What Are Gambusia and Guppy? Fish That States Use to Ward Off Dengue Mosquitoes

The Firozabad administration in Uttar Pradesh is releasing about 25,000 mosquitofish within the wake of a lethal outbreak of dengue and viral fever that has claimed 51 lives to date. Bred in ponds, wells and smaller water our bodies, these fish are recognized to examine the unfold of mosquito-borne ailments like malaria and dengue.

Named for his or her means to feed on mosquito larvae, they’re generically often called Gambusia. They are utilized by well being departments throughout states to curb dengue and malaria. Packets of fish seedlings are merely launched in water our bodies, following which totally grown fish devour near 100 larvae every day.

Known to encourage terror in mosquitoes, Gambusia have a voracious urge for food and mosquito larvae is only a small portion of their weight loss program. They additionally feed on zooplankton, mites, beetles and different invertebrates.

According to a report in The Tribune, Dr Kanwarjit Singh, joint director of animal husbandry and fisheries, Chandigarh UT, stated grownup Gambusia may eat as much as 150 mosquito larvae in an eight-hour interval. This makes them a superb organic software for mosquito management as a result of they eat the larvae earlier than they’ve an opportunity to grow to be grownup mosquitoes, he added.

In 2019 and 2020, use of this fish was deemed to achieve success in curbing the unfold of dengue and malaria in Gurugram, in line with a report in Times of India.

Even World Health Organization (WHO) has studied using fish in mosquito management. According to a 2003 paper revealed by WHO’s regional workplace for the jap Mediterranean, Cairo, this technique of utilizing sure species of fish that feed on mosquito larvae targets the larvae reasonably than the grownup mosquitoes and is probably safer because it doesn’t contain use of pesticides. The paper additionally states that indigenous or unique fish with a recognized larvivorous potential can be utilized for larval management and have been scientifically confirmed to be efficient in malaria management.

These fish have the power to outlive in shallow water our bodies, recognized to be optimum mosquito breeding grounds, and are hardy sufficient to go about thick weeds.

Biological Weapons

Many well being departments additionally use guppy fish to examine the unfold of mosquito-borne ailments. They are bred in the identical method as mosquitofish. “Guppy drives” have been carried out in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and even Gujarat, whereas Gambusia have been utilized by civic administrations in Punjab’s Mohali and Amritsar and Haryana’s Panchkula, together with capital Chandigarh.

However, using Gambusia and guppy fish as organic weapons to manage mosquito menace have had fairly the other impact as properly. Four hatcheries of the Cuttack municipal company in Odisha have became a breeding floor for mosquitoes, in line with a report in The New Indian Express. This is as a result of all of the hatcheries have been mendacity defunct over the previous a number of years on account of lack of upkeep, turning into breeding grounds for mosquitoes on account of stagnation of rainwater.

(With company inputs)

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