TAMPA (FOX 13) - If you’re not looking forward to swatting mosquitos this summer and you don't love the smell of fresh bug spray, maybe Gambusia fish could be just what you’re looking for.
They're also known as mosquito fish because that's what they eat.
“They tend to eat up to 150 percent of their body weight and their main diet is mosquito larvae,” Hillsborough County Mosquito Control's Leonard Burns explained Saturday during a mosquito fish giveaway.
Mosquitos are bothersome, but they can also carry harmful disease like the West Nile and Zika viruses. Gambusia fish offer residents a natural way to keep their yards mosquito free.
Hillsborough County officials gave away about 500 of the mosquito-eating minnows on Saturday and, to their surprise, they ran out in under an hour.
The residents that were turned away were directed to the Hillsborough County Mosquito Control webpage to schedule at-home pond assessments.
“We’ll come out and see if the pond, lake, or rain barrel will sustain life or fish, and if they don’t have any other minnows there, we’ll put some in,” Burns explained.
Gambusia fish can grow up to 3 inches in size but only the minnows will eat the mosquito larvae.