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Keep Downspouts and Gutters Clear to Fight Mosquitoes

Making It Grow Minute

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control has a fact sheet with tips on eliminating mosquito breeding sites in your yard. It states that one of the places most overlooked that can really produce swarm after swarm of these blood-sucking insects (well, the female is bloodsucking, the male relies on nectar), is a closed downspout or gutter. For downspouts, you can get a gizmo similar to a plumber’s snake and work on that drain until it’s clear. I often see small trees growing out of gutters – a sure sign they are filled with decaying organic matter and enough water for mosquitoes to breed. If you’re accustomed getting on the roof and blowing pine straw and leave off, maybe you can clean out those gutters yourself Otherwise, play it safe -- hire a professional and keep your feet on the ground.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.