first batch of plants and within two days of putting them in the pond I spotted insect larvae on the surface. More searching the internet and calls to supplier suggests these are mosquito larvae. I did quarantine the second lot of plants I received from another reputable supplier and within hours there were similar larvae in the quarantine bucket.

Neither supplier was keen to acknowledge that the eggs were transported on the plants, but the pond was fine for three or four weeks before the plants went in. My question is, is it something I should expect with all plants I buy like this? Are they all going to arrive with unwanted hitch hikers? And is that something other pond owners find ?

Oh, and what, if anything, should I do about it?

I don't want to introduce fish to the pond as I've heard that's not a good idea if we want the amphibians to breed successfully, but any comments about that would also be welcome. Thanks in advance image



  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,087

    Mozzies are wildlife. Lots of things eat their larvae including newts.

    They may have come with the plants, the eggs may have been laid in your pond.

    It all part of the big wild life worldimage

    If you want a wildlife pond you need to accept all the tenants

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,414

    When our pond was new, as soon as the water settled and plants were introduced we began to see lots of larvae - the progeny of gnats and mosquitoes who just fly around in the garden trying to dodge the bats - then the beetle larvae appeared and ate some of the larvae, and frogs and newts appeared and ate some more of them - had there not been a plentiful supply of food the newts and frogs probably wouldn't have considered it suitable residence. 

    All part of the Balance of Nature image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 8,061

    Ideally, I wouldn't include fish in a designated wildlife pond.

    Having said that, I took over a pond 2 years ago which included fish, newts and frogs and seem to have a balance now..........damsel and dragonflies breed happily enough and lots of other small water life too. Plenty of Newts so I think they at least breed happily.  The Newts will eat the eggs and tads/fry of frogs and fish.  The fish will eat their own eggs too.

    When I feed the fish, if I have time to sit and watch ,I  see the Newts  target a fish stick and worry it until they can gobble it down.  They are also not averse to tackling small snails should they fall into the pond from the overhanging plants.

  • laylahlaylah Posts: 4

    thanks folks, it's good to know I don't need to panic, or frighten myself with visions of clouds of mosquitos emerging from my pond (shades of plagues of Egypt, lol). What's the view on quarantine for plants and how long should I keep them before setting them in the pond? On one site I read a month, but then some people didn't quarantine at all, just accepting all tenants, as you said NutCutlet image 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,087

    I think  quarantine is for those  sterile  of ponds where wildlife is not encouraged

  • laylahlaylah Posts: 4

    I think you might be right nutcutlet. I just want to get everything "right" but at the end of the day there is only learning by experience - that's why I'm glad to be on here image


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,414
    I never quarantine any plant I put in my pond - mosquitoes lay their eggs anywhere. Any bowl or bucket in the garden with an inch of water in it soon becomes the home for lots of little mosquito larvae - they're everywhere.
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,087

    I have a tray I use for dunking plants in water. They use that for laying eggs. It provides hours of entertainment for kids, all those wriggly things and beetles as well sometimes

  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge WearsidePosts: 2,783
    I remember my mother used to quarantine plants and she'd also spend ages capturing leeches and pouring salt on them, even though some of them don't feed off other creatures.

    I take a more relaxed approach - I got some free ramshorn snails thanks to some eggs stuck on a water soldier. I'm sure there's things in there I find less attractive than others but they provide food for something else in turn.

    I found something like a small red slug stuck on my arm once after poking about in my pond - I gave it to one of my hens but she spat it out and wiped her beak!
  • laylahlaylah Posts: 4

    I think I'd need a pair of "pond gloves" before poking about in my pond, Victoria Sponge, I can see I'm going to have to toughen up a bit, lol. But all my plants now settled in pond, rockery underway and a bit of sun on order for tomoz so I can take time out to sit and admire image thanks everyone.

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