How Do I Keep My Rain Barrel From Contributing to the Mosquito Population?

Posted by Mosquito Squad

August 3, 2017

Collecting rain water is becoming a very popular way to conserve water. It is especially loved for use in irrigation, an expense that can be high during the summer months. If you’re already enjoying a high-efficiency smart irrigation system from our sister brand Conserva Irrigation and you still want to take it a step further, a rain barrel might be in your possession. But did you know rain barrels can cause a growth in your mosquito population?

Keeping Mosquitoes Out of Rain Barrels

One of the most successful ways to control mosquito populations is by controlling their source of growth. Standing water where fish are not present provides mosquitoes with the best environment for eggs, larvae, and pupae to mature into adult mosquitoes. Over 300 eggs are laid at one time, leading to as many adults hatching in about a week. The females of that group will seek a blood meal, annoying you with a dangerous itchy bite in the process.

While we often talk about the importance of following the Ts of mosquito control, we don’t typically discuss how to deal with standing water that we are purposefully keeping or collecting in our yards. You don’t have to accept mosquitoes as part of the program if you have a decorative water feature, bird bath, or rain barrel. We have tips for keeping mosquitoes from growing in those too:

Rain Barrels

Rain barrels should never be open barrels. Ensure your rain barrel is covered tightly with a screen no larger than 12 squares per inch. Be sure your rain barrel system is properly designed and regularly maintained.

Bird Baths

Change the water in your bird bath regularly. Mosquitoes can develop and hatch in as little as five days, so changing the water and wiping it out should be done at least that often.

Decorative Water Features

Water gardens, decorative ponds, and outdoor fountains need proper attention as well. Water gardens should be designed to absorb rain water completely within five days of a heavy rainfall. Decorative ponds and fountains should be stocked with fish at all times, be treated with chemicals, or have a running fountain to keep water moving at all times.

If you have any sources of shallow stagnant water that cannot be drained or stocked with fish, you can treat it with mosquito larvicide.

At Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities, we feel strongly about the benefits of collecting rain water and creating a landscape you enjoy that might include water features. With proper care and maintenance, all of this can be achieved without contributing to the Minneapolis mosquito problem. For further reduction in mosquitoes at your home, call us today.