Rain Barrels and Mosquitos

Asked June 3, 2016, 1:10 PM EDT

I've finally gotten around to installing two rain barrels. One issue that has occurred to me is that after a storm, the barrels are full but nothing needs watering (because of the storm). This means holding water in the barrel until it's needed, leaving a natural breeding spot for mosquitoes. As this area has more than enough mosquitos, what can I do with the barrel to avoid encouraging the little stinging monsters? Would it be possible to create an "oil slick" using vegetable oil (or extra virgin olive oil!) ? Or are there better ideas? Jim

Hennepin County Minnesota rain barrels

1 Response

You can use a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil (no need to use olive oil). Some people prefer BT mosquito dunks or summer horticulture oil, but vegetable oil works just as well and doesn't hurt the plants. A fine screen at the entrance will keep mosquitos from using the barrel as a breeding pond.