HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL. – Hillsborough County’s popular mosquito fish giveaways begin in May with a kickoff event at the Keystone Recreation Center in Odessa.
Mosquito fish fight mosquitoes before the insects can bite by eating mosquito larvae. The free fish are to be placed in intentional standing water like koi ponds, horse troughs, or rain barrels. They are small enough to hide from predators, and their favorite food is mosquito larvae.
Hillsborough County Mosquito Management Services will host Mosquito Fish Giveaway events on nine dates this summer in different locations across the county, from Odessa and Lutz to Plant City and Southshore.
Last year, Hillsborough launched a new mosquito fish hatchery to breed healthy fish for the giveaways. The result has been healthier fish with a greater survival rate.
The Mosquito Management educational trailer will be on-site at each event for the first time in three years to help residents learn about eliminating mosquitoes and to illustrate the work Hillsborough County does to keep residents healthy and safe.
Things to know about the events
- To receive fish, you need a photo ID showing that you live in Hillsborough County.
- County staff will scan or enter your ID information into the County’s mosquito database.
- Quantities are limited, and mosquito fish will be available only while supplies last.
- Mosquito fish facts
- Mosquito fish are small, native freshwater fish that eat mosquito larvae.
- Place the fish in intentional standing water such as backyard ponds, fountains, animal troughs, and unused swimming pools to effectively and naturally manage mosquito populations.
- The fish require no feeding, and care is limited to protecting them from garden sprays, chlorine, or other chemicals used for cleaning.
- Mosquito fish do not lay eggs and require no special environment for breeding.
- Mosquito Management Services’ goal is for the County’s entire mosquito fish supply to be raised at its headquarters, making the operation more sustainable as homegrown fish are more likely to be healthier than fish transported from farms.
- Schedule and locations
The Mosquito Management Services Public Education Trailer will be on-site at the mosquito fish giveaway locations from 8 a.m. to noon on the following Saturdays:
May 7 – Keystone Rec Center, 17928 Gunn Hwy., Odessa, FL 33556
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