Fish Clean Up Mortgage Mess

Mosquito-eaters help keep abandoned pools from breeding disease
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2008 3:59 PM CDT
Gambusia Affinis, the Mosquito Fish, is seen in this undated file photo.   (Wikimedia Commons)
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(Newser) – Stagnant pools bursting with mosquitoes have become a byproduct of the housing crisis, turning into breeding grounds for diseases like West Nile virus. But, the Wall Street Journal reports, there is a solution: Gambusia affinis, a natural predator, also known as the mosquito fish, that's hardy enough to police abandoned watering holes from Florida to California.

The fish do their job with nature’s voracious efficiency. "This is how we are supposed to take care of things,'' says one Californian who's seen the trend at work. "I think it's cool, man. It's organic." But solving one infestation by creating another has its own problems—some neighbors complain that birds quickly discover the fish as a food source, covering the area with droppings.