With the recent rains, residents have been asking us about standing water and mosquitoes. A couple of common questions are, “Is it still mosquito season?” and, “Is there anything we need to do with the rainwater that’s filling our house gutters?”
Mosquito season in Contra Costa County is year-round. We have 23 different species of mosquitoes and so at any time of the year mosquitoes can be present with the majority presenting themselves in spring, summer and fall. In any case, standing water presents a habitat for mosquitoes. Therefore, our collective task never ends–dumping standing water, no matter how little, is important to our health year round.
Collecting rainwater is another story. There are safe ways to collect and save rainwater without producing mosquitoes.
Specially constructed rain barrels are designed to collect rainwater while preventing mosquitoes and can be purchased from home improvement stores. For those residents who opt for a do-it-yourself option, you can use a garbage can, bungee cords and window screen for a cost-effective and mosquito-free solution. Check out our video for more information on mosquito-free rain barrels.
In either case, if you are installing a downspout to a rain barrel, attach screening to prevent mosquito larvae from flowing from house gutters into the barrel itself. House gutters can produce tens of thousands of mosquitoes when clogged and holding rainwater. Leaves and other debris trapped in the gutters provide excellent nutrients for the mosquitoes to thrive. In addition, there are no predators to eat the mosquitoes.
Dump and drain unneeded rainwater, safely collect necessary rainwater, and clear out house gutters to ensure a healthy and happy neighborhood.