today's project is to make some filters/bug screens for my cisterns.
I do have a bit of a skeeter problem, and I attribute this in part to
the fact that the tops of the cisterns are open (there's an air gap
between the downspouts and the cisterns) and the PO of the place
simply shoved some aluminum screen in there to filter out the pine
needles and keep the bugs out. They're not really anchored well
though so I'm going to make some rings out of Masonite and screw them
down with a little silicone to truly bug-proof them.
Here's the question, though - I was thinking that skeeters could
probably get through a standard piece of window screen, so I went to
REI and bought a cheap little single person mosquito tent thing
thinking i would cut it up and sandwich a piece of that material
between two pieces of aluminum window screen for strength. Here I
unpack it and the holes in the mosquito net aren't any smaller than
just the screen alone. Will this be adequate, or should I look for
something finer? Cheesecloth maybe?
I don't think so. Wouldn't there be mosquitoes in most people's
homes if that were the case? Mosquitoes may be little but they
still have wings and their wingspan must be longer than the holes in
the screens or they'd make screening with smaller holes. And I've
seen mosquitoes. I think their wingspan is twice as long, and I don't
think they can fold back their wings and walk through the holes
either. I forget why, but maybe their wings can stop but won't fold
There you go! I was going to say that I figured they wouldn't be.
The difference between the two is tha t mosquito netting rolls up and
folds up, and aluminum windows screening doesn't (well it does, but
it's hard to straighten out later) Vinyl window screaning is more
pliable, but cloth mosquito netting and whatever material is used in
tents is much more pliable than either window screening.
Either would be adqueate, no don't look, cheesecloth is made from
cotton or something and if it is outside, gets wet, never dries in
some spots, it's going to rot.
You may be right, I got the first screen assembly done the other day
and set it in place while the silicone I used to goo it all together
was setting up. When I pulled it back out to wave a spray can at it a
whole mess of skeeters flew out of the cistern, so I can only assume
they were trapped in there by the screen. This without even screwing
it down or using weatherstrip on the underside, which I'd planned to
do. So far so good. I'll knock the other one out tonight if it's not
too dark by the time SWMBO gets home (need her to hold the stock
steady while I cut, since my "workbench" is the picnic table, so
drilling holes in it for dogs would probably not be a good idea,
domestic tranquility wise...) I already clamped screens over the
overflow pipes and also the air vent in the composter, I don't see any
standing water anywhere (no water in saucers under plant pots, etc) so
hopefully this will convince the little buggers that they're just not
Gaah... just remembered another possible "gotcha" there is an
abandoned downspout drain pipe underneath the deck, and I can't
remember if it was capped off or not... I'll bet you that's where some
of them are coming from. don't know why I didn't think of this
Snicker, I feel your pain.
To the origional poster, I'd use a flexible plastic/vinyl window screening
or that nylon net you already have. I'd also add a light layer of some sort
of oil to the water top to prevent most bugs from being able to germinate in
there. In my case, it would be something food safe 'just in case kids or
pets' got into it. That of course assumes it's a cistern for grey water
use, not showers or drinking. (Plant irrigation etc, old cooking oil is
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