To have a pool that is constantly attacked by mosquitoes is not just a hassle but it’s also disgusting. Not to mention the health hazard you would be nurturing accidentally. But not to worry.
There is a list of things you can do to the pool or get from the store to put an end to this mosquito menace.
In fact, there are quite a few guidelines put in place by different states to ensure that your pool does not turn into a breeding ground for these blood suckers. Let’s get started.
Put an End to the Mosquito Life Cycle
A mosquito’s life cycle has four distinct stages. Three of them are spent in water. The
eggs turn into larvae and then grow into pupae before the insect develops wings and flies away (or chooses to stay).
As long as they don’t develop wings, they stay in the water and also don’t bite. So you must get to them before the biting and the mating begins. There are a few things you can do to nip this problem in the bud. Take a look.
Dump Standing Water
The most important step in avoiding mosquitoes from gathering at all is not to have still water. How can you do that with a pool?
Well, for one, you can start by inspecting the surroundings after rain. That’s because water tends to gather into little puddles and attracts insects if it’s not taken care of right away.
Buckets that have been collecting water, the crevices of old tires, damp areas in the yard are all potential breeding zones.
If you have wading pools or fountains that cannot be overturned, change the water in them. And this is why it is important to do so on a weekly basis.
Mosquito eggs can often survive for months waiting for water to help them hatch. Even the lightest of rain showers can help them get exactly that.
Then it takes the eggs just about two weeks to grow. But they can’t develop in moving water. That’s why fountains are a bit easier to maintain.
But it’s not the same with pools. And it’s not practical to change the water every time it rains. So, here are a few tips to take care of that problem.
Use a Pool Cover
Place a cover on the pool when you are not using it. This is definitely helpful and applicable during the monsoons.
You might think the light breeze keeps the water moving and avoids mosquitoes but it really doesn’t. You know how inviting it looks to you on a hot summer day?
That’s how it looks to mosquitoes all the time. Especially those that want a spot to lay eggs.
A pool cover is the simplest way to keep that disgusting process from unraveling in your backyard (or wherever your pool is).
If it seems like a lot of work, you might want to start looking at solar pool covers.
They are useful in covering the surface of the pool and also help reduce evaporation and keep the pool from freezing to a certain extent.
Keep up with Your Landscaping
Make sure the landscape that surrounds the pool is well maintained. Tall grass, overgrown hedges and weeds are all bad news.
They invite mosquitoes to breed in the cool flora on hot summer days. Kill the weeds and cut the grass on time to avoid hiding spots for mosquitoes. If you have artificial grass, make sure it is drained from time to time.
Also check for puddles and smaller patches of dampness that can be a refuge for the bugs.
If your neighbors have a similar structure, you might want to reach out to them and discuss yard maintenance techniques. Soggy leaves, moist decks and rotting logs are also red flags. Clean the area regularly and dispose of the materials that are out of place.
Fill Tree Holes
If you have old trees with holes on your property, make sure it doesn’t hold water. They are a great home for birds and some insects but are also equally excellent breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
You can choose to check and clean them regularly. If you are sure that they hold water, you can fill them with expanding foam insulation and put an end to the problem once and for all.
It does not add any weight to the tree and you can sand the foam layer or paint it to match the decor.
Repair Septic Tank Cracks
This is one of those areas that needs strict maintenance but doesn’t often get it. Remember that your septic tank is waiting to turn into a breeding ground for all kinds of insects.
So you must check the ventilation pipes, walls of the tank and gaps in the tank cover to make sure there is no entry path for mosquitoes.
Get a screen mesh for the pipes. Get some cement for the tank walls and replace tank covers if they don’t fit tight.
Maintain Proper Pool Chemistry
Everyone who thinks about owning a pool knows they need to keep it clean. But making sure the pool chemistry is just right is step one in maintaining it.
We’ll tell you what it means. Your pool must have balanced water which means the chemicals in it must have the right kind of relationship with each other.
Water changes throughout the year. And its chemical balance also changes depending on the weather, oils and the dirt in it due to usage.
So you must filter and disinfect the water to remove these contaminants. Balancing water chemistry requires the right level of pH, alkalinity and calcium hardness. Basically, the water can neither be corrosive nor scaling.
To make sure that happens, you must change the water often depending on the weather in your region and make it unpleasant for mosquitoes to stay, let alone breed.
It is easy to ensure this if you have a pool maintenance schedule.
How to Kill Them All
Mosquitoes aren’t the only insect problem that could plague your pool. There are plenty of blood suckers out there that could destroy your pool.
But there are a few tools that could help you get rid of them all.
Mosquitoes go from eggs to larva to pupa stages. Larvicides take care of the second and third stages. These products are available in the form of liquids, tablets, pellets and granules.
All you have to do is place them in gutters, septic tanks, on pool covers and wading pools. Basically, put there wherever you think the bugs are likely to be.
Larvicides registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) come with label instructions on how to use them. These come in three types—bacterial larvicides, insect growth regulators and oils and films.
Bacterial larvicides are made of natural substances that are found in soil and have been in use for about three decades. Insect growth regulators stop larvae from growing into adult mosquitoes.
Oils and films are spread over the surface of water and are used to kill larvae and pupae by drowning them in the same water. They are very effective.
These are pesticides that can kill adult mosquitoes that are capable of biting. They are available in the form of sprays, foggers and coils, etc.
Check the labels and get one that is specifically meant for outdoor use. Place or spray it in damp and dark areas that are popular mosquito hangouts.
Make sure you keep them away from plants that need insects like bees for pollination.
Home Mosquito Misters
You can also get mosquito misters like hanging lanterns that spray insecticide mist for small areas.
You can also install a system with a reservoir unit for large areas. Just make sure they are regulated by the EPA or your state.
A lot of them are not 100 percent safe. So, it is important to follow the instructions to the tee.
Bats, mosquito fish and purple martins are always a part of conversations around getting rid of mosquitoes.
These predators love them some mosquitoes. They are also a natural way of getting rid of the insect.
But remember that it works as a strategy only if there are no bigger prey in sight.
Dragonflies, for example, are often described as mosquito-eating machines. But to attract them, you need a small water body like a pond with tall plants.
The same is the case with mosquitofish. And in some cases, you can get them for free too.
Bats too have a steady diet of insects like moths, beetles and, of course, mosquitoes. But admittedly, this is not a great practical solution. In fact, bats are carriers of some dangerous diseases like rabies.
So, don’t try to attract them. But if you already have some in your area, maybe don’t get rid of all of them.
Tools to Keep Mosquitoes off Limits
While cleaning the yard and maintaining pool chemistry is necessary, there are a few things you can get from the store that will help you manage your pool on a daily or weekly basis.
These are things that will stop inviting mosquitoes towards your pool in the first place. It’s one of those ‘prevention is better than cure’ solutions.
This is not new for anyone with a pool in Florida or the Gulf Coast states. But if you’re not, here’s a cheat sheet on pool enclosures.
Screen rooms are structures made of steel or mesh that are about eight to 14 feet tall. They are built around the pool, spa, deck and other landscaping.
These are regularly found in places with a tropical climate and make sure the patio area blocks all bugs and insects. They are said to be 100 percent effective against mosquitoes.
You have to pay a pretty penny depending on the manufacturers, local tariff and municipal building codes but it does give you results.
Once you have it, just check for holes and tears in the material and you are good.
This is the reason you don’t get bitten by mosquitoes in some homes. Fans are so effective that even the American Mosquito Control Association recommends using a large fan on the deck as a low-tech solution for the insect problem.
This works because mosquitoes are weak flyers.
Another solution from the American Mosquito Control Association is to use general electric yellow lights, also known as bug lights.
Now, these are not insect repellants but they do a better job of not attracting mosquitoes like the other incandescents. That is because these lights are outside the visible light spectrum of some insects.
Bug Nets and Curtains
This is another fairly expected solution. But it is expected because of its popularity which is because of its efficiency. Long curtains are not just a pretty look but also help keep the insects out.
You can also go with fabric curtains if you like. The result will be pretty much the same. And the usage policy is the same as the drapes in your home.
Citronella is an oil that comes from two types of grass and repels insects like a charm. The EPA has approved it as safe for humans and the environment and it is also a minimum risk pesticide for human beings.
It is usually available in the form of candles and contains masking agents that attract insects. Citronella products are advertised as widely used natural insect repellents but they are not very effective, especially if you are lighting them in a large open area.
These are just a few examples of all the things that work against mosquitoes. What works specifically for your setting can be determined only by you. For example, aerosols are great but does it matter if you spray them outdoors in a large backyard? Not really.
So, what we’ve mentioned above are all options for you to consider.
Remember that mosquitoes like some smells and chemicals. So, you might even attract them unintentionally.
This means, you might have to use more than one of the above-mentioned products to keep your pool free of mosquitoes. Figure that out and get cracking. Good luck.