In this article, I’ll be giving you tips on how to stop mosquitoes from breeding in water tanks.
Mosquitoes are mainly tropical, African insects, but can also be found in areas that have a predominantly warm climate. These insects are far from friendly, as the female species sucks on human blood.
They make a habit of laying their eggs on standing water, and your water tank is not left out.
If this has caused you some concern, here is a guide on mosquito control.
Facts About Mosquitoes
Having a fair idea of mosquitoes and their breeding habits will help you figure out what to do when you find mosquitoes breeding in your water tank.
As I have mentioned before, the female mosquito sucks on human blood. Why do they do this? Well, it’s because human blood is a diet that not only nourishes them but also boosts egg production.
Mosquitoes prefer warm climates, so you can find them mostly in tropical areas, or during the hot summer seasons.
The females love to lay their eggs on several forms of standing water. These include swimming pools, puddles of water from leaking pipes, lakes, rivers, standing water in gutters, and of course, your water tank.
How Did Mosquitoes Get Into My Water Tank?
Don’t be shocked when you find mosquitoes inside the water you get from your water tank. They didn’t just appear there, they gained entry through one or more entry points.
Since a rainwater tank is meant to collect and store rainwater, it means there is an opening at the top of the tank. This opening is the major point of entry for the mosquitoes.
Not to say the top opening is the only way the mosquitoes can get into the tank because there are several other means.
If the tank is cracked at the side, then there will be a small opening the mosquitoes can use to get inside. If it is a metal rainwater tank, then there may be a rusted point which has led to an opening in the tank.
Why You Must Stop Them From Breeding In Your Water Tank
Letting mosquitoes make their way into your water tank and breed is a bad situation. If you don’t do something quickly, this malaria-carrying bugs will contaminate your water and make it unsafe to bathe with or drink.
There are indeed water filters and purifiers that can clean up your water, but maintaining the best water cleanliness practices is always the right option.
Allowing mosquitoes to breed in your water tank would not only mean contamination, but it will also mean there will be a new set of young mosquitoes for you to deal with shortly.
How To Stop Them From Breeding In Your Water Tank
There are three tactics you can employ to stop mosquitoes from breeding in your water tank.
These are –
- Stopping them from gaining entry into the water tank
- Killing them before they get the chance to get into the water tank
- Preventing them from being in your yard in the first place
If your water tank is already infested with mosquito eggs, then it’s too late. The first thing you need to do before you employ any preventive measure is to drain the tank to get rid of all the contaminated water.
All you have to do is turn on the tap and let the water flow out until the tank is empty.
Keep in mind that standing water attracts mosquitoes, so do not drain the water directly on your yard floor. Rather, fix a hose at the tip of the tap and channel the water away through the gutter so it will flow away and not be left standing.
When you have drained all the contaminated water out of the tank, it would be best to call a few professionals to come over and give the tank a thorough wash and drain.
The reason this is advisable is that there may be some mosquito eggs hanging on the sides of the tank, which didn’t flow out with the rest of the water.
When the tank is all set, clean, and mosquito-free, then you can begin executing your prevention plans.
Stopping Them From Gaining Access Into The Water Tank
After you have drained and cleaned the water tank, the next thing to do would be to prevent the mosquitoes from ever gaining access and breeding inside.
Below are tips on how you can achieve that.
Install Strainers & Mosquito-Proof Screens
To keep mosquitoes out of your water tank, mesh screens will do an excellent job. The screens should have a mesh size of about 1mm and should be installed on the outlets, overflows, and every other entry (or exit points).
Be sure that the screens you install are made from durable materials like copper or brass. Other materials such as aluminum and stainless steel can also be used for mesh screens.
Use Flap Valves
A flap valve will also do a good job of keeping mosquitoes out of your water tank when it is shut. Using this, the mosquitoes will not be able to access the inside of the water tank through any of the openings.
Fix Any Openings
If your water tank has any openings other than the intended design, then it needs to be fixed as quickly as possible. It takes only a moment for a group of mosquitoes to invade, so the sooner the holes are fixed, the better.
These holes could have come about due to wear and tear. The tank may have also been made from weak materials that can’t last.
Whatever the case, you need to do regular inspections around your water tank to see if there are any punctured holes, especially if you have just finished draining and washing the tank.
If you discover any holes, then you can patch it up to seal off access.
If it’s a plastic tank, the holes can be sealed with another piece of plastic that is large enough to cover the hole. You can call a professional contractor to help you patch up the tank.
If it is a metal tank, then a piece of metal plate can be used to seal off the holes. You can hire a welder to do this for you.
If you find one or two holes in your water tank, it means the tank is damaged. While patching up the holes is not a bad idea, it is always better to just buy and install a brand new water tank. But that’s if you have the budget for it.
Practicing good maintenance habits will keep your water tank in prime condition for as long as the tank can last.
Checking and cleaning the first flush device of your rainwater tank’s collection system is a maintenance practice that can help keep the mosquitoes out of your water tank.
Do this every two to three months for the very best results.
You should also inspect and clean the inside of the tank every quarter. Doing this will ensure all set build-up in the tank will be eliminated.
Hire a professional contractor to do this for you.
Repelling Mosquitoes Before They Enter Your Water Tank
As the old saying implies, prevention is much better than searching for a cure. What this simply means in this context is – if you don’t want mosquitoes breeding in your water tank, then it’s best you don’t allow them to exist in your yard in the first place.
Realize that these mosquitoes don’t just come from outside your yard and fly straight into your water tank. On the contrary, they would have been hanging around small puddles of water and other spaces in your yard before they migrated into your tank.
So, how can you keep mosquitoes from existing in your yard?
Below are a few things you can do.
Remove All Standing Water
If you have standing water around your yard, then you are inviting mosquitoes in. It doesn’t even matter how small the patch of water is, as long as it can hold a decent number of mosquito eggs, then they will breed on it.
Be sure to eliminate all standing water from your garden or close to the house to make the environment unattractive to the mosquitoes.
The standing water could be as a result of leaking pipes or faucets. Inspect them all to see where the leakages are then hire a plumber to get them fixed.
Clear Out Debris And Other Hiding Spots
If your yard is filled with old piles of dead stumps, or heaps of rotting tree branches, then there will be mosquitoes lurking and hiding in-between the spaces in the heap.
Clear out such piles and remember never to keep overfilled trash bins around your yard.
You can also make use of repellent sprays.
The best way to keep mosquitoes from breeding in your water tank is by sealing off all entry points. You can also follow the extra tips provided to reduce their population in your yard.
I hope this article on how to stop mosquitoes breeding in water tanks has been helpful.