Collecting rainwater is important for many reasons. Whether you need rainwater to purify for drinking purposes or you simply want to use it for watering your garden, it’s a good habit that can save you money and help you make the most of your natural resources.
Despite how easy it is to access rainwater, keeping it free of pests can be very challenging. Mosquitoes are notorious for taking advantage of standing water and while you might use your rainwater collection from time to time, the reality is that this source of water is probably not stirred enough or used enough to keep mosquitos from laying eggs and taking over your yard.
It is also important to remember that mosquitoes are the most dangerous insects in the world. While there are more poisonous insects and more violent bugs, mosquitos are known for transmitting disease and they are responsible for killing hundreds of thousands every year.
So how can you safely collect your own rainwater without bringing on the dreaded mosquito infestation? There are a few options that you have and they are not complicated or expensive.
If we have learned anything at all from the numerous oil disasters, it is that oil kills wildlife. The same idea can be used to keep your water from becoming ground zero for the next outbreak of malaria. If you are going to use oil for this process it is best to use a vegetable oil like you would use in your kitchen. Simply pour enough into the barrel to cover the top layer of the water in the barrel.
The oil will stop mosquitos from laying their eggs in the water. If however they are able to lay the eggs in the water the oil will suffocate the larvae as it begins to grow. Just make sure that your water level never drops below the out spout. You do not want to water your garden with oil.
Goldfish are very inexpensive and they are very resilient. If you are not interested in using oil then you could insert a goldfish into your water barrel. The fish will obviously have enough water to thrive and they will act as the number one predator in the barrel. This method will not stop mosquitos from coming but it will stop the eggs from turning into small bloodsuckers.
Keep in mind that if you are using the first option of oil, it is not recommended that you use a goldfish. The oil will keep the water from being aerated and the fish will eventually die.
There are several different kinds of screens that you could use. The local hardware store will have wire mesh that can be placed over the top of the barrel. It is also possible to use your pantyhose for this process. The problem with using pantyhose is that they break relatively easily. You will need to routinely check the pantyhose to make sure they are not holding debris or that they are not beginning to break apart. Even the smallest hole will allow mosquito’s access to your water.
4. Chemical Warfare
Most hardware stores will have chemical larvicide. This is a chemical intended to kill mosquito larvae. The product should be applied as directed on the packaging. Keep in mind that over time the insects will develop immunity to this chemical and they will begin to swarm. It is recommended that you save this as a last resort.