ReinaRoelle
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Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:34 pm
Location: MI

rain barrel & tiny worms

Hello, we have a rain barrel to go green. I haven't had any probs until now. My rain barrel & my 2 water jugs are filled w/ tiny worms. We have a mosquito disk in the rain barrel & it seems to have done its job. Are these mosquito larva? I prefer the natural route but until I know what they are, I won't use this water for my plants. & how to kill them 'green'.
Any help would be greatly appreciated! I know it's hard to tell online. I searched & some say it's mosquito larva & others say Planaria. They are small, thin, whitish/clearish. Think like a paper clip & the length is like the lead on a #2 pencil.
Thank you!

Reina

ReinaRoelle
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Location: MI

Unfortunately, I couldn't get a good pic of them. They were indeed mosquito larva as most had hatched! We redid our barrel to have a tight fitting screen on top w/ a spigot. We had also cleaned the barrel thoroughly.
Thanks for the pic & the help.
Reina

cynthia_h
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Location: El Cerrito, CA

Should you (or anyone reading this thread) see mosquito larvae again, please call your local Mosquito Abatement District. Most places in the US have them; they're generally part of the county government.

Our local MAD :wink: has mosquito fish available. They're giving them out in neighborhoods where foreclosures have wreaked havoc w/yard and pool maintenance. Many backyard pools have become (according to the bit I heard on the radio yesterday) "alive" and "undulating" with such larvae. :shock:

So far as I know, the mosquito fish are free for the asking, as they're supported by tax dollars (often parcel taxes).

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

ReinaRoelle
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Location: MI

I searched my county & I didn't get anything. We are quite small. But this is a good idea. Thanks for sharing!
Reina

cynthia_h
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Dear Reina,

Please PM me with your town and county, and I'll take a look, too, to see about local mosquito abatement.

Cynthia

ReinaRoelle
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Location: MI

Thank you for the thought. I had already checked w/ our county & they don't know what I'm talking about! The county next to us has info tho, but they are bigger.
Reina

alexis tomato
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Location: Montreal, Quebec

Mosquitos

What I do is empty the rain barrel periodically when it gets low. OR
pour some cooking oil enough to cover the surface. Theoretically the larvae cannot stick their breathing apparatus through the heavy oil. And it won't hurt the plants. You might also want to add some insecticidal soap to the mix. :)
Just say NO to GMOs!

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JennyC
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Location: NW Georgia

Cynthia, the thing about mosquito control is that it's pretty well limited to urban and semiurban areas. In rural counties, the money just isn't there -- keep in mind that there are still many areas without municipal water; if there's no infrastructure for running water, there surely isn't any for mosquitoes! Without heavy population concentrations, fortunately, large-scale mosquito management is not as critical, though I realize we're getting alien diseases from the mosquitoes. Around here, though, only one of the six counties in this area (mine and the adjacent ones) has a mosquito program (because it has a small city).

Salt will kill mosquito lavae, too, but isn't good for plants! Vegetable oil is a really good idea.
Jenny C

markc
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Re: rain barrel & tiny worms

I know this is an old thread, but I have the same issue. They are not mosquito larva. After much research I believe I found the answer. TUBIFEX WORMS. I have attached a pic of the ones in my rain barrels. A Google search says they are often used for fish food. Found in streams and foul water. They tend to ball up when the water stills.

My question is how did they get in my Barrels. Especially since I just dumped the barrels and cleaned the a few months ago. Also still want to be sure using the water with them is okay on my garden veggies.

Mark
Attachments
Worms in 12oz jar 6.JPG
Worms in 12oz jar 6.JPG (16.6 KiB) Viewed 6241 times
Worms in 12oz jar 2.JPG
Worms in 12oz jar 2.JPG (21.9 KiB) Viewed 6241 times
Worm in 5 gal bucket 3.JPG
Worm in 5 gal bucket 3.JPG (26.94 KiB) Viewed 6241 times

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applestar
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Re: rain barrel & tiny worms

Looks to me like birdpoop is the answer
:arrow: https://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecolo ... d_worm.htm

...unless you've put mosquito fish in your rain barrels.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

evtubbergh
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Re: rain barrel & tiny worms

You also get a strain of Bacillus thuringiensis which kills mosquito larvae and eventually degrades. It's a very good organic control.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: rain barrel & tiny worms

The current issue (which would have been better as its own thread, than tacked on to an old thread about mosquito larvae) is about tubifex worms. I don't believe the Bt would have any effect against them.
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