Normally I Like Water Features…

DSCN9840, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

But not standing water features. This pool of water here is likely to provide enough breeding grounds for mosquitos to menace Brightwood, Petworth, Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant. If not more. I don’t know if folks are hit by mosquitos as bad as I am but this sight terrifies me. I’d say we have like 2 weeks left before I can’t sit on the porch without showering myself in Deet or skinsosoft. True story – I once put so much skinsosoft on that I couldn’t open the door to get back in I was so greased up.

Anyway, a friend of mine told me that in Berkeley, CA you will actually get fined for having a pool of water on your property. Maybe we should institute something similar here?

15 Comment

  • I agree, fines are in order. The fountains at meridian hill park are full of mosquito larvae. Who can we call about that?

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @WDC I think moving water is fine. The Meridian Hill Park fountains are filled with moving water. It’s the still water we have to look out for.

  • Yeppers… there is no issue with fountains (unless they’re turned off).

  • Totally agree — that and fines for not cleaning your gutters should be insituted as welll — this is just basic health hazard. At least throw a mosquito dunk up there and into your “stganant pool” every one in a while.

  • Apparently the water in the fountains at Meridian Hill Park is not moving enough. Or we have new mutant skeeters that don’t need their breeding ground to be stagnant. Because I know mosquito larvae when I see them. These were in the top and bottom pools of the cascade.

  • saf

    WDC – that’s the National Park Service.

  • Just get some mosquito dunks from the hardware store. They’re little round things that have some fungus that attacks the larvae. Drop one in next time you stroll by – they float for a while, so you might want to tie them to something heavy if you need to be stealthy.

  • The lily ponds at the Kennilworth Aquatic Gardens have some kind of livebearing (guppy-like) fish in them to control the mosquitoes. I have guppies in our front yard pond, and recently started a regimen of algicide use to control the green. Algae is mostly harmless, just ugly to look at, but green doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a cesspool of mosquitoes. The guppies do nothing but breed, so if anyone wants some I have about a million to share.

    But I agree some pond owners need to step up. It’s actually a lot more work than most people expect. And these aesthetic efforts to improve your property value can become a drag over time. Smaller ponds are actually harder to maintain. In any case, you should change the water at least once a year, keep leaves out of ’em, and make sure you’re not a mosquito farm.

    They’re also a challenge to maintain in neighborhoods like Shaw. The pond is irresistible to kids who try to catch the goldfish with paper cups. 2 years ago raccoons were regularly visiting the pond at night. Then for a time the homeless were bathing in it (I do keep it clean I must admit). And our local gang didn’t like it because it’s too nice for Shaw and vandalized it a few times, but once they got used to the idea they left it alone.

  • PoP: All you needed to do is double down on your vitamin B!

    Bottomline….everyone can do their part and reducing breeding and eliminating standing water in and around your neighborhood.

    This sounds a little like Bob Barker’s where he ended his speech with these words: “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spay or neutered.”

  • The fish in question are actually called Mosquito Fish (Gambusia affinis). the are extremly voracious consumers of skeeter larvee. Gold fish also will consume. Eitherway they will take care of the pests. I would support fines for standing water that is not mitigated to control mosquitos wither chemically or naturally. I suspect buckets, drink cans, poorly maintained gutters, and other clutter is probably more to blame for the Tiger Mosquito infestation in the city than yard water features.

  • Gang’s vandalizing a fish pond? Assuming there is a hell, I would hope there is a special place for these stupid, stupid people. If not I hope they die as painful a death the fish suffered.

  • I sat on a bench in Dupont Circle on Saturday evening and got bitten alive by a couple of mosquitos. No standing water there. Mosquitos will take any water I think.

  • The Asian Tiger Mosquitos can breed in a tablespoon of stagnent water. Think about all the litter that can hold that amount of water. Clean up trash on public and private property is the first step. Second step is a look at the drainage infrastructure. I suspect they are breeding in my outside drain traps. Absent an outbreak of malaria or encephalitus, I doubt the city will do anything about it and a large portion of the population doesn’t give a crap. Buy DEET.

  • Can’t you just pour some household bleach in that thing to kill off the mosquito larvae? I’ve heard that’s one possible solution, but I’ve never tried it myself.

  • A fine would mean a law and enforcement which would mean city services… and seriously, the mosquitoes breed in tossed 40’s, playground equipment, improperly graded drain pipes, stormwater drains, pools and puddles, bird baths. Fines would be totally untenable, expensive, and pretty ineffective. It’s not just humans being lazy – it’s also that the tiget mosquito is a very versatile and adaptive bug (can survive the winters now). These are not the skeeters of our blissful childhood.

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