Rain barrels and mosquitoes

Rain barrels are great at capturing rainwater. However, if not maintained properly, your water conservation efforts can come back to bite you!

One of the most common problems with rain barrels is mosquito breeding. Did you know thousands of mosquitoes can emerge from standing water in a rain barrel every week?

Here are a few tips to help you keep those pesky, disease-transmitting insects far away from your rain barrel.

Cover the Barrel and All Openings

  • Use a fine mesh, wire screen to keep mosquitoes from laying their eggs. Also, don’t forget to cover the downspout that connects to the roof gutter. Mosquitoes can readily enter the downspout into your barrel. Yes, they’re that sneaky!
  • You can purchase the screens with the barrels or separately at hardware/gardening stores. Mosquito-proof screen is a very fine mesh, usually 1/16 of an inch.

Empty Barrels Regularly

  • Your plants are thirsty! Use up all your water and empty out your barrel once a week to keep water from becoming stagnant.
  • Even with overflow valves and spigots, some water can be left at the bottom of the barrel. Make sure to empty the barrel completely at least once a month. Screening all openings and closing the valve will reduce mosquito breeding.

Keep the Top Clear of Standing Water

  • Some rain barrels have decorative tops. Make sure to keep the top of the rain barrel clear of any standing water.

Use Bacterial Larvicides

  • Purchase a product that contains Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bbti). These are natural bacteria used to kill off those pesky mosquito larvae. (Many kids assume the larvae are frog tadpoles, but they’re not!)
  • These larvicides specially target mosquito larvae and do not cause harm to pets, fish or humans (when used in accordance to the label instructions).

Learn more:

About Mosquitoes | Diseases Mosquito Spread

Are you one of the many Texans who use rain barrels at home? Or maybe you’ve never invested in a rain barrel because you’re worried about mosquitoes, stinky water, clogs, or other issues. Like most things around your home, rain barrels need a little regular attention to keep working smoothly.

Check out the solutions below to maintain your rain barrel.

Contents

Keep Mosquitoes at Bay

Prevent your rain barrel from serving as a mosquito breeding ground. These pests can get through any openings larger than those in a window screen. So, a well-sealed screen will help prevent mosquitoes from entering the barrel and laying eggs. Be sure all openings, including the overflow, are covered with a screen. Regularly examine mosquito netting and replace any that is damaged.

Mosquito larvae may still wash into your rain barrel from your gutters. So, every few months, check your gutters, downspouts, and screens and remove any debris. Also, regularly use all the water in your barrel.

For any mosquito larvae that make it into your rain barrel, you can use a product containing Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israeliensis), commonly known as a mosquito dunk. Bti is a nontoxic bacterium that kills mosquito larvae. It’s safe for your plants, and it will not harm people, pets, amphibians, fish, or birds. You can find this product at most garden-supply stores.

Avoid Smelly Water and Algae Growth

Any standing water will begin to smell after a while, especially if it contains organic matter such as leaves. Smelly water won’t hurt your plants, but it can be a nuisance. To avoid it, use all the water in the barrel within a month of collecting it.

Some algae may accumulate in your barrel, but it is not typically a problem when the water is being used and replaced with fresh rainwater. The best practice to avoid algae growth is to protect your barrel from unwanted light. One way to do this is by painting your barrel black. Once you have a base coat of black paint, you can decorate it however you’d like.

Find and Fix Leaks

Regularly check your rain barrel for leaks and apply a silicone sealant to any that you find. Examine the seal around the faucet and generally look over your barrel for cracks.

Remove Debris

Every few months, check your gutters, downspouts, and screens, and clear away leaves, sticks, and other debris that have accumulated.

If trees near your gutters or rain barrel are producing catkins in early spring, cover your barrel’s opening or leave the faucet in the open position. Catkins are the flowering spikes of trees such as oak, pecan, and others, and can cause acidification and yellowing inside your barrel. The flowering period only lasts for a short time.

At least once a year, during a dry spell, tip the barrel over and rinse it out with a hose. Flush anything that has accumulated at the bottom of your storage container.

Consider Safety Issues

The water collected in a rain barrel as described in this post is intended to be used for outside purposes only, such as watering your container plants, landscape, and garden. Be sure everyone knows that the water in the barrel is not safe to drink. Also, it’s important to safeguard the quality of your drinking water by never submerging a water hose in a rain barrel.

Check out our additional posts on rainwater harvesting for more information.

Rain Barrels and Mosquitoes

Storage of rainwater for later use, or “rainwater harvesting,” is a sustainable or low impact development practice currently in use to conserve water resources and to treat stormwater runoff. Rainwater harvesting treats stormwater as a resource, rather than the more conventional approach of treating it as waste and removing stormwater from a site as quickly as possible. Rainwater can be harvested by simply capturing water during a rainfall event for reuse, such as watering the garden, the lawn, washing the dog, or other purposes. It is important to note harvested rainwater is not potable and should not be used for drinking or cooking.

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Fig. 1. Five-thousand gallon cistern to collect rainwater and reuse for street sweeping and truck washing at Parsippany-Troy Hills. Department of Public Works facility. Photo credit: Pat Rector.

Rainwater harvesting can be a large-scale collection of thousands of gallons of water in a cistern (Fig. 1) or underground tanks. In New Jersey, however, it is most commonly associated with the small-scale use of rain barrels which come in all shapes and sizes. Although rain barrel design may vary in small ways, the primary concept is the same. The focus of this fact sheet is on the closed top lid or screw-on lid rain barrels described in the Rutgers Bulletin E329 Rain Barrels Part I: How to Build a Rain Barrel, or similar type rain barrels that are built or purchased. This information therefore will be applicable to many of the rain barrels generally in use in New Jersey. This design concept is simple, it includes drilling two holes in the barrel, one for a faucet and one to screw in an overflow hose adapter. Both are then secured by attaching an electrical conduit locknut to the hardware on the interior of the rain barrel (Fig. 2). When using the screw top lid type barrel a piece of fiberscreen is placed on the top of the barrel and then held on by screwing on the lid (Fig. 3). If using the closed top barrels it is suggested that the screen be placed over the top of the barrel, hanging over the sides and held in place with a bungee cord. The rain barrels discussed in the fact sheet are reconditioned 50&nd60 gallon food grade drums made of a high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The barrel is used to collect rainwater from a roof via the gutter’s downspout (Fig. 4).

Rain barrels are a relatively inexpensive and an easy-to-install tool to reduce residential stormwater runoff and promote water conservation efforts. During a 1.25 inch rain event, approximately 600 gallons of water will drain from an 800 square foot roof area (Bakacs and Haberland, 2010). Most rain events in New Jersey are less than 0.5 inches, yielding 240 gallons or less from an 800 square foot roof. To handle this volume of water, several rain barrels can be linked together with a garden hose attached to the overflow directing it to a pervious surface such as the garden or lawn, thereby allowing the excess water to infiltrate into the ground. Rainwater harvesting can reduce the amount of water impacting our streams significantly if installed at a community scale. Further, we can reuse that water,making our homes more sustainable. However, standing water in rain barrels may become a source for mosquitoes, therefore mosquito control agencies have raised concerns regarding the proliferation of rain barrels in urban and residential landscapes.

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Figure 2. Parts of a rain barrel. Poster by Teresa Duckworth and Pat Rector.

Mosquito Facts

There are over 3,500 mosquito species worldwide, 176 in the continental United States, and 63 in New Jersey. Only female mosquitoes bite and do so to acquire blood to obtain enough energy to produce eggs. For day-to-day nutrition both male and female mosquitoes feed on plant nectar, plant sap, or other sugary substances; blood is not food for adult mosquitoes and humans are not the primary source of blood for most mosquitoes. Instead, specific mosquito species specialize on birds, reptiles, amphibians, or various mammals. However, several mosquito species, including non-native species, thrive in human environments leading to increased likelihood of human feeding. While mosquitoes are a nuisance, they can also spread diseases such as West Nile virus (WNV), eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), dengue, chikungunya, and malaria. Mosquitoes can also transmit diseases to our pets and livestock such as dog heartworm, WNV and EEE.

While each mosquito species has its unique characteristics, life-cycle (see Mosquito Life Cycle section below), and behavior, one common trait shared by most is that their immature stages (larvae and pupae) live in water. Mosquitoes use a variety of habitats in which to lay their eggs. Some natural mosquito habitats are wetlands, water-filled tree holes, and ponds. However, as mentioned, a few species now exploit human-created water environments such as ornamental ponds, catch basins, stormwater facilities, gutters, buckets, discarded trash and tires—literally any container that can catch and hold water for a week or so. Mosquito larvae are not found in moving water or in the open areas of ponds and lakes. Fish are excellent predators of mosquitoes and the two rarely co-exist.

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Figure 3. Screens visible on rain barrels. Photo: Pat Rector.

Mosquito control in New Jersey is based on the concept of Integrated Pest Management and is conducted at the county level with support from the Office of Mosquito Control Coordination, the State Mosquito Control Commission, and Cooperative Extension programs at Rutgers University. Mosquito control programs utilize education, water management, biological control and regulated pesticides. Mosquito pesticides can be divided into two classes, those that kill larvae (larvicides) and those that kill adults (adulticides). All individuals applying pesticides for professional mosquito control agencies in New Jersey are trained and licensed to perform these activities.

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Figure 4. Rain Barrel installed. Photo: Ron Czajkowski.

Mosquito Life Cycle

Mosquitoes, are a type of fly, belonging to the insect order Diptera, and undergo complete metamorphosis (refer to Fig. 5 for the complete life-cycle). The females in some mosquito species deposit groups of eggs known as rafts, while others deposit eggs individually. Some must deposit their eggs directly on the water’s surface while others deposit them in moist areas where they may be inundated with water at a later time. Some eggs hatch in 48–72 hours but others can sit dormant for months or years before hatching. Once the eggs hatch, larvae go through four stages or ‘instars,’ molting between each stage and are often referred to as “wrigglers”. Most mosquito larvae feed on bacteria or other microorganisms in suspension in the water or on surfaces, but a few are actually predators and will eat other organisms in their environment. Larval mosquito growth is dependent on food availability and temperature. Generally the warmer the water the faster the mosquito proceeds through its growth cycle. The fourth larval stage molts into the pupa and is equivalent to the chrysalis stage of a butterfly. Unlike the chrysalis, mosquito pupae are very active and can move (tumbling) up and down in the water column. When the adult is formed in the pupa, the pupal skin splits at the water’s surface and the adult slowly forces itself out, resting temporarily on the surface before taking flight. In the warmest weather some species of mosquito can proceed from egg to adult in 5–7 days.

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Figure 5. Mosquito Life Cycle.

Locating Larvae in Rain Barrels

If water remains after 72 hours, the rain barrel should be checked for mosquito larvae. However, in the early stages of development mosquito larvae are small and difficult to see. As the larvae grow larger it is usually possible to spot them with the naked eye. The small vertical larvae will come to the surface of the water to breathe. The larvae can also be seen “wriggling” in the water while the ‘C’ shaped pupae is usually found “tumbling” just beneath the surface of the water (Fig 6.). To check for larvae or pupae use a white cup or container to scoop some of the water out of the rain barrel to provide a clear background while checking the water for mosquitoes. Do not wait until you start seeing pupae before acting because the presence of pupae heralds adults, which are much harder to control. During hot New Jersey summers some mosquito species that thrive in containers in backyards, such as the Asian tiger mosquito, can develop from egg to adult in one week.

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Figure 6. Mosquito larvae and pupae. Immature mosquitoes (larvae and pupae) are visible against white background. Photo: William Karlak.

Keeping Your Rain Barrel Mosquito Free

The best way to keep a rain barrel mosquito-free is to accept the potential for it becoming a mosquito habitat and build and maintain the rain barrel accordingly. Rain barrels should be designed and constructed to prevent mosquitoes from entering to lay their eggs. Rain barrel owners should be vigilant about draining their barrels frequently; this will help to prevent mosquitoes or algae and provide room to capture the next rain event. They should also occasionally be disinfected with a mild solution of bleach to reduce the microbial community, which can lead to bad smells and attract mosquitoes.

These guidelines are recommended by Rutgers Cooperative Extension for the building and maintenance of rain barrels:

  • The top of the barrel should be covered with window screening material that tightly fits to prevent access to the harvested rainwater. Such screening can be purchased at hardware stores.
  • A garden hose that is at least 8–10 foot long should always be attached to the overflow adaptor. This length will discourage mosquitoes from traveling up the hose in search of water. To further prevent mosquitoes from entering through this opening, attach a small piece of screen on the inside of the hose adapter with a ¾ inch electrical conduit locknut (Fig. 7).
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    Figure 7. Screen attached to overflow adapter. Photo: Sara Mellor.

    As mentioned above, mosquito larvae require access to air. You can suffocate them by adding several tablespoons of cooking oil that will float on the surface of the water and prevent their access to air. A 1/8 inch layer will be enough. An alternative and effective way to control mosquitoes inside rain barrels is to add Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) often sold as a Mosquito Dunk. Bti is a naturally occurring soil bacteria that is used in mosquito control. It is ingested by the feeding larvae. Mosquito Dunks are labeled for use in animal watering troughs, bird baths, rain barrels, and roof gutters.

  • Using the water for the garden or other intended uses shortly after a rain event assures there is space to capture rain water from the next rain event, while also depriving mosquitoes of habitat. Clean the barrel with a dilute bleach solution occasionally and rinse, this will remove available food for the mosquito larvae and make the barrel less attractive to the females looking for places to lay eggs. Standing water is always a lure for mosquitoes. Follow the above recommendations and check frequently for mosquito larvae in the rain barrel to help prevent adult mosquitoes from developing.
  • Rain barrels should be removed in the winter and placed in a storage shed or turned upside down and secured (see FS1118).

Contacting Your Local Mosquito Control Agency

For further information or to report a mosquito control issue contact your local mosquito control agency. The NJDEP Office of Mosquito Control Coordination has set up a hot line for the public to reach their local mosquito agency. Dial 1-888-666-5968 or 1-888-NO-NJ-WNV. In addition, complete NJ state information on mosquitoes, including a list of county mosquito control agencies throughout NJ, is available online at nj.gov/dep/mosquito.

Resources

  1. Bakacs, M., A. Boyajian, and M. Haberland. 2010. Rutgers NJAES Bulletin E329 Rain Barrels Part I: How to Build a Rain Barrel. Rutgers Cooperative Extension. New Brunswick, NJ 5 pp. njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/publication.php?pid=E329.
  2. Bakacs, M. and M. Haberland. 2010. Rutgers NJAES Fact Sheet FS1118 Rain Barrels Part II: Installation and Use. Rutgers Cooperative Extension. New Brunswick, NJ. 3pp. njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/publication.php?pid=FS1118.
  3. Frequently Asked Questions About Mosquitoes. Wayne J. Crans. Rutgers Cooperative Extension. New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. NJAES Publication No. H-40400-01-98.
  4. Controlling Mosquitoes Around the Home. Wayne J. Crans and Farida Mahmood. Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension. NJ Agricultural Experiment Station. Published October 1994. NJAES Publication No. H-40101-01-94.
  5. Mosquito Dunk information is available at summitchemical.com/wp-content/themes/SUMCHM/images/Dunks_Front_NEW_out-12-7-08.pdf (PDF).
  6. New Jersey Mosquito Control Association website. njmca.org.

November 2014

Copyright © 2020 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. All rights reserved.

For more information: njaes.rutgers.edu.

Cooperating Agencies: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and County Boards of Chosen Freeholders. Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, is an equal opportunity program provider and employer.

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes: 6 Things to Make Your Yard a Bite-Free Zone

If you live in a humid or tropical climate, it’s likely that you’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out how to get rid of mosquitoes.

Not only can mosquitoes transmit diseases like Zika, dengue, malaria and chikungunya, but they are also downright annoying! Nothing ruins outdoor fun faster than the buzzing, biting pests.

While the market is chock full of mosquito repellents, most of them are laden with chemicals that are harmful to the environment and young children. Isn’t there a better way?

There absolutely is!

Here are 6 things you need to know about how to get rid of mosquitoes in and around your home.

How to kill mosquitoes—and how NOT to

You might have heard that bug zappers are effective against mosquitoes. They’re not. Mosquitoes and other biting pests aren’t attracted to the UV light, but many other (friendly) bugs are, such as beetles, moths, and fireflies.

Bug zappers can also attract stinging insects like bees and wasps, which may sound appealing at first, but these “pests” are good for your garden, pollinating flowers and eating caterpillars that devour your plants!

If you want to kill mosquitoes without harming other beneficial insects, it’s worth investing in a mosquito swatter—basically, a fly swatter that is made of thicker plastic or even metal.

A rolled up newspaper—or a flat-handed SMACK!—will also do the trick. Or better yet…

Use a natural mosquito repellent to keep biters away

Repelling mosquitoes is a much more efficient way to avoid those bothersome mosquito bites than trying to kill every last one of them! A natural mosquito repellent will help you get rid of mosquitoes without harming other beneficial plant and animal life around your home.

Our Mosquito Magician concentrate is made with 100% natural ingredients and is safe to use around children and pets. It can be applied with a handheld sprayer or battery sprayer, or using our patented reservoir machine that works with your existing sprinkler system!

While mosquito repellents containing DEET can be effective, they only last a few hours and can also kill beneficial insects in your yard. Mosquito Magician lasts for days—even weeks!

Get rid of mosquitoes with a tidy yard free of standing water

A very efficient method for getting rid of mosquitoes is to not give them a place to lay their eggs.

Empty any containers of standing water like pet water dishes, rain barrels, kiddie pools, and birdbaths and keep your yard and bushes trimmed.

Water your yard or garden only as much as needed so puddles and moisture don’t accumulate. Mosquito eggs can hatch in as little as one inch of water!

This means piles of leaves or trash, gutters and other areas that you hadn’t thought of can become breeding grounds for mosquito larvae.

Kill mosquito larvae to prevent them from becoming flying, biting pests

As you know, female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Once they hatch, the larvae live in the water for about 10 days.

Kill the mosquito larvae there so they never have the chance to grow into whining, blood-sucking mosquitoes!

Fortunately:

There are several simple ways to kill mosquito larvae once you’ve found their breeding spot.

For small pools of water like fountains and ponds, use a mosquito dunk, which you can find at almost any hardware store. These doughnut-shaped dunks are made of bacteria that is toxic to mosquitoes, but they are not a danger to pets or other wildlife.

You can also add environmentally friendly apple cider vinegar or cinnamon oil to standing water to kill mosquito larvae.

Bleach is effective at killing mosquito larvae, but it is also harmful to pets and other beneficial wildlife.

Repel mosquitoes with ultrasound technology — and other myths

Myths about how to repel mosquitoes are almost as ubiquitous as the insects themselves. Let’s explore some of the more common misconceptions about mosquito control:

Electronic or ultrasound repellents are effective at keeping mosquitoes away.

Nope. Scientists have studied the contraptions, which emit a high-frequency sound that is mostly inaudible to humans. In 2010 they concluded that “they have no effect on preventing mosquito bites” and that they should be neither recommended nor used.

Mosquitoes can grow up to two inches in length.

No, they can’t—but that might be a good concept for a horror movie! Crane flies, which look very similar to mosquitoes, can grow that large. (Luckily, they don’t bite.) Most mosquitoes aren’t half that length.

Bats and owls help control the mosquito population.

While bats, owls, and some birds do snack on mosquitoes, they don’t eat anywhere enough to have a real effect on their numbers.

Some residential vegetation produces mosquitoes or serve as mosquito nests.

Not true. Mosquitoes don’t nest. They may rest in the vegetation, and if the leaves and soil surrounded them are allowed to collect water, may lay their eggs there. But no plant can “produce” mosquitoes.

The citrosa plant can repel mosquitoes from your yard.

While citrosa oil (also called citronella) is frequently used as a mosquito repellent, the plant itself does not release these oils and does not act as a repellent.

Mosquitoes can transmit HIV and AIDS.

False, for two reasons: 1) Mosquitoes do not transmit HIV because they do not ingest enough HIV particles to transmit the disease and 2) they digest the HIV particles they do ingest, destroying any particles that could lead to infection.

So a mosquito bite will not cause AIDS, but they can transmit other diseases (such as Zika, dengue, and yellow fever) and they sure are annoying…

How to get rid of mosquito bites on your skin

You can’t get rid of mosquito bites once you have them, of course—but there are things you can do to minimize the itching and irritation that come with them.

As soon as you realize you have a mosquito bite, wash it with soap and warm water right away.

Some of the natural home remedies that can help you get rid of the annoying symptoms of a mosquito bite are:

  • Rubbing alcohol: Dab a small amount of isopropyl rubbing alcohol on the mosquito bite to dry it out.
  • Hydrocortisone cream: Rub a bit of hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion on the bite to reduce itchiness.
  • Witch hazel: The witch hazel plant contains both anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties. Dab some on the mosquito bite and surrounding area.
  • Epsom salts: Take an Epsom salt bath or soak a washcloth in very warm water and Epsom salts, then apply it to the affected area.
  • Ice compress: Fill a plastic bag with crushed ice and apply the compress to the mosquito bite to curb swelling.
  • Antihistamines: Take an oral antihistamine to reduce swelling and itching.

Of course, it’s best to avoid mosquito bites in the first place by effectively repelling them—ideally, without harming the environment.

Our non-toxic mosquito repellent helps keep the mosquitoes that can transmit Zika and West Nile virus away from your property and your family without endangering your children, pets or other wildlife.

Protect yourself from annoying and potentially harmful mosquitoes with our all-natural Mosquito Magician repellant spray products!

Mosquitoes and Mosquito Control

Mosquitoes are frequently in the news because they are both a nuisance and a health threat. It is important to reduce mosquito populations around your home and other living and recreational areas.

Mosquito Control is accomplished by peforming the following:

  • Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Sites
  • Get Rid of Adult Mosquitoes
  • Using Mosquito Repellents

Mosquitoes thrive in tropical weather, but are found throughout the USA. Many species (not all) rest during the day in dense vegetation such as tall grass, weeds, and shrubs. Any successful mosquito control program should target these areas.

Mosquito Reproduction:

Female mosquitoes ingest blood to lay eggs. They use the protein found in blood. They feed on humans by following the scent of our exhaled carbon dioxide, tracking our body heat, and detecting the complex blend of scents found on our skin. An average female mosquito will be 2.5x her unfed weight.

Some mosquitoes lay eggs in water, while others lay eggs in moist soil, waiting for flood water. All mosquitoes need water to breed and survive. Typical mosquito breeding sources include:

  • stagnant water
  • ponds
  • lakes
  • brackish swamps
  • ditches
  • salt marshes
  • old tires
  • tree pots
  • puddles
  • clogged gutters
  • buckets

Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Sites

Remove Standing Water

Mosquitoes can breed in any standing water, but they are particularly drawn to standing water with lots of organic debris. Nasty water is a common place to find mosquito larvae. During the summer months, you can verify a water source’s mosquito content by dipping a cup into the stagnant water. Look for mosquito larvae in the cup. The larvae are about the size of a fingernail and they squiggle around.

To eliminate mosquito breeding sites, begin with obvious areas and empty the water from them. These sites include old tires, buckets, wheel barrows, and clogged gutters. Flower pots and the saucers that they sit on are often over-looked so check these. In-ground pool drains remove water from the pool decking, and they are often full of water. The pool drains aren’t easily emptied, but they can be treated with Mosquito Bits or Altosid Pro-G Granules. Mosquito bits can also be placed anywhere that frequently collects water.

When looking for standing water remember that just a few ounces of water can produce a significant number of mosquitoes.

Removing standing water around your yard is a useful first step in reducing mosquito populations, but it does not solve the problem. Mosquitoes can easily breed next door in your neighbor’s yard, or further down the street. Adult mosquitoes are likely to invade your yard regardless of the breeding suitability of the area.

Click Here: Mosquito Elimination Tips for more information.

Mosquito Bits Altosid Pro-G

Get Rid of Adult Mosquitoes

Adult mosquitoes are commonly found in bushes and shrubs because they feed on plant nectar.

Spray Residual Insecticides

Many types of adult mosquitoes are found resting in vegetation during the day time. Trim and get rid of overgrowth of weeds. To get rid of adult mosquitoes spray the foliage of bushes and shrubs, lower limbs of shade trees, tall grass, and shaded areas with a residual insecticide.

Residual insecticides that work well against mosquitoes include: Bifen IT, Proflex Encapsulated, or Mavrik Perimeter. Each of these insecticides is safe, effective, affordable options when applied according to the label. Mavrik Perimeter has an added benefit of not being harmful to bees. Proflex Encapsulated Solutions combines 2 insect growth regulators (Novaluron and Pyriproxyfen) , and an insecticide (lambda-Cyhalothrin) for superior insect control, lasting 30 days and is rainfast.

ECO Via is an organic, botanical insecticide that is labeled for mosquito control if you prefer an organic option.

Mixing an Insect Growth Regulator like Pivot 10 would be ideal as a tank mix to Bifen IT, Mavrik Perimeter or ECO Via. The Pivot would decrease the number of eggs laid by the adult mosquitoes. When applying insecticides to plants, try to avoid spraying the flowers and blooms if using Bifen IT or Proflex Encapsulated. Avoiding spraying on flowers in bloom will minimize the insecticides impact on pollinating insects such as bees, butterflies, and moths. After a proper application, you can expect to start seeing results within two to four weeks.

  • Mix Bifen IT at the rate of 1 oz per gallon per 1,000 square feet. If you tank mix the Pivot IGR, use 4 ml of Pivot to that gallon. We have it in a combination products, Mosquito Kits (see below) for greater savings. For higher density of vegetation, spray at the rate of 1 gallon per 500 square feet. Repeat applications as needed.
  • Sprayers: Chapin’s Mosquito Poly Sprayer, #2014 has an unique fogging/misting nozzle that gives professional results has it provides maximum coverage of foliage for the best in mosquito control.
  • Mix 1 oz of Proflex in a sufficient amount of water (2-5 gallons per 1,000 square feet) to cover 1,000 sq ft in a hand pump or back pack sprayer. Repeat monthly; rainfast. Since it contains insect growth regulators, this is a one solution product.
  • For best results, spray when the mosquitoes are most active, in the cooler hours of the morning or night.
  • Do not spray near ponds or bodies of water.
  • Back Pack Sprayers:

    Professional mosquito companies are now using backpack foggers like the B&G Versa Fogger with products like Bifen IT for the best application in mosquito control. Unlike a conventional mistblower, the Versa Fogger provides a ULV spray in a particle range for proper control.

Proflex Encapsulated (Top Recommendation)

Proflex Encapsulated has two different IGRs and Lambda-cyhalothrin insecticide. It lasts 30 days and is rainfast.

Bifen IT

Bifen It (same as Talstar P contains Bifenthrin 7.9%. It is a flowable multi-purpose insecticide. Bifen IT has residual control with a product label of over 75 insects.

Small Mosquito Kit (Bifen IT-Pivot Combo)

Large Mosquito Kit (Bifen IT-Pivot Combo)

Mavrik Perimeter

Complete Mosquito Kit (Bifen IT-Pivot + Mosquito Bits, Mosquito Repelling Granules)

Chapin Mosquito Srayer

Using Mosquito Repellents

For The Yard: A different method for dealing with mosquitoes is to use repellents. Most people are familiar with repellents that are sprayed on the skin, but there are also non-toxic repellents that can be spread in the yard. Dr. T’s Mosquito Repelling Granules work by masking your scent. This confuses the mosquitoes and they are unable to find you. Mosquito Yard Repellents typically work for about three to five days. This repellent is very popular to use before an outside event

For Your Skin: We carry Ben’s Deet 100, Ben’s 30% Deet, Natrapel-20% Picardin (DEET Free-equal to Deet’s efficiency and performance), and an all natural repellent, Mosquito Mojo with Rosmary and Peppermint essential oils.

Using Foggers and Misting System Compounds

We have both high end foggers and propane foggers to apply fogging compounds for mosquito control. Fogging enables you to coat the leaves and foliage more effectively.

Electric Cold Foggers

  • B&G 2300-Non ULV
  • B&G 2400-ULV
  • B&G 2600-ULV
  • For Use : Outside and Inside: Attics, crawl spaces and other areas where you need large volumetric coverage
  • All B&G Foggers and Fogger Parts

Pros and Cons

  • You may use both oil or water based insecticides,
    both residual and quick kill/contact insecticides
  • A broader range of formulations to choose from.
  • Made be used inside or outside
  • Uses electricity only; limited mobility

Backpack Fogger

Backpack Fogger B&G Versa Backpack Fogger

This is a true ULV fogger (micron size 24 to 40) verse Stihl or Solo back pack at over 100 microns.

Pros and Cons

  • You may use both oil or water based insecticides,
    both residual and quick kill/contact insecticides.
  • A broader range of formulations to choose from.
  • Both a ULV spray fogger and mistblower
  • Mobile; gas powered
  • Much better coverage than the B&G 2300, 2400 , and 2600 foggers, because particle size is much smaller.
  • Costly

Thermal Foggers

Thermal foggers work with oil based insecticides only

  • Bonide Fog RX Propane Insect Fogger
  • Bonide Mosquito Fogger Kit
    1. Bonide Fog RX Propane Insect Fogger
    2. (1) Bug Beater Yard and Garden Fogging-contains 0.25% pyrethrin (Contact Kill)
    3. (1)Bonide Mosquito Beater Flying Insect Fog-contains Resmethrin 0.2% (Residual Action)
  • Golden Eagle Electric Start XL- This thermal aerosol generator is a portable powerhouse for many types of jobs-Formulation Output 0-9 gallons/hr; 0-34 liters/hr; covers 57,000 cubic feet; 1600 cubic meters/min
  • Pros and Cons

    • Bonide’s Propane Fogger is economical
      runs by propane
    • Golden Eagle is a top of the line thermal fogger
    • Can not use water based insecticides, just oil based compounds

    Water Only Based Insecticides-Use in ULV Cold Foggers or Misting Systems

    Mosquito Barrier-All natural repellent made of garlic; may be sprayed or fogged. Repels mosquitoes from one day to a month. Mix with water. May be sprayed or fogged.

    Stryker 5-25, is the same formulation (Pyrethrin 5.0% and Piperonyl Butoxide 25.0%) as the popular Riptide, but more economical. One 64 oz bottle makes 55 gallons for mosquito misting systems. May be used with cold electric foggers to fog rooms, or residential and barn misting systems.

    Riptide-Same as Stryker 5-25

    Sector Misting Concentrate-combines permethrin and PBO for both residual and quick kill of flying insects. May be used in cold electric foggers, misting systems or compressed air sprayers.

    VamPyre Misting Concentrate-formulated with a 3% Pyrethrum and 30% PBO mixture; used for a quick knockdown and flushing needs. May be used in ulv cold foggers or misting sytems.

    Hyperion Advanced Mist Concentrate-With it Sumithrin and PBO combination, it offers a three day residual and may be applied with handheld sprayers, backpack sprayers, ulv foggers and misting systems

    Vector Ban Plus-alternative for misting systems and mosquito control to the expensive pyrethrum based products such as Riptide. Vector Ban Plus contains 10% Permethrin plus10% Piperonyl Butoxide (PBO) and is a water-based insecticide

    Oil Only Based Insecticides-Use only in Thermal Foggers (May be diluted with white mineral oil or an odorless light petroleum)

    Pyronyl UL-100 -1% pyrethrin with a 4.94% dual synergist (Use 3 parts oil to 1 part Pyronyl Oil 1% for mosquito control

    Pyronyl UL-300-Pyrethrins 3.00%, Piperonyl Butoxide Technical 6.00%

    Pyrocide 100 Pyrethrin Concentrate-1% pryethrin with 4.9 dual synergist-can be diluted with oil or used undiluted

    Pyrocide 300 Pyrethrin Concentrate-3% pyrethrum and 16% PBO combination

    Oil or Water Based Insecticides (May be used in thermal , cold UlV Foggers, or misting systems)

    Mosquito Mist Ultra- A synthetic pyrethrin, with a residual (Permethrin 20.6%, Piperonyl Butoxide 20.6%). May be sprayed, fogged or use in a misting system. Will work with cold foggers as well as mixed with water.

    CSI 4-4 Insecticide-Combines mosquito fogging solution (4.6% Permethrin and 4.6% Piperonyl Butoxide) for a residual and quick knockdown.

    CSI 30-30 Insecticide- Compare to Kontrol 30-30, with (30.0% Permethrin and 30.0 % Piperonyl Butoxide) for a residual and quick knockdown.

    Mosquito Types

    Mosquitoes are flies of the order: Diptera, family: Culicidae. They differ from other flies with their long proboscis that is used to probe skin of animals and humans to suck blood. Female mosquitoes live from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. The male counterparts live only about a week.

    • Mosquitoes may transmit organisms that cause such diseases as West Nile virus, Zika virus, Dengue virus, malaria and yellow fever.
    • The infected Aedes species mosquito’s bite is the main culprit of spreading the Zika virus.
    • Click Here: Diseases Mosquitoes Carry

    For More Information: Mosquito Types, Biology and Habitats

    Most Common Mosquitoes Found in USA

    The house mosquito, the southern house mosquito, the Asian tiger mosquito and the yellow fever mosquitoes are commonly found in United States. House mosquitoes transmit various diseases. The are brown with white markings. They mostly bite at dusk or after dark. They rest during the daytime hours.

    Culex pipiens L (Northern House Mosquito), common in the northern states. It is found in standing water that is polluted. Typical breeding areas are old tires with water, bird baths, clogged gutters, and storm drains.*Photo: Fabrizio Montarsi


    Culex restuans( White-dotted Mosquito)-similar to the culex pipiens, but found more in the central and eastern states. Typical breeding areas are in containers, pools, ditches, woodland pools, water with decaying vegetation.

    Culex quinquefasciatus (formerly Culex fatigans)(Southern House Mosquito)-)- It is common in tropic and subtropic areas, and common in Florida. They prefer stagnant and foul water for breeding, such as containers with old tires, waste water, bird baths, slow flowing drains and sewer retention ponds. It commonly transmits the St. Louis encephalitis virus and West Nile Virus.


    Aedes aegypti (Yellow Fever Mosquito). This mosquito spreads yellow ferver, Zika fever, chikungunya, and dengue fever. This mosquito breeds in containers of water such as aluminum cans, old tires, and tree holes. They bite in late afternoon or early mornings. Eggs may survive for up to a year, and hatch out when flooded. This type has been in the USA for centuries, with similar breeding and habitats of the Asian tiger mosquito, very common in the south. The Asian tiger mosquito has replaced much of its population, but still common in some regions.


    Distribution of Aedes aeypti

    United States CDC , via Wikimedia Commons


    Ae. albopictus (Asian Tiger Mosquito)-This mosquito is a daytime feeder; the females may bite aggressively. They need a blood meal to hatch eggs.They are white with silver stripes(looks like a tiger). Eggs are laid in the clean standing water like cavities of trees, flower pots and bird baths. They do not lay eggs in marshes or ditches. Their larvae are called “wrigglers”, as they wriggle or swim through the water, afterward they change into pupae. Adults emerge in 10-14 days after eggs are hatched. They can stay in the winter in egg stages, then hatch out when covered with water during the spring and summer months. The Asian tiger mosquito has become common because they can breed on most any type of water-filled container. Typically these mosquitoes do not fly more than 1/2 mile but reproduce rapidly. They transmit more than 30 diseases, such as dengue, malaria and encephalitis viruses (inflammation of the brain). First discovered in the USA in 1985 when introduced in imported tire casings imported for recapping.


    Mosquito Control / Mosquito Dunks

    KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN

    CAUTION SEE OTHER SIDE FOR MORE PRECAUTIONS AND DIRECTIONS FOR USE

    Hazard to Humans: Causes moderate eye irritation. Avoid contact with eyes or clothing. Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling.

    Environmental Hazards: Do not apply directly to treated, finished drinking water reservoirs or drinking water receptacles when the water is intended for human consumption.

    FIRST AID

    If in eyes: Hold eye open and rinse slowly and gently for 15-20 minutes.

    Remove contact lenses, if present, after the first 5 minutes, then continue rinsing eye. Call poison control center or doctor for treatment advise.

    STORAGE AND DISPOSAL

    Do not contaminate water, food, or feed by storage or disposal.

    Storage: Tightly close containers of unused DUNKS. Store in cool, dry well-ventilated place.

    Disposal: Do not reuse empty carton or packaging material. Perforate of crush and discard carton according to local trash disposal regulations.

    DIRECTIONS FOR USE

    It is a violation of Federal Law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.

    MOSQUITO DUNKS® are formulated to release effective levels of Bti for a period of 30 days or more under typical environmental conditions. The floating action of the dunks will ensure that active material is released at the surface as well as gradually settle to the bottom.

    These dunks may be used in all types of containerized mosquito breeding areas. To prevent dunks from being flushed out of certain treatment sites, they can be anchored using a string tied through the hole in the center or staked in place.

    MOSQUITO DUNKS® can also be applied to dry areas which are known or suspected to become breeding sites when flooded, such as abandoned swimming pools, the dunks will float to the surface when flooding occurs and start releasing the active Bti material. Alternate wetting and drying will not reduce their effectiveness.

    APPLICATION RATES

    Mosquito Larvae:

    Flooded larvae breeding sites: Use one (1) MOSQUITO DUNK® for up to 100 sq. ft. of surface area of containerized standing water, regardless of depth. In highly polluted water with a high organic content, the application rate may have to be increased to as much as four (4) times the normal dosage based upon evaluation by the user.

    When larval populations are high, aquatic vegetation dense, or the water highly polluted at the time of dunks use, pre-treatment with SUMMIT MOSQUITO BITS® is recommended. Dunks will then suppress larval development for up to 30 days or more. Some larvae which hatch after dunk application may partially develop before dying. Allow a minimum of 48 hours for their control.

    Pre-Flood treatment: Apply one (1) MOSQUITO DUNK® to each 100 sq. ft. of containerized surface which is known or suspected breeding site when flooded.

    Evaporative Coolers: Apply one (1) MOSQUITO DUNK® to each 100 sq. ft. of Cooler box or for smaller Coolers refer to the table below for applications rate.

    SAFE FOR USE IN FISH HABITATS

    Outdoor Use around the Household to kill Mosquito Larvae: MOSQUITO DUNKS® can be broken into portions for use in many outdoor applications near the household, such as containerized standing water in bird baths, old automobile tires, rain barrels, abandoned or unused swimming pools (particularly above ground types), tree holes, roof gutters for collecting rainwater, flower pots, animal watering troughs, or water gardens. MOSQUITO DUNKS® can be broken and used as shown in the following table, the amount dependent upon the surface area of the water in the treatment site.

    Surface Area of standing water

    Preflood treatment around the Household: Apply MOSQUITO DUNKS® to any containerized target site listed above which is known to become flooded after rain. Use the correct amounts in accordance with the above dosage table.

    INDOOR USE: For use in areas that collect water from time to time, areas such as elevator shafts, basements that flood, sump pumps and any drainage areas within buildings. Use the correct amount in accordance with the above dosage table.

    How do i use mosquito dunks????????????????

    what kind of system are you using?. I have rockwool and hydroton in net pots and I keep the water level at about the bottom of the the basket. I started out with 6 diffent clones I got at 3 different medical dispensaries. These were all barely rooted out in a small amount of soil. I knocked as much of the soil off as I could and transplanted them into rockwool. One of these plants had root aphids. The root aphids killed one of the 6 clones before I spotted them and were basically preventing the others from rooting out.
    I have about 10 gallons in my DWC, and I just threw about 1/3 of one doughnut in there and let it float. I hand watered the plants a few times after the doughnut had been soaking for a few days just to get the bugs above the water level. I added another 1/3 about 1 week later and hand watered a few more times. It did not seem to have any impact on the water PH and it did not have any negative impact on the plants. Within about 2 days of the first mosquito dunk, there were thousands of dead and dying bugs that had crawled out of the hydro sytem and onto the floor where they were twiching in the throws of death. This made me very happy.
    My DWC system is home-made out of one large “under-bed” style plastic storage container. It has an aquarium air pump and some bubble stones. It also has an aquarium water heater set on 60F. There is no pump and all the plants are in the same resevoir together.
    You can crush them up or throw them in whole. I don’t think it really matters. You’ll probably have to treat them 2 or 3 times over several weeks to kill the bugs and the unhatched eggs.
    Mosquito dunks claim to be organic and pet-safe and safe for use in planted aquariums or in goldfish ponds.
    Here is a View attachment 1329356picture of my legal medical grow and a picture of the roots of my smallest plant (one that the aphids had nearly killed less than a month ago).
    View attachment 1329355

    Have a mosquito problem??? At your next outdoor gathering try this SAFE and EFFECTIVE method of keeping mosquitoes at bay! Simply slice a lime in half and press in a good amount of cloves for an ALL NATURAL mosquito repellent… Make sure to SHARE THIS with your friends!

    Pass this on to anyone who likes being out in the evening or is having a cook out.

    Here is a good thing for the summer, for those who like to sit and enjoy the out of doors, but don’t like those pesky mosquitoes. It was given at a gardening forum.

    Put some water in a white dinner plate and add just a couple of drops of Lemon Fresh Joy dishwashing soap. Set the dish on a porch or patio. Not sure what attracts them, the lemon smell, the white color, or what, but mosquitoes flock to it, and drop dead, or fall into the water, or on the floor within about 10 ft.

    Works just super!

    Enjoy the mosquito free summer!

    Mosquito spray…..

    I was at a deck party awhile back, and the bugs were having a ball biting everyone. A man at the party sprayed the lawn and deck floor with Listerine, and the little demons disappeared. The next year I filled a 4-ounce spray bottle and used it around my seat whenever I saw mosquitoes. And voila! That worked as well. It worked at a picnic where we sprayed the area around the food table, the children’s swing area, and the standing water nearby. During the summer, I don’t leave home without it….. Pass it on.

    OUR FRIEND’S COMMENTS: I tried this on my deck and around all of my doors. It works – in fact, it killed them instantly. I bought my bottle from Target and it cost me $1.89. It really doesn’t take much, and it is a big bottle, too; so it is not as expensive to use as the can of spray you buy that doesn’t last 30 minutes. So, try this, please. It will last a couple of days. Don’t spray directly on a wood door (like your front door), but spray around the frame. Spray around the window frames, and even inside the dog house

    The ongoing war between man and bug prompts in many people a continual search for an inexpensive and effective weapon against mosquitoes, preferably something “natural” (or at least something that isn’t specifically a pesticide and therefore poses less danger of harming or killing humans and their pets). The perennial struggle often leaves warriors confused about the difference between substances that kill mosquitoes, substances that merely repel them, and substances that do neither.

    The good news in the mosquito wars is that one need only worry about the females of the species, because male mosquitoes don’t bite. Male and female mosquitoes both feed on nectar for sustenance; the female, however, requires blood to lay her eggs. It matters not how many male mosquitoes she’s been with; without the blood she draws from her victims she will not gain entry into the ranks of mosquito motherhood, so instinct drives her to take a piece out of someone. (That’s the bad news, of course: mosquito bites signify that more batches of little skeeters are on the way.)

    Female mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide (the more carbon dioxide a person emits, the more likely that person is to be singled out by a motherhood-driven mosquito) as well as moisture, warmth, and body odor. Mosquito repellents such as DEET work not by “repelling” mosquitoes in a literal sense, but by blocking the receptors on their antennae that allow them to home in on human beings.

    A few drops of Lemon Joy dishwashing soap in a plate or bowl of water is neither an effective mosquito repellent (although it might have limited effectiveness for that purpose if you slathered it all over your body) nor a concoction that will cause flocks of mosquitoes to fall out of the sky dead. As noted, mosquitoes are attracted to moisture, so putting out an open container of water mixed with soap can draw some of the critters into landing and coating themselves with a sticky film that prevents them from escaping, but that’s about it. There’s nothing special about Lemon Joy that attracts hordes of skeeters and sends them plummeting to the ground dead.

    Likewise, spraying Listerine around your home or outdoor areas isn’t an all-purpose mosquito preventive. It may kill some mosquitoes on which it is directly sprayed, but it won’t serve to keep knocking mosquitoes dead for hours and hours afterwards. Because it contains trace amounts of eucalyptol, mouthwash may also have limited effectiveness as a mosquito repellent, but it needs be kept in mind that actual eucalyptus-based mosquito repellents contain the compound in concentrations as high as 75 percent whereas the eucalyptol in mouthwash is usually below 1 percent, which means if it works at all, it isn’t going to work very well or for very long.

    The latest entry in the “cheap and easy” litany of mosquito solutions is the suggestion that limes pressed with cloves forms an effective “ALL NATURAL mosquito repellent.” We haven’t yet gauged the effectiveness of this approach.

    In general, you get what you pay for: DEET will typically repel mosquitoes more effectively and for much longer than solutions concocted from commercial household products intended for completely different purposes.

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    Mosquito breeding habitat is a fairly well known. I in summers we hear news reports about dumping standing water our of old tires or empty flower pots. Ever wonder why they lay their eggs there and not larger bodies of water with more food, like lakes and rivers?

    Larval (baby) mosquitoes are aquatic insects but they do not breath water like fish or young dragonflies do. Just like whales they live in the water but breath air, so they must say close to the surface or risk drowning. Instead of a blowhole the larvae have a special siphon which they use to suspend themselves from the water’s surface tension. Breaking the surface tension with a drop or two of dish soap will kill any larval mosquitoes by not allowing them to breath.

    Culex restuans larvae anatomical diagram. Here you can see both the dorsal (top) view of the siphon, and the side view in the inset.

    In larger bodies of water fish and other predators, like giant water bugs, can easily snap the larvae up as they hang, suspended from the surface. If they attempt to hide on the bottom of in vegetation the larvae risk drowning while waiting for the predator to loose interest.

    Here are a few videos that I made to demonstrate the principal. Sorry about the background noise in these videos. Laboratory buildings require substantial ventilation systems for health reasons, and they are pretty loud.

    Mosquito Control In Rain Barrels: How To Control Mosquitoes In A Rain Barrel

    Harvesting rain in barrels is an earth-friendly practice that conserves water, reduces runoff that negatively impacts waterways, and benefits plants and soil. The downside is that standing water in rain barrels is an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. There are a number of ways of preventing mosquitoes in rain barrels. Read on for a few helpful suggestions.

    Rain Barrels and Mosquito Pests

    While using a rain barrel in the garden is great for water conservation among its other benefits, mosquitoes are a constant threat, as they carry life-threatening diseases. Learning how to control mosquitoes in a rain barrel is just as important to controlling them anywhere else, especially since the pests take advantage of standing water to help carry out their life cycle.

    Here are some things you can do to minimize their presence:

    Dish soap – Liquid dish soap creates a slick film on the surface of the water. When mosquitoes attempt to land, they drown before they have time to lay eggs. Use natural soap and avoid products with perfume or degreasers, especially if you water your plants with rain water. One or two tablespoons of liquid soap per week is plenty for most rain barrels.

    Mosquito dunks – Also known as mosquito donuts, mosquito dunks are round cakes of Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis), a naturally occurring bacteria that provides mosquito control in rain barrels as it slowly dissolves. However, it is safe for beneficial insects. Be sure the product label indicates the dunks are formulated for ponds because other types, which kill caterpillars, aren’t effective in water. Replace the dunks as needed. Check them after a hard rain.

    Vegetable oil – Oil floats on the surface of the water. If mosquitoes attempt to land, they suffocate in the oil. Use about a quarter cup of oil per week. You can use any type of oil, including olive oil. Horticultural oil or dormant oil are also effective for preventing mosquitoes in rain barrels.

    Netting – Fine mesh or netting attached firmly to the barrel keeps mosquitoes out. Attach the netting to the barrel with a bungee cord.

    Goldfish – One or two goldfish keep mosquitoes in control and their poop provides a little extra nitrogen-rich fertilizer for plants. This isn’t a good solution, however, if your rain barrel is in direct sunlight or the water is too warm. Be sure to place netting over the spigot and any other openings. Remove the goldfish and bring them indoors before the first hard frost.

    Rain barrels are great for collecting water, however, anytime you are storing water it can become an ample breeding ground for mosquitoes. If you own a rain barrel you may be wondering exactly how to keep mosquitoes out of your rain barrel?

    Rain barrels are above-ground storage containers that capture water from the roof, allowing you to store it to use later for watering your lawn or your plants. Having a rain barrel is great for your yard and for the planet because it reduces runoff from your property, conserves resources, saves you money, and provides water for your garden.

    Unfortunately, rain barrels are also a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes. Never fear, if you follow a few simple prevention guidelines, you can keep plenty of fresh water in your rain barrel to benefit your plants, and not the mosquitoes.

    5 ways to keep mosquitoes out of your rain barrel

    Add a mesh screen

    The most effective way to prevent mosquitoes from infiltrating your rain barrel is to add a mesh screen to cover the top of the barrel. Be sure the mesh holes are small enough (usually 1/16th of an inch) so that a mosquito can’t slip through. Look for mesh at a hardware store. If you have a rain barrel with a screw top, simply place the square of mesh between the barrel and the lid and screw it in place. Or, use wire, rubber, or string to tightly secure the mesh. You can also install small pieces of screen over any other holes.

    Keep the rain barrel clean and in working order

    Make sure to regularly remove any debris or organic material that might be on top of or inside your rain barrel. Drain any pools of water that may form outside the barrel. It’s also a good idea to try to empty the rain barrel completely and clean it out at least twice a year. Regularly check the barrel for cracks or leaks. Make sure the seals are tight and any openings are covered by mesh.

    Use an insecticide that’s safe for plants

    You want keep mosquitoes away from your rain barrel, but you don’t want to use anything toxic that could harm your plants when you water them. Mosquito Dunks, sold at garden centers, are a safe and easy option. They contain a bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI), which kills mosquitoes and black flies, but doesn’t harm other wildlife. Use a dunk once a month or as needed. You can also try using a tablespoon of ecofriendly dish soap. This will create a film on the surface of the water to break the surface tension and prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs.

    Make your yard a habitat for wildlife

    Critters like bats, dragonflies, and fish, can help keep mosquitoes at bay because they are natural predators of the pests. Provide an inviting natural habitat for wildlife in your yard so these helpful species can stick around to feast on your unwanted guests. It’s also a good idea to support conservation efforts at local parks to protect habitats in your neighborhood and beyond.

    Call Mosquito Squad for help

    If mosquitoes keep finding their way into your rain barrel, this could mean you have a bigger mosquito problem on your hands. To fight the bite, Mosquito Squad of Greater Washington DC. We can provide safe and effective treatment solutions that will reduce mosquito populations in your yard.

    How to Keep Your Rain Barrels Free of Mosquitoes

    November 2, 2012 · by Vincent Vizachero

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    Your rain barrel is designed to keep mosquitoes out, but there is no guarantee that these pesky creatures won’t find a crack in the system.

    The fail-safe way is to drain all of the water within five days of the rain barrel filling up. This solution not only eliminates standing water, but it ensures that the next time it rains the rain barrel will be empty and can reduce runoff, one of rain barrels’ main purposes.

    If you’re holding onto your water for more than five days, there are three eco-friendly options that Blue Water Baltimore recommends for eliminating mosquito breeding which are safe for your family and the environment.

    With our new design, however, you may also remove your filter screen and simply screw in your sealant cap. Be sure to remove and replace with your screen before the next rain!

    Liquid Dish Soap

    Use one tablespoon once a week or after each storm.

    The soap creates a film on the surface of the water, breaking the surface tension. Therefore, if mosquitoes make it into the barrel to lay their eggs, they drown before they get a chance. Use ecofriendly liquid soap to prevent additional pollution and prevent damage to your plants if you use your harvested water for irrigation.

    Mosquito Dunks

    Use one 1 dunk once a month or as needed.

    Dunks are made of Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis or Bti, a bacteria that kills the mosquito larvae (as well as black flies). The product slowly dissolves, releasing the bacteria for continuous mosquito control.

    There are other bacteria based mosquito control products sold under different names. If you are shopping around, look for the Bti ingredient.

    Each Blue Water Baltimore rain barrel comes with one free Bti dunk to get you started.

    Vegetable Oil

    Use ¼ cup once a week or after each storm.

    The vegetable oil will float on the top of the water in your rain barrel, suffocating the mosquito larvae, should mosquitoes lay eggs in the water.

    Posted in: Notes From the Field

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