How To Kill Mosquito Larvae In A Drinking Water Tank

Drinking water tanks containing standing water can become a breeding site for mosquitoes, who lay their eggs in the water. The eggs soon hatch and become larval ‘nymphs’, the next stage of the mosquito's life cycle. If those larvae are left to grow unchecked, they quickly develop into adult mosquitoes.

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Mosquitoes are the main global vector for bloodborne diseases such as malaria, West Nile virus, Eastern Equine encephalitis and Zika virus. These human pathogens are rare in the UK but, even so, mosquitoes are known vectors of a wide range of potential allergens and animal diseases, and can easily contaminate a tank of drinking water supply So if you discover mosquito larvae (wrigglers) in standing water, you have to deal with it promptly. Here are some ways to get rid of mosquito larvae in water tanks.

How To Kill Mosquito Larvae In The UK

The best way to manage mosquitoes and other water-loving insects in water tanks is to stop them from entering in the first place.

1) Check inside tanks for mosquitoes and any larvae regularly during the warmer months. If you discover larvae, this indicates a gap or opening through which the females are entering and laying their eggs. Another possibility is that mosquitoes are laying their eggs in pooled rainwater in roof gutters connected to the tank.

2) Look out for areas near the tank where water may be pooling, for instance, below taps and outlets. Stagnant water in pots, buckets, old tyres and wheelbarrows can also offer ideal breeding sites, so empty any containers and store them upside down.

3) There is no safe way to eradicate mosquito larvae from a drinking water tank completely. If you add disinfectant chemicals, the water will not be safe to drink without further filtration and treatment. However, if the water is not going to be used for drinking by people, for example, in ponds, birdbaths or as agricultural drinking water, you can safely add a larvicide such as mosquito dunks. These briquettes float on the water's surface and slowly release a biocontrol agent that kills the larvae.

4) Other widely used methods include adding liquid paraffin or kerosene to water tanks. However, these treatments defeat the purpose of collecting pure rainwater for drinking or irrigation and are only considered a last resort.

Natural Ways To Control Mosquito Larvae In a Small Rainwater Tank or Barrel

Spraying a layer of vegetable oil or cinnamon oil onto the surface of the water is a quick and effective way of killing mosquito larvae. Allow about one teaspoon of oil per gallon of water, just enough to leave a visible film over the whole surface.

This works because mosquito larvae breathe through "snorkels" on their tails - this is why you see them gathering near the surface of standing water. The oil layer oil cuts off their air supply, so they suffocate and die. Do not use this method in fish ponds, as the fish will also suffocate. Luckily, mosquitoes are generally less of a problem in a pool with fish, as they eat the larvae.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

When dealing with mosquitoes in water storage tanks, one thing is clear: prevention is better than cure. At Enduramaxx, we provide an innovative range of plastic water tanks and bowsers to store water safely without the risk of mosquitoes gaining entry. For more information or a quick quote, please contact us by email or telephone: 01778 562810.

How Much Do You Really Know About Tank Maintenance? - LARGE

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