Jamie Oliver

forum: Gardening / Growing

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#1 Thu 21 Jun 12 4:33pm

MsPablo

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Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

When collecting rainwater becomes a problem

For instance, my neighbor collects rainwater in huge open buckets and a closed rain barrel.  The problem is that when there is enough rain to fill the containers, there's no need to water and the water sits there until it becomes foul smelling and full of mosquito larvae.

I don't object to the rain barrel, except that it does have grooves that collect water on top and I can see mosquito larvae in those puddles.  Also, the water has a strong odor of sulphur and it's brown from the tannins from leaves in the gutters.  I would think this would only add to the too-low pH we have here.

I have asked to no avail that she empty the containers regularly.  She says she does, but it has never happened.  We have even done it ourselves when she was not home.  This angered her.  I think I can have the county warn or fine her, but I don't want to go that route.

Any advice?  Where can I direct this person to information that she will finally listen to and am I over-reacting?  We now have tiger mosquitos that bite during the day and they can carry malaria and dengue fever.

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#2 Thu 21 Jun 12 6:39pm

minerva

Forum champ
Occupation Walking the Old Ways
From Living in the Wild Woods
Member since Wed 16 Jan 08

Re: When collecting rainwater becomes a problem

I don't have the problem I have to say.............when it's hot in the summer the rain is long gone & there's no water left in storage, when the rain comes again our temperatures drop like a stone!

But on the occasions I have had smelly water in a waterbutt I have used a solution you use in ponds to sweeten the water, it remedies the pH problem & removes the smell.

As far as your neighbour is concerned, if speaking with her has done no good & you are obviously concerned for your own health as well as hers, go speak to your local Environmental Health Officer (ours is based at the local Borough Council Office), who will give you free & confidential advice, but who can also act on information given if your neighbour is deemed to pose a significant personal/public health threat. It doesn't usually mean a fine or anything, but a stiffish warning & they should come to check the problem has been sorted out. There are laws/bylaws to protect you, & these officers have to ensure people obey them.

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#3 Thu 21 Jun 12 8:14pm

MsPablo

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Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: When collecting rainwater becomes a problem

The state expects individuals to cope with the situation.  I know they'd send out information and have done so at my request in the past.  I've decided to buy the type of mosquito control that doesn't harm any other insects or animals.  It's $15 or $20.

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#4 Fri 22 Jun 12 1:30am

JoyYamDaisy

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From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: When collecting rainwater becomes a problem

You could sneak a couple of goldfish into her barrels to eat the mosquito larvae. Maybe she won't notice!

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#5 Fri 22 Jun 12 1:10pm

MsPablo

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Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: When collecting rainwater becomes a problem

Haha Joy, that's a nice idea.  The funny thing is, I had thought of it because the guy who used to live there had a bucket koi pond in the back garden.  He had to chase away raccoons regularly.  That would be an expensive raccoon meal. big_smile  yikes

Interesting, the state gives information about the habits of tiger mosquitos.  It's up to private citizens to do what they can because the 'preferred' breeding places are containers that hold water and rain barrels that have organic matter rotting in the water and located in shade.  They prefer this over clean water in sunshine.  She's providing all the right conditions.  Also, her gutters must be loaded with debris as I noticed they're still dripping after two days with no rain.  It could be that they are even breeding in the gutters so the water going into the rain barrel is full of larvae, despite the opening where the gutter drains into it being covered with screening.

Last edited by MsPablo (Fri 22 Jun 12 1:14pm)

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#6 Sat 23 Jun 12 10:04am

mummza

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Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: When collecting rainwater becomes a problem

I found that when I had a little pond in the garden with fish I it they did not eat all the mosquito larvae .

Where ever there are collections of water , even a muddy puddle from a dripping pipe you get those pesky Mosquitos breeding .
I often go round the garden and empty out residual bits of water from garden pots .
We also frequently refresh the birdbath at the front if our house by tipping a lot of fresh water into it spilling out the older water onto the garden .
The birds seem
To appreciate this happening and it washes out any lave that might be in the water.
We get a lot of birds that visit the birdbath on their way places .

I don't have a rainwater butt but have considered getting a sealed one that gets filled from the rainwater down pipe (through a small pipe clamped on the side and onto downpipe) , but as yet have not got one.

I had , what we think was a 'tiger mosquito ' bite last year when I was in the south of France, it gave me terrible blisters on my ankle  where I was bitten and a trip to the pharmacy in France and then doctor back in UK ! 

Some of these mosquito bites can be very nasty and make you quite unwell .
We don't have quite as much problem here as is warmer countries , but they are still pesky little things that I don't want to encourage .

Fortunatly , I don't have a neighbour with a stinky rainwater but like you do Martha , so I don't have that to contend with .
That screening is good for keeping out the mosquitos but you only need one tiny hole in it or for one mosquito to fly through when the door is open and you get a problem .

Last edited by mummza (Sat 23 Jun 12 10:09am)

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#7 Sat 23 Jun 12 1:51pm

MsPablo

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Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: When collecting rainwater becomes a problem

mummza, tiger mosquitos carry incurable diseases like malaria and dengue fever.  They are listed as one of the 7 most invasive species on the planet.  They are out biting during the day, usually beginning in July.  They came here from Asia in the used tired trade in the late 80's, inside of used tires being shipped over.  I thought we'd gotten rid of them with those two really cold, snowy winters, but on reading, they are still quite a bad problem in our state.  We have other species of mosquito that don't carry the incurable diseases, but can carry West Nile disease/Bird Flu.  I think most of us have had it or are immune by now from being bitten by mosquitos, but it was a problem with some people coming down with it and birds dying.  This lady also has bird baths that don't get washed out daily which I think is incorrect.  Birds are especially sensitive to dirty water and need fresh water every day, FWIU.

M

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#8 Sun 24 Jun 12 9:54am

Ashen

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Occupation Why is the Rum always gone???!
From out to lunch
Member since Sat 07 Jan 06

Re: When collecting rainwater becomes a problem

I think they are even making it up into southern Ontario now..    I have done the most sensible thing.  walked the yard dumping standing water and of course stocked up on Tonic water..     G and T's.. strictly for the quinnine medicinal factor of course. wink


Only a fool argues with a skunk, a mule or a cook.  { cowboy saying}
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#9 Sun 24 Jun 12 2:43pm

minerva

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Occupation Walking the Old Ways
From Living in the Wild Woods
Member since Wed 16 Jan 08

Re: When collecting rainwater becomes a problem

Ashen wrote:

G and T's.. strictly for the quinnine medicinal factor of course. wink

A lot of Tonic Water doesn't actually have quinnine in it anymore, if this mozzie problem doesn't go away (& methinks it won't any day soon) I reckon the quinnine may well be back before long.

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#10 Sun 24 Jun 12 3:15pm

MsPablo

Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: When collecting rainwater becomes a problem

She'll have to convert those rain buckets to quinine storage!

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