Mosquitoes are some of the most annoying pests around. And there is nothing that can ruin your swimming pool experience as quickly as a hoard of mosquitos feasting on you and your pool patrons. Not only are mosquitos irritating, but they are known to transmit dangerous diseases like West Nile Virus, dengue, and yellow fever.
These critters love humidity and water, making your pool area the perfect ecosystem for mosquitoes. In this article, I will go over some tips and tricks on how to keep mosquitoes away from your pool.
- One of the key ways to get rid of mosquitoes from your pool area is by disrupting their breeding area.
- Try and avoid using pesticides at all costs. There are other more sustainable ways to get rid of mosquitoes.
- A great way to prevent mosquitoes from overtaking your backyard is removing things that are attracting them there in the first place.
Get Rid of Mosquito Breeding Sites Around Your Pool
Still bodies of water will always attract mosquitoes because these insects require water to lay their eggs. Anything from puddles and ponds, to drains, gutters, and empty garbage cans can attract mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes may initially find your pool area attractive, but a swimming pool is not their ideal environment, especially if you regularly maintain the swimming pool. Just running your pump a few hours a day creates circulation that prevents mosquitoes from landing on your pool surface and laying eggs.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean they’ll go away. You need to assess the entire pool area, as well as your backyard to see what else might be attracting pests. Here are a few tips to help rid you of these nasty insects.
Manage the Landscape
Soggy leaves, tall wet grass, and rotting things all attract mosquitos. So rake your leaves, mow the grass, and remove rotting logs. Focus on areas that stay moist. Removing organic debris will help with evaporation or drainage into the ground. This ensures the uninvited pests don’t get comfortable enough to start a family near your pool.
Remove Standing Water
Mosquitos are infatuated with still water because this is where they lay their eggs and multiply. So, your best bet in avoiding an entire lineage of mosquitos from emerging in your yard is to cut down on standing water as much as possible. This is going to be difficult, especially if you live in an area with lots of rain, but the effort is DEFINITELY worth it unless you like to have mosquitoes feasting on you.
Start by getting rid of any permanent bodies of still water. Bird baths, kiddie pools, exposed buckets, and other areas for water to collect all need to go! Also, look for areas that stay particularly damp and deal with them. Try and keep the area around the pool as dry as possible, especially after using the pool.
Let Your Pool Pump Do Its Job
Use your pump to deter egg-laying. Leave the pump on for at least a few hours a day to keep the water moving. 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 rainstorm.
Check Your Air Conditioner Drip Tray
This may seem like a crazy one, but as I mentioned above, mosquitos LOVE standing water, and the water in your AC drip tray is a perfect breeding ground for these pests if left unemptied. So, if you are looking to remove any possibility of mosquitos breeding in your yard, empty your drip trays often.
Holes in trees or stumps attract insects of all sorts, including mosquitos. Check the holes to see if any water is collecting.
A safe solution for this issue is to fill 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 seal the hole only if you’re having issues with it holding water and attracting mosquitoes. It should be a last resort as some tree holes are used as safe havens for other harmless wildlife.
Fix any Holes or Crevices in Your Yard
If your yard is uneven, puddles may quickly form when it rains. As you probably know by now, for mosquitos, this is like a bear and honey. So, in no time, you can expect a hoard of mosquitos to raid your pool! To avoid this, get some extra dirt and level your yard so puddles won’t form when it rains.
Keep Up with Your Maintenance and Check Your Chemical Levels
This is one of the most important things to stay consistent with as a pool owner. Clean your pool consistently, check that your pH and chlorine levels are correct, and treat any algae or mold. A dirty pool is attractive to mosquitoes, so keep it crystal clear!
How to Kill Mosquitoes
Now that we’ve looked at the reasons mosquitoes find your pool in the first place, we can look at the breeding itself.
To start, you want to avoid using insecticides. While it remains the most common and most straightforward solution, we need to remember three things:
- Insecticides have little impact on the spread of mosquitoes.
- There are global efforts to move away from insecticide sprays.
- You, your family, and your guests inhale these fumes, which can be harmful even in small amounts.
Ultimately, to remove mosquitoes from your pool area, you should find a safe and effective way to decrease their numbers.
Mosquitoes go through a life cycle, starting with eggs, then larva, then pupa, and finally, adult mosquitos. Larvicides are designed to kill mosquitoes at the larva stage of their lifecycle. The larvicide can be put in any body of water you suspect mosquitos are laying eggs in. It should be reasonably effective at eliminating them.
Larvicide is also generally safer than a standard pesticide, but check the warning labels before using it to be confident it will not harm your pets or children.
You can read my entire article on getting rid of larvae in your pool for more tips.
Treating the Pool Area with Sprays
If we use sprays, we have to do it responsibly. Monthly applications by a professional will significantly reduce the adult mosquito population near your swimming pool. Ensure the product is safe and not harmful to people, pets, or plants.
Experts also apply insect growth regulators. These sterilize mosquitoes and can help make eggs unviable. This interrupts the reproduction cycle and, in time, can allow more extended periods between spray treatments.
An ovitrap is essentially a dark bucket filled with water that mimics an ideal breeding site for mosquitos. Two types of ovitraps are generally used. One contains a pesticide that kills mosquitoes when they land on the trap to lay eggs. The other includes a mesh that traps mosquitoes in the ovitrap after the eggs have fully formed but does not kill the female mosquitoes that lay the eggs.
Both are effective at stopping rapid reproduction of the mosquito population in your yard. However, keep in mind that you will need to invest in 3-5 ovitraps to place around your pool area.
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 professional isn’t required to set these up.
There are toxic elements involved, and some municipalities prohibit or regulate their use. Therefore, make sure that (a) they are allowed, and (b) there isn’t a safer alternative you can use first.
Kill Individual Mosquitos
Obviously, the end goal is to wipe out the entire mosquito population in your pool area, but every single mosquito that you manage to kill helps! So, if you see one of these annoying pests flying around, feel free to give them a smack with your hands or a flyswatter. Alternatively, you can also grab a portable vacuum and suck up any mosquitos you find.
What about a Bug Zapper?
A bug zapper may seem like the obvious choice for getting rid of mosquitos in your pool area, but this should not be your first choice when looking to kill mosquitos specifically. While a bug zapper doesn’t necessarily hurt, it won’t be the most effective mosquito-killing device. Studies have proven that out of all the insects killed by bug zappers, only 4-6% are mosquitos. So, it’s safe to say that these little pests are a bit smarter than a bug zapper, unfortunately.
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. Realistically, you’ll never completely control the problem. But you can significantly reduce the population and give yourself a better chance to enjoy your pool by setting up a few precautionary measures.
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, including mosquitoes. 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 and can potentially 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 even money.
Proper Water Balance
Clean, balanced pool water makes the area uninhabitable for mosquitoes. So clean skimmers and filters on the regular. Maintain the pool chemistry with a solid maintenance schedule. Don’t expect 100% eradication, but look forward to a better environment.
Play Some Music
This one may come as a surprise, but mosquitoes respond to low-frequency vibration. Although not agreed upon by all biologists, a study in Acta Tropica revealed females attacked less often and had a decreased sex drive after ten minutes of Skrillex.
Consider a Pool Enclosure
In regions where mosquito infestations are more of a risk, building screen or glass pool enclosures around swimming pools is common. If you are experiencing relentless attacks from swarms of these annoying bugs, building one over your pool may be a good idea.
Another possible solution to your insect problem is installing bug nets around your pool and patio. You can purchase a mesh net covering your entire pool to prevent insects from breeding there. It is a cheaper option than installing a full pool cover.
Installing mosquito net curtains around a patio near your pool is also a good idea. This will allow you to relax outside without the threat of being bitten.
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 directly onto 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 yourself with soap and water and wash your clothes too.
Plant Some Mosquito Repelling Plants
Nature can actually work in your favor in helping get rid of mosquitos in your pool area. There is a plethora of plants that naturally repel mosquitos, so planting these near your pool may just be the fix to your mosquito issue. Here are some of the best mosquito-repelling plants.
- Lemon balm
Light Some Candles
You can’t just light any old candle and expect it to drive away the mosquitos, but citronella candles are known to drive these flying insects away. You can place citronella candles or torches around your pool area as a barricade to keep mosquitos from ruining your oasis.
Before your pool party, you need to prepare. Get temporary sprays like resmethrin and pyrethrin. They will be effective for up to a day.
Another simple option is 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.
Citronella lanterns and torches provide a natural way to keep mosquitoes at bay. Scents and smoke disguise odors and will confuse mosquitoes. Mosquitoes find animals and people to suck on from the smell of lactic acid and carbon dioxide. Citronella masks these scents. Unfortunately, this is only effective if you stay near the burning candles.
Hire a Professional
There are conditions that only a professional is designed to handle. Pest control 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.
Get My Free Pool Care Checklist
Download my free, printable pool maintenance checklist to help you accomplish regular pool care tasks for any type of swimming pool.
Though mosquitos can be an annoyance around your pool area, it’s not impossible to still enjoy a swim. You should remain relatively pest-free by eliminating still water and cleaning up areas where they can reproduce.
Be sure to always get additional information from reliable sources like the EPA and call in the professionals if more drastic measures are needed. With all this, you’re well on your way to taking back your afternoons by the pool.
Have questions? Let me know; I’m happy to help.