The best-laid plans of mice and men oft go…to the mosquitos?

No, no. “Oft go awry.” But if a pond full of mosquito larvae isn’t “awry,” I don’t know what is.

We were so excited by our DIY conversion of trash-to-treasure – that is, rusty bathtub to teal water garden – that we failed to think through all the potential ramifications. Isn’t that how every horror movie starts? This one is titled Maureen vs. The Mosquitos.

That would be the shortest movie ever. Mosquitoes hatch, find Maureen, eat her alive. The end. Seriously, if I’m in a room of 100 people and one mosquito, it will bite me 99 times. My brother-in-law tells people, “If Maureen’s around, you don’t need mosquito repellent. You’re safe.” I’m delicious.

The process went like this:

Rusty inside.

Rusty outside. Step one: move out of way of mowing equipment.

Step Two: notice holes look like Mr. Bill’s face, then cover them with metal.

Step Three: Bondo. For filling all kinds of bodies. This is not a sponsored post. Obviously.

Step Four: Move again, this time away from house. Prime and prime again.

Step Five: Paint! The best part. Still not a sponsored post.

Step Six: Leave it in the yard for weeks, but admire the color when you walk by. Send pics to friends and ask them to guess its destiny.

Step Seven: Move to its final location. Curse how heavy the tub is and how many times you’ve moved it. Level the ground and move it around some more. Fill with water.

Step Eight: Add plants. Admire handiwork. Gloat a little. A month later, run to the pond store for tiny little mosquitofish.

We thought a water garden would be a fun way to convert a rusty eyesore to a – dare I say whimsical? – conversation-starter. We scraped, applied Bondo, spray-painted, painted again, leveled the ground and filled it up. We added water plants and felt satisfied. We hoped the oxygenator we installed would keep down the algae and larvae. Our hopes were dashed: in little over a month, we had an algae-filled mosquito swamp.

We hadn’t gotten fish because we have raccoons and other critters and didn’t want to set up an all-you-can-eat sushi bar for wildlife. But we needed fish. Badly. Five days after fish entered tub (tiny little fish, not koi), it’s already clearer and the larvae population is down.

I won’t have to flee in terror, after all.