SWIMMING POOLS & MOSQUITO CONTROL. (Contról de Moscas en las Piscinas.)

Mosquito orgy: abandoned pool in barrio Santiago

MOSQUITO ORGY: a neglected swimming pool containing rain water and leaves in barrio Santiago.

¿What do you do with your pool while away?  ¿How many Merida homeowners are allowing mosquitos to party in standing water which collects in their backyards while they travel?  Last year I wrote about a biological control which can float in your untended pool, toxic only to mosquitos, introducing them to a deadly gut organism.  This year, due to widespread problems afflicting humans, I decided to do more.  While I was very happy with the biological product, I wanted to prevent access to the water altogether.  So I contrived my own cover, seaming together pvc-mesh screen as a physical barrier. (The entire project cost me about $70-usd, not counting the galvanized pipes supporting the mesh or the flashing, which I already had, and which prices I’ve forgotten;  and I still have almost a half roll of mesh left over.)  Here’s the finished installation:

Our pool, securely covered with a homemade screen.

Our pool, partially drained and covered by a homemade screen, measuring about 4-1/2 meters by 6m.

To start, I bought a roll of 60-inch x 30 meter pvc-mesh (malla) from a larger hardware supply, and a small can (una lata pequeña) of pvc cement (pegamento) from a local plumbing supply; and then I seamed together three lengths of screen, using a roll of aluminum flashing as a work surface so the cement didn’t bond with the paint on my roof, where I did the seaming. (Smaller hardware stores often sell mesh by the meter, but the ultra wide mesh may be more difficult to locate.)  I tested the bond for a week in the bright sun to be sure it would remain strong, trying two types of adhesive.  Both felt equally strong, so I went with the more neutral color.

Close-up of small can of adhesive, on seamed screen mesh

Close-up of small can of adhesive, on seamed screen mesh.


Adhesive test on two swatches of screen mesh.

Adhesive test on two swatches of screen mesh.


Joining the first pair of three lengths of screen on my roof — pool in top of photo.

Joining the first pair of three lengths of screen on my roof — pool in top of photo.

Of course, there are other places for mosquitos to party, so we each need to do our part:

A favorite breeding area maybe in a nearby yard.

A favorite breeding area may be in a nearby yard, guarded by ferocious beasts.




8 thoughts on “SWIMMING POOLS & MOSQUITO CONTROL. (Contról de Moscas en las Piscinas.)

  1. Now that is absolutely brilliant! Several of my friends have had problems with empty pools nearby breeding mosquitos, one of them periodically lobs chlorine tablets into the offending swamp.

  2. Thanks, T. But I claim no credit. Being schooled as a designer, I always love it when a design reveals itself, rather than being conjured. The concept came to me as a lucid dream. The only thing I brought to the party was the good sense to remember it in the morning. ~eric. PS: I would counsel your friend to try the donuts, if not the screen. Chlorine is nasty, corrosive, toxic, and should be used sparingly for its intended purpose — bacterial control, not skeeter patrol. Remember, we are citizens and inhabitants of the global environment, and as such, we pollute ourselves when we wage chemical warfare.

  3. Thanks for the nice comment on my blog, Theresa. As I probably don’t have many Mexican readers, I’m wondering if you know anybody in city or state gov’t whose attention might help this issue get better. It is stunning to me the lax attitude many locals have about screening. Even at Merida English Library there are no screens on the front door, which is left open all day! Yet the authorities are quick to spray poison everywhere — most of it on concrete and asphalt, and on people walking or dining. If the money spent on toxins were turned into a giveaway program for refunding the cost of screening material (but not labor) I think the incidents of disease transmission would decline significantly. Yes, of course, we are guests, and we should have no voice in telling our hosts how to run their community — but mosquitos don’t care if blood is expat or native!

    Back in November I quit going to California Gym because they have no screens at all, and I was getting bit every day while working out. I mentioned this several times to the manager, and asked him to take it up with the owner, but nothing was done. I’ve tightened our house, adding screens throughout. It is rare that we get bit indoors at home anymore, and if they get inside, I have a trap which I got at Home Depot, linked and reviewed by me, here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/review/R3ILIMB8EMRLEZ?ref_=glimp_1rv_cl

    The idea of VERIFICADO homes seems pointless to me, if there are no screens. Yes, we need to eliminate open containers in backyards, but water is not the only vector. Blood is the other one. And if mosquitos have 24-hour access to blood, they will continue to thrive and harm people, even while we sleep.

  4. COMMENT entered by me at Yucalandia blog, on topic of PLUMBING BREATHERS: [begin paste]

    Hi Steve,
    I have an eye-popping eyewitness story to tell about mosquitos breeding in septic systems in Yucatan. A friend had a small screened room built while he was away. The builders didn’t notice that inside this sitting room, screened on three sides, was a breather-vent for the septic system. When my friend returned, I was on hand when we both discovered that he had a cage filled with a huge cloud of mosquitos! (No, we did not count them, but it was impressive.)

    I’m a big believer in screening. I have tightened my premises, thoroughly excluding these invaders — including one 4″ rain drain tube that transports rooftop water thru a patio room, an addition housing an interior breather, which breather I’ve covered with screen — as skeeters could and did fly down the rooftop drain, emerging into the interior of the house thru that breather. Even toilet traps have potential for becoming breeding pools, if they offer unfettered access thru a rooftop breather! These tubes need to be covered with plastic screen. (Don’t use metal mesh, as it will rot.)

    Screens can be an important aspect of control. If homes lack thorough screening, biting insects have access to the blood they need to continue this plague. We all need to tighten our dwellings! I’ve written a blogpost on the topic of reducing breeding by covering neglected swimming pools at my site, MeridaGOround, presently linked with this comment. (my blogpost is not a “sticky” post, so later readers could simply search my site for the word MOSQUITOS.)
    ENTRY: https://yucalandia.com/science-health-issues/dengue-fact-sheet/#comment-207821

  5. I got very good at throwing chlorine tablets…. I have neighbors with abandoned swimming pools. a bit of mineral oil does the job, the chlorine tablets only worked a week or two at a time. The mineral oil lasts until the pool overflows.

    Also on my site, I have a new type of mosquito trap anyone can make themselves under the do it yourself section. Make some and when you have success with some larvae show your neighbors and help them make some and keep it moving out. Each person depending on the size of the property needs 4 outside and 2 inside as a minimum. It is $2.00 worth of screen. For outside I now recommend 5-gallon water jugs to be used with three entry screens.

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