Throughout history, there has been an organism which has caused annoyance and discomfort to many trying to enjoy the outdoors. They are, of course, a breed of insects called mosquitoes, more commonly referred to as “mozzies.” While you don’t have to panic that these treacherous insects will likely bring you deathly diseases each time they bite, you still don’t want swarms of them hanging around your backyard. At the very least, they are a nuisance, and the bites are itchy.
The fact is mosquitoes breed in water. They particularly enjoy water that stands still; like the water in your rainwater tank. It is an ideal place for them to live and to lay eggs. In Australia, they are commonly responsible for carrying the Barmah Forest virus, the Ross River virus, and the infamous dengue virus. There were actually seven large outbreaks of Dengue between 1897 and 1955 in Australia. With rainwater tanks and their invitation of mozzie families as a common cause, they were ousted in most homes by the ‘90s. However, water tanks are seen as a fantastic way to source water, save money, and save the environment, as long as the mozzies are kept under control. Today, there are much better tools and educational materials available to better do so.
Precautions to Prevent Mosquito Breeding
The most obvious and most crucial way to prevent mosquito breeding in your water tank is to put a mesh mosquito filter on top of where the water collects. It is advisable to cover inlets and overflows with tightly fitted screened caps. Basically, all access points should be attended to and addressed to ensure infiltration cannot happen by any means. In ground water tanks at Sydney water tanks come with a 1mm steel mosquito-proof filter. That means water entering here is kept very clean and safe.
It would be best if you also considered other ways mosquitos may get into your water tank, such as through the gutters. The eggs can possibly wash into the tanks and get in that way, so you must also guard these areas. You should further make sure that rainwater is not pooling in any areas, besides your water tank. When water collects, for example in areas beneath the tank outlets, it also becomes a breeding area for mosquitos. They can surprisingly lay eggs in relatively low-depth pools of water, so don’t dismiss these. Having breeding areas around your water tank can lead to worse problems.
Even when following these precautions, you should still regularly check for mosquito larvae every six months, to be sure these pesky pests have not infiltrated anywhere near your water supply. It is important that the filters remain undamaged and intact. Preventing problems before they happen is key to make sure they don’t worsen before they begin.
It’s Worth It
Although mosquitoes and the possible breeding of them in water tanks pose a serious threat, proper maintenance and care can prevent them from ever becoming a problem. By making sure you won’t provide a happy home for them in or near your water tank, you can reap all of the benefits water tanks have to offer without any of the risks.