Sorry, I couldn’t resist that title! Here’s an interesting one for you about the prevalence of mosquitos in our garden water butts, and a handy tip on how to avoid them:
Daily Mail 22.5.14 “MOSQUITO RISK FROM YOUR WATER BUTT” by Fiona MacRae.
If you use a water butt you might think you’re doing good for the environment, but a rise in the number of water butts in towns is providing a fertile breeding ground for mosquitos.
The bricks and concrete trap heat, raising the water butt temperature, which incubates mosquito lavae. Water butts conserve water and can be used during hosepipe bans, but the dark stagnant water warmed by the sun is attractive to mosquitos to lay eggs in. The lavae feast on leaves and insects washed in by rainwater.
Anopheles, a type of mosquito, carries malaria. Although unlikely to take hold in UK, study author, zoologist Dr Amanda Callaghan of Reading University said the risk is low but “If someone comes back from holiday with Malaria and gets bitten, it could be transmitted to another person.”
Mosquitos can be deterred by fitting a tight lid to the water butt, adding veg oil or crushed garlic to the water, and completely emptying the water butt once a month.
So, now you know!