As Southern California residents, water conservation is part of our lifestyle and rain barrels are an easy way to capture rainwater for future use.
However, if not properly maintained, rain barrels can become an ideal breeding source for mosquitoes.
Learn how to mosquito-proof your rain barrel and continue to conserve water throughout the year while still controlling mosquitoes.
Download Rain Barrel Care Sheet [here].
Mosquito-Free Rain Barrel Tips
If residents need to store water in rain barrels, buckets, or other similar containers longer than a week, these step should be taken to ensure they are mosquito-proof:
– Cover all water-filled containers with tightly fitting lids.
– Screen all openings (overflows, openings in the lid), including roof and floor gutters with a 1/16-inch fine mesh to keep mosquitoes out.
– Use collected water right away and empty barrels completely between rain events.
– Check the screens for tears/holes monthly to prevent mosquitoes from entering the container and
– laying hundreds of eggs.
– Use mosquito bits if you must keep stagnant water for more than five days.
For Rain Barrel DIY video, click [here].
Here are other ways you can continue to maintain your yard while still eliminating mosquitoes today.
– Prevent less runoff from your property by positioning the sprinklers directly toward your lawn.
– Adjust your sprinkler schedule during the winter months. Check your local water district for recommended sprinkler schedules.
– After rainfall or irrigation on your property, sweep street gutters to prevent water collection.
– Consider upgrading your landscape with drought-tolerant plants to decrease your water usage. Tropical plants like bromeliads tend to collect water in between their leaves and that can attract mosquitoes.
– Fill low-spot grass areas with dirt to prevent water accumulation.
– Conduct regular inspections and maintenance of your irrigation systems, both indoors and outdoors. Use this opportunity to also check for stagnant water around your home. Download Vector Control’s DIY Mosquito Checklist, which is a guide to finding common and hidden breeding sources.
– Screen catch basis to help filter out debris and prevent creating a mosquito habitat in your yard drains. Watch DIY Video on Yard Drains.
– Clean debris from rain gutters to prevent water accumulation.
– While spending time outdoors maintaining your yard, remember to apply insect repellent. Visit Vector Control’s Insect Repellent Page for more information.
We are a California government and public health service agency formed under the authority of the CA State Health & Safety Code. Our mission is to reduce populations of public health vectors below nuisance levels, prevent human infection associated with mosquito-transmitted diseases, and prevent the loss of property values and commercial enterprise as the result of vector occurrence and activity.