Keeping Mosquitoes Out of Your Massachusetts Rain Barrel

Author: Mosquito Squad of Franklin & Framingham

Rain barrels are a wonderful tool for water conservation and the reduction of stormwater runoff. They collect water from your roof to be used for watering gardens and lawns, washing cars, filling swimming pools, and other household tasks. According to the Massachusetts Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs, almost 40% of household water is used for lawns and gardens in the summer months. Economically it simply makes sense to make use of your rainwater. Environmentally, using your rainwater conserves fresh water resources, reduces pollution, erosion, and protects the health of your local watershed. And if you wonder if people are using them, one quick rain barrel search will clue you in to how popular they are. They come in all shapes, sizes, and prices.

STANDING WATER LEADS TO MOSQUITO GROWTH

All said about how great rain barrels are, AND THEY ARE, we must also remember that standing water creates mosquitoes. Water sitting, untreated, without fish, in shallow stagnant pools for more than five days will promote the growth of mosquitoes.

Not to worry! No one is going to tell you that you can’t use your rain barrels, we just want to remind you to purchase the right kind and maintain them properly. Rain barrels should be fitted with tight fitting screens that are no larger than 12 squares per inch. Open rain barrels should never be used.

Water in rain gardens needs to absorb quickly as well. No matter where it is standing, stagnant water will create the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. That said, let’s quickly mention maintenance for bird baths and swimming pools too. Proper chemicals for pools and changing out the water in bird baths at least every five days, are equally as important in the fight to maintain mosquito-free environments.  

Rain barrels serve a great purpose. At Mosquito Squad of Franklin & Framingham, it is our goal to help educate and provide the tools to help you use these types of innovative materials properly. Harnessing the resources that nature gives us while keeping pests and the diseases they carry away is a win/win. Questions about other ways you can help to control the mosquito population or ways that we can help you? Follow our blog or better yet give us a call. We would love to hear from you.