Mosquitoes aren’t just a nuisance, living their dream of disrupting our lifestyles and our leisure time. They also transmit diseases like West Nile Virus, dengue, and yellow fever. And to do this, they bite and suck.
These frustrating pests love humidity and water, and, believe it or not, humans. This makes your pool area the ecosystem for mosquitoes. What follows is a thorough understanding of how to keep mosquitoes away from your pool.
Get Rid of Mosquito Breeding Sites Around Your Pool
Water will always attract mosquitoes. Mosquitoes need bodies of water to lay their offspring. These waters have to be slow or stagnant. We’re talking puddles and ponds, drains, gutters, empty garbage cans, and more.
Lack of movement allows the insects to land on the water surface. They then layer floating clumps of eggs. The first, and one of the best ways you’re going to beat this cycle is to remove or treat a mosquito’s water resources to prevent their reproduction habits.
While mosquitoes will find your pool area, it’s not a sound environment if you’re regularly maintaining the swimming pool. Just running your pump a few hours a day creates a circulation that prevents mosquitoes from landing on your pool surface.
This doesn’t mean they’ll go away. You need to assess the entire pool area and see what else might be attracting pests. Here are a few tips that can help rid you of these biting insects.
Manage the Landscape
Soggy leaves, tall wet grass, and rotting things are all in a mosquito’s wheelbarrow. Rake leaves, mow grass, and remove rotting logs. Focus on areas that stay moist. The removal of organic debris enhances evaporation or drainage into the ground. This ensures uninvited pests don’t get comfortable enough to start a family.
Remove Standing Water
This is going to be difficult around the pool, but it should be a consideration. Look for areas that stay particularly damp and deal with them. Use your pump to deter egg-laying. If you have a fountain or wading pool, change the water at least once a week. If you have a moving fountain, keep it moving. And make sure to clean your pool properly after a rain storm.
Tree holes attract all kinds of insects and animals. If there’s water in the tree, look for mosquitoes to move in. You don’t want to kill your tree. A safe solution is filling the tree with expanding foam. This will seal the hole and not add weight to the tree trunk, but it’s best to have a professional arborist handle this task.
Ecologists ask that you only perform this function with trees that hold water, however. Ones that do not make safe havens for other wildlife.
How to Kill Mosquitoes
Now that we’ve gotten rid of many of the reasons why those pesky insects find your pool in the first place, we can take a look at the breeding itself.
To start, we want to try as hard as possible to move away from insecticide spraying. While it remains the most common and easiest solution, we need to remember three things:
- Insecticides have little impact on the spread of mosquitoes. It’s why you constantly spray.
- There are global efforts to move away from insecticide sprays.
- You, your family, and your guests are inhaling these lethal sprays, even if minutely.
Ultimately, if you want to remove mosquitoes from your pool area, we have to find safe, effective ways to decrease their numbers and range. But sometimes that may not be feasible. If you truly want to reduce getting bitten and maximize your poolside enjoyment, controlling the invasion may require going the distance.
Larvicides are the answer where you have no control over water collection, such as a woodland pool. There are different products. One’s an insect growth regulator. It bombards a juvenile growth hormone into developing larva. This prevents maturity in the early development stages. The second type uses bacteria to disrupt the larva’s nutritional intake.
There are also varying formulations. Dunks, bricks, water-soluble packets, and granules are all available. Read product labels carefully or talk with a vendor about what suits your situation.
Treating the Pool Area with Sprays
If we’re going to use sprays, we have to do it responsibly. Monthly applications by a professional will significantly reduce the adult mosquito population. You want a concentrated product labeled “mosquito control.” Today’s tech has seen the engineering of sprays that don’t harm people, pets, or plants.
Experts also apply insect growth regulators. These sterilize mosquitoes and can help make eggs inviable. This interrupts the reproduction cycle and in time can allow longer periods between spray treatments.
Ovitraps are containers you fill with water. They have an opening small enough to prevent animals from drinking the contents. They can be filled with fish who skill larvae and adult mosquitoes. You can bait the trap with chemicals and poisons.
The only problem is, while affordable, you need multiple traps to cover the pool area. It’s recommended you have one ovitrap for every two dozen yards.
Install a Bug Mister
Placed strategically around the pool area, bug misting systems hold an insecticide that releases a fine mist of vapors that kill insects. The device is activated by a remote or timer. A pro isn’t required to set these up.
There are toxic elements involved and some municipalities prohibit or regulate their use. Make sure they are (a) allowed and (b) there isn’t an alternative you can use first.
How to Prevent Mosquitoes From Getting Near Your Pool in the First Place
Keeping mosquitoes away from your pool is going to require due diligence. As stated, you have to get rid of what gives them a reason to linger. Next, there’s managing standing water and sanitation.
Realistically, you’ll never completely control the problem. But, you can greatly reduce the population and give yourself a better chance to enjoy your pool by setting up a few measures of precaution.
Keep your pool covered when it’s not in use. When your pool water is still, it’s an open invitation for all sorts of pests. A solar pool cover might be best for some pool owners because the idea of constantly covering the pool might not be feasible.
A solar cover protects the water but also has the potential to drive away pests. It reduces evaporation and can help keep the water heated. It’s also an eco-friendly solution, which means saving water, chemicals, energy, and money.
Proper Water Balance
Clean, balanced pool water makes the area uninhabitable for mosquitoes. Clean skimmers and filters on the regular. Track the pH levels carefully. Maintain the pool chemistry with a solid maintenance schedule. As we said, don’t expect 100% eradication, but look forward to a better environment.
Play Some Music
You may already be cranking the tunes but consider this benefit: Mosquitoes respond to low-frequency vibration. Now, music didn’t drive mosquitoes away but a study in Acta Tropica revealed females attacked less often and had a decreased sex drive after ten minutes of Skrillex.
Go Ahead And Use a Repellent
Despite the disadvantages to our global situation, sometimes a repellent is the most convenient way to deal with mosquitoes. They’re attracted to our body heat and the carbon dioxide we release as we breathe.
If you choose to use one, look for powerful products that offer hours of protection. Apply them only to exposed skin and never under clothing. Avoid spraying the facial area. Instead, spray your hands and apply it to your face. Do not spray on cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
Once you’re inside for the day, wash with soap and water, both yourself and your clothes.
Before your pool party, prepare. Get temporary sprays like resmethrin and pyrethrin that can be sprayed in the space. They’ll be effective for up to a day.
Another simple and sound option is, believe it or not, a fan. Mosquitoes can be easily disposed of with something as simple as the wind. Set a few fans around, turn them on, and let physics take over.
There are also candles. Citronella lanterns and torches, all provide a natural way to keep mosquitoes at bay. Scents and smoke disguise odors and will confuse mosquitoes. They’ll be hard-pressed to distinguish between humans and animals.
This is a pesticide-free application. Unfortunately, it’s only effective if you stay within proximity of the burning candles.
Hire a Professional
There are conditions that only a professional is designed to handle. Pest control contractors will have resources you aren’t even legally allowed to touch. They are trained in insecticide safety and skilled at knowing what to look for.
They’ll develop plans to beat down stubborn infestations and show you the best ways to maintain the fight. Their regular maintenance visits will ensure all is going according to plan and they will adjust said plans accordingly.
Though mosquitos can be an annoyance around your pool area, it’s not impossible to still enjoy a swim. By eliminating still standing water, ridding of debris, and eradicating areas where they can reproduce, you should remain pest free.
Be sure to always get additional information from reliable sources like the EPA, and call in the pros if more drastic measures need to be taken. With all this, you’re well on your way to taking back your afternoons by the pool.
Have questions? Let me know, happy to help.