Outdoor ponds can provide stimulating, semi-natural environments that adult aquatic turtles can thrive in captivity as well as providing interesting enhancements to backyard settings. Ponds have several advantages over aquaria including exposure of the turtles to beneficial natural sunlight, a reduced need for equipment (heaters, filters, heat lamps and broad-spectrum fluorescent lights) as well as water-conditioning chemicals, and the opportunity to introduce aquatic and marginal plants into the turtles' environment, creating a more naturalistic setting and providing natural, whole foods to supplement their diet (Cohen, 1993). However ponds do bring with them there own maintenance issues. Standing water acts like a magnet for mosquitoes, midges and other flying pests. Mosquitoes are particular issue these days, because they are a vector for West Nile Virus which can cause serious disease and even fatality in humans.
The length of time for the egg, larvae and pupae stages depend on temperature, so mosquito control is particularly important in the warmer months. Culex tarsalis, the mosquito that carries West Nile Virus, might go through its life cycle in 14 days at 70 F and but take only 10 days at 80 F.