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My cat loves water from the water butt in the garden which I've only had in place for about a month, and I was horrified this morning to see that there are tiny little red worms in the water, only a few millimetres long.

I have read that it could be midge or mosquito larvae. I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem and can advise how to stop this happening again, I'm thinking maybe some fine mesh over the hole into the butt?

It is just one slimline butt with one connector coming in from a drainpipe.

Thanks in advance.


Yes, they are insect larvae, one of the midges those red wrigglers. They won't hurt the cat. Cats and midges co-existed before we started worrying about it all.


Nut is right as usual it is harmless so dont worry about it.


Don't confuse them with intestinal worms, they are insect larvae. Totally different. 


Easiest way to stop the larva is to put a solid lid on the water butt and take the water out from the tap at the base.



Thanks for your replies.
I'm surprised they got in there, as there always is a lid on the water butt and the whole connection from the drain pipe is very secure, so I think they must have got in through the gutter and down the drain pipe.

I washed it out last night and found a few dead mosquitos in there, so hopefully that might be the end of it, at least for now.


I spent a very amusing few minutes last night watching one of our cats dipping his paw in the waterbutt, trying to catch some of the mosquito larva which are in there.

There are ways of killing the larva, WD40 sprayed on the top, or a little cooking oil, nough to cover the surface, will do the trick. they have to come to the surface to breathe and the oil stops them. I have been known to add just a teaspoon of insecticide to a 40 gallong container. It is enough to kill off anything in the water, but at a very low concentration so it is not doing too much damage elsewhere. Only do that to the water butt I use for the Alpine house as there are no bees in there.

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