#WaterWatch

How to prevent stagnant stored water becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes

As dam levels continue to drop in Cape Town, many Capetonians are trying to do their bit using all manner of receptacles to collect rainwater and even store greywater.

But with summer around the corner, won't those many tanks and containers of water become breeding grounds for the annoying mosquito?

Professor Mike Picker, deputy head of UCT's Department of Biological Sciences, says clean water will not attract mosquitoes, but water that's been standing for a while will definitely become a breeding ground.

Homes often have empty containers and buckets that gather rainwater and sit for along enough period of time for mosquitoes to begin breeding.

Having open containers of water, particularly if they are not used regularly will definitely provide additional breeding sites for mosquitoes.

Prof Mike Picker deputy head of Department of Biological Sciences at UCT

Picker says it is not difficult to control the breeding of mosquitos though.

Just cover the container with a lid, or pour a thin layer of liquid paraffin or any cooking oil on top and the larvae will suffocate.

He says that if there is a tap at the bottom of a container to release the water for usage, it will be unaffected by the thin layer of oil.

Mayco Member for Safety and Security Alderman JP Smith says it is important for people to control mosquito breeding in our backyards.

However, he says the kind of mosquitoes that carry diseases like malaria are not found in Cape Town, though the house mosquitoes are considered a big nuisance.

In terms of the City's by-laws, we have an Environmental by-law provision that says if your neighbour is causing you problems with large bodies of standing water that they are not attending to, then the City can give an instruction for a person to clear the water.

JP Smith, Mayco Member for Safety and Security

Smith also explains that water tanks have filters over any openings to prevent mosquitoes laying eggs.

To hear the rest of the interview, listen below:


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