A rooftop rainwater collection system can be a useful addition to almost any residential or commercial building and will help to reduce your property's water usage, utility bills, and environmental impact. However, it can also become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, putting your whole building at risk of a serious infestation.
How Do Mosquitoes Infest Rooftop Rainwater Collection Systems?
Most species of mosquito lay their eggs near water sources. They prefer still, stagnant water, which tends to contain more edible organic matter and does not have any strong currents that can kill the hatching larvae.
Unfortunately, a rooftop rainwater collection system can provide a perfect safe haven for breeding mosquitoes. They may lay their eggs in and around your building's water collection gutters, as well as within the downspouts that funnel collected water to the collection tank at ground level. They can also lay eggs within the collection tank itself, which can lead to particularly serious infestation problems.
It is worth stating that if your system is properly maintained and frequently used, it is very unlikely to become a mosquito breeding ground. Water passing through a functioning system will usually move too fast for mosquito larvae, and a well-maintained tank is almost completely sealed, preventing adult mosquitos from accessing the water within.
Mosquitos become more of a risk in systems with clogged collection gutters. Rainwater will quickly become stagnant when trapped within a blocked gutter, creating ideal conditions for breeding. If your collection tank has a damaged or loosened lid, or there are gaps where it connects to the downspout(s), mosquitos may find their way inside.
Your collection system may also be at risk if the weather in your area is unusually wet. During prolonged periods of wet weather, rainwater can accumulate in your system more quickly than it is used and may become stagnant. Rainwater may even start overflowing into gutters and drains, creating pools of standing water.
How Can You Tackle Mosquito Infestations In Rooftop Rainwater Collection Systems?
If you have noticed mosquitoes buzzing around your property and there are no immediately obvious water sources nearby, your collection system may be infested. Mosquito bites are painful and irritating and can spread a variety of dangerous diseases, so acting quickly is essential.
Call in a professional pest control service that specializes in mosquito prevention and extermination as soon as possible. They will inspect your rainwater collection system to find the source of the infestation, and locate any mosquito larvae and eggs. They will also inspect other areas of your property where mosquitoes may be breeding, such as laundry rooms, crawlspaces, and basements.
Once the mosquito larvae have been tracked down, your service will exterminate them quickly using professional-grade insecticidal sprays and/or powders. If larvae have infiltrated your water collection tank, they can be destroyed using specially formulated 'dunks'. These dissolving tablets contain bacteria that are harmless to humans, but rapidly infect and kill mosquitoes and their larvae/eggs.
Killing larvae and eggs will nip a mosquito infestation in the bud, as flying adults have very short lifespans. However, you must take steps to prevent new infestations from occurring.
A pest control service like Pass Pest Control can help you here, providing advice and materials on how to keep mosquitoes away from your rainwater collection system. Insect screens installed in tanks and around exposed downspouts and outlets will prevent them from accessing water sources. Clogged gutters can be unclogged to keep water from becoming stagnant, and damaged tanks or sections of piping should be repaired or replaced.