Rain Barrels and Mosquitoes

We are now in prime season for biting insects, including mosquitoes. Mosquitoes usually remain active until hard frost. General rules to follow to reduce the hazard from them are:

  • Keep gutters clean and be sure they drain properly;
  • Remove sources of standing water in yards, where mosquitoes can breed – drain water out of flower pots, plant saucers, tarps, buckets, barrels, tires, bird baths, trash containers, toys, child’s wading pools, and other various containers and objects that can trap water;
  • And protect yourself with mosquito repellant particularly at dawn and dusk.

In pools of water you cannot empty, such as rain barrels, water gardens, swimming pools and tree cavities, you can treat them with mosquito dunks. These doughnut shaped wafers contain a naturally occurring bacterium known as Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis that kills mosquito larvae before they are able to mature. Mosquito dunks containing this bacterium are effective for around 30 days and are not harmful to fish, birds, mammals or other wildlife. You may need to replace them sooner after heavy downpours.

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