A new study, published on the PLOS website, has revealed that mosquitoes are finding that warmer temperatures and more water containers in gardens are inviting mosquitoes into UK cities.

Writing in their paper, Dr Amanda Callaghan and colleague Susannah Townroe observed: “Within the UK, water butts (a container for rainwater) are becoming increasingly common in residential gardens… A severe drought and subsequent hosepipe ban in the spring of 2012 across southern and eastern England led to reports of hugely inflated sales of water butt containers….Water butts collect rain from roof guttering along with vegetation, animal detritus… providing both a habitat and food resource for mosquito larvae.”

Unfortunately, the authors of the report don’t offer any advice on how to stop mosquitoes using your water butt. I would guess that sealing the lid and area around where the pipe enters the water butt would help, although I suppose that mosquitoes could also fly up the pipe.

I searched for some advice and found this on an Australian government website. So it seems that you can prevent mosquitoes breeding without having to set fire to your rain water butt – just a pity that the PLOS (still don’t know what that stands for) team, didn’t offer any similar advice.

PLOS is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world’s scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information about PLOS, visit www.plos.org