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Tips for keeping your rain barrel mosquito-free

With rain in the forecast, it’s the perfect time to start talking about rainwater harvesting and mosquitoes. Rain barrels that are not screened or are improperly maintained can become a major source of mosquito production. One rain barrel has the potential to produce thousands of mosquitoes, causing major issues not just for you, but also for your neighbors.

Whether you have been collecting rainwater for years or have just started, we have some tips to help keep your rain barrels mosquito-free:

  • Use a mosquito-proof screen on your rain barrel (fine mesh–1/16th of an inch), under the lid and covering the overflow hole.
  • Keep the lid and all connectors in the system sealed.
  • Place the barrel on a surface that will soak up or promptly drain water that has overflowed.
  • Use a downspout diverter to direct water into the barrel.
  • Remove water that may have pooled on the top of the barrel at least once a week or use a barrel with a self-draining lid.
  • Regularly check the barrel and quickly repair damaged or worn screens, clogged openings, and loose-fitting lids or caps.
  • Keep gutters and downspouts clean and free of debris.
  • Inspect on a regular basis to be sure there are no cracks or leaks and that all seals and fittings remain intact.

If you suspect an issue with mosquitoes, call the District for help at 707-285-2200 or request service online at www.msmosquito.org