The Q&A Archives: Mosquitos

Question: I live in an apt in NYC with a terrace. The terrace floor is made up of concrete pavers, which are too heavy to lift. There supposedly is a drain underneath the pavers. Anyway, I notice standing water in the cracks between pavers and I'm worried about mosquitos. What can I slip in between the pavers into the water to thwart a breeding ground for mosquitos/sinsect so I can enjoy my terrace?

Answer: This is an interesting question. The standing water might be caused by uneven subfloor beneath the pavers so that water pools rather than runs off toward the drain. But, it might be a good idea to check that the drain is working correctly and not clogged, just to avoid future problems with possible flooding. I am hesitant to suggest slipping sand or gravel in between the pavers for several reasons: the material might migrate and clog the drain and/or trap organic matter and clog as a result, mosquitoes can breed in damp soil or mud, and this would increase the weight of the patio as well. If the water disappears within a couple of days then the mosquito larvae would not have time to mature. There is a product, Bacillus thuringiensis, that is sold in the form of mosquito dunks and quick kill pellets. These dissolving products are floated in stagnant water and release the Bt slowly over time to kill the larvae in the water. Perhaps this type of product would work for you. Or, you could float a tiny bit of vegetable oil in the puddle. This would discourage the mosquitoes from breeding there. I hope this helps!

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