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Talkback: Water butts and hoverflies

Surely if your water butt has a lid on it, mosquitoes can't take up residence and breed? My house has a water meter, so a water butt in the...

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Surely if your water butt has a lid on it, mosquitoes can't take up residence and breed? My house has a water meter, so a water butt in the garden is an essential!

I have one of those 210 litre green garden water butts. It's linked to automatically top up my mini pond. It has a cover and there are no mosquitos in it. I have another 2 butts just 20 feet away and they're rife with mosquito larvae.


Bob Flowerdew keeps  goldfish in his water butts to eat the larvae.


When I worked in Barbados, a local Nursery owner told me they never had saucers under their plant pots as we do here as any standing water would encourage mosquitoes. I can't understand why a lidded water butt would have mossys. Greg, are the other 2 butts with lids?

My daughter had mosquitoes in her water butts with lids on ,the man next door had a large pond the fish in it and froglets he said put some froglets on the lid and see if they clear them, and it worked as they could get in the down pipe hole in the lid.


No, the other 2 are not covered.



I think lids are the way to go greg

flowering rose

they will breed in any standing water,they will get in any tiny opening and water left lying about in pots or buckets will encourage them to breed that s why its important to empty any water lying about in pots and empty the water butt  ever so often.


A layer of oil, just a drop, it spreads across the top and they can't get their breathing apparatus through it and suffocate


I agree, in the US they have a constant battle with the mossy that spreads Dengue fever, luckily it only moves North about 100 yards a week I think. I believe that there and in parts of Africa they use a spray that changes the surface of the water. It stops them from reproducing.

Here in the Fens, historically, there was a form of malaria and the Fen people grew Opium Poppies to combat the disease.


I've put an old pair of black tights over the top of my water but, its stopped all creatures and flies dropping in 


I'd love to see a photo of that

When I was in Nepal, the local's but a few drops of citronella oil in the stagnant water, it not only smelt
devine it also supposedly killed the mosquito larva.

My water butts both have lids on but the water smells like rotten eggs, could I try the citronella oil in them Napo?


Potassium permanganate from the chemist will sweeten the water. Not tried citronella, not sure you could water plants with citronella  

Thanks Anonimouse I'll get some of that.

Thanx flumpy1 I'll try the tights idea. At present I use them as ties softer on the stems than commercial ties n last ages, often not as noticeable either (depending on the colour used obviously!). My problem is the bird bath I have. Anyone know how long mozzies stay as larva? In other words how often do I need to totally replace the water to prevent them becoming adult?

I wash my bird bath out quit often as it gets quite mucky looking with them all washing in there. Then they drink their own bath water


Having a lid on your water butt will also stop and bees falling in and drowning. Never mind any other inquisitive creatures

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