How to Handle Mosquitoes in Rain Barrels

rain-water-barrelIn my last post I mentioned that improper rain barrel maintenance can lead to rain water collection systems becoming mosquito breeding grounds.

However, sometimes mosquitoes start laying eggs in rain barrels in spite of your best efforts. Given our mosquito season this year is particularly nasty I wanted to address an additional step that you can take to keep this from happening. After all, those little buggers are persistent!

Fortunately there’s a relatively easy solution. Mosquito dunks, or Bt, is a safe and effective solution. It’s one that I’ve talked about in the past. You can put the little tablets right in your rain barrel.

Bt is not a chemical. It’s a bacteria that attacks the mosquito larvae. The bacteria has no effect on humans whatsoever.

If you’re still nervous, remember that it’s better to use your rain water on the soil and roots of your plants, not leaves, flowers, or fruit. And remember that you should never drink rain water that hasn’t been specifically treated for that purpose.

For most people, rain barrel water is always going to be grey water only.

In fact, some experts even caution you against using rain barrel water on any edible plants. The type of roof that you have plays a big role in those safety concerns. Algae-resistant shingles are not compatible with rain water collection efforts meant for edible plants, for example.

If Bt doesn’t keep mosquitoes away from your rain barrel you might want to temporarily halt your program until the mosquito population is a bit less aggressive. There’s no sense taking all of the other mosquito control steps only to leave them with the perfect breeding ground right at the end of your gutters!

We install seamless aluminum rain gutters and leaf guards in Largo, Clearwater, New Port Richey and the rest of the Tampa Bay Area. We also clean and repair gutters. Call us for a free estimate today.

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