Swimming Pool Guides & Reviews by Certified Pool & Spa Operators
The Best Way to Deter Mosquitoes from Going Near Your Swimming Pool
Here’s Everything You Need To Know
Mosquitoes might seem like annoying insects that fly around outside and get in your face. Aside from the occasional bite to the skin, most people believe that mosquitoes are harmless.
What people don’t realize is that mosquitoes may carry some deadly diseases with them, including the Zika Virus or West Nile Virus. Most species of mosquitoes are not life-threatening to people, but there are a few species that are. Obviously, you won’t know the difference until after you’re bitten by a mosquito.
Mosquitoes are attracted to body heat, carbon dioxide, water, and humidity. When people get into a swimming pool or merely hang out around the pool, the area becomes very attractive to mosquitoes. They see all their favorite things to consume in one place, water, and blood.
Several municipalities across the country are establishing mosquito control procedures with the assistance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. These agencies are urging organizations to implement a mosquito control method called “Integrated Pest Management.” This is a process that involves managing mosquitoes throughout the various stages of their life cycle, eliminating mosquito habitats, and creating barrier structures. You should implement a similar mosquito prevention method in your backyard as well.
Make the Mosquitoes Stay Away
Mosquitoes have 4 stages to their life cycle, three of which are spent in water. When the eggs of a mosquito hatch, they release larvae which eventually grow to become pupae. All this happens in water.
Mosquitoes only bite when they’re fully matured. During these three early stages of their life cycle, they won’t bite anyone. This is the time period when you need to attack the breeding sites of the mosquitoes so that they don’t have a chance to mature into adults. Here are some things you can do:
Prevent Standing Water
After it rains on your property, you may see areas of your backyard where rainwater stands on the ground. These watery areas are where mosquitoes will want to lay eggs. It’ll only take around 2 weeks for an egg to hatch and develop into a mature mosquito. If eggs don’t have any water available right away, they can survive for at least a couple of months without hatching. Water is what helps them hatch.
You can take preventive action by filling in damp areas of your yard and removing objects which might catch rainwater, such as buckets and tires. If there is a water feature in your yard, such as a fountain or wading pool, then you should either change the water every week or give the water circulation. Mosquitoes won’t lay eggs in moving water.
Cover your pool when you’re not using it. Between the wind and pool pump, your pool water won’t be totally motionless. However, it is still a large enough water mass to attract mosquitoes, nonetheless. It is better to play it safe by covering your pool to ensure that mosquitoes and other bugs don’t find their way into the water.
Think about getting a solar pool cover instead of a regular pool cover. Solar covers reduce evaporation, which allows you to save money because you aren’t losing as many chemicals and water. They also keep your pool heated, so you don’t need to spend money on electricity to heat your pool. Most importantly, they keep mosquitoes away from your pool.
Don’t neglect the landscaping of your property. If there are logs, leaves, and overgrown grass that are rotting or saturated with water, then you need to remove them right away. Mosquitoes are attracted to any organic debris that is wet or damp. Mow your lawn frequently and pick up grass clippings afterwards if any. Rake up all your palm fronds, leaves, or pine needles and throw them away.
Inspect frequently moist areas on your property and remove organic debris from them. Below your decks are the perfect place to do this. If there is no debris in them, any existing water will evaporate or drain right into the soil of the ground. Then mosquitoes won’t want to inhabit there.
Fill in Any Tree Holes
Does your property have trees with holes in their trunks? If so, then a lot of insects or animals are probably living in them. And if water gets stored in the tree holes, mosquitoes will definitely want to lay eggs in them.
You don’t need to cut down your tree to solve this problem. Simply fill in the tree holes with some type of expanding foam solution. Once you add this foam insulation to the holes, it seals them off so that mosquitoes cannot enter them. This is a lightweight foam too, so it doesn’t increase the weight of the trunk.
If the expanding foam extends beyond the hole, you can trim it down accordingly. You can even sand the foam and paint it a different color which matches the tree’s color. That way, the aesthetics will still hold up.
Only fill tree holes with foam if you know for sure they store water. You don’t want to fill holes with no water because there may be animals and birds living in them.
Repair the Cracks of Septic Tanks
Check your septic tank for cracks. The slightest little opening in your septic tank may be a path for mosquitoes to get inside and lay eggs. Does your septic tank cover have gaps anywhere? Do your tank walls have cracks? Are your ventilation pipes uncovered? These are things you must deal with immediately.
Use a screen mesh to cover your open ventilation pipes. Make sure it is tight enough so that insects cannot flying into them. Tank wall cracks can be repaired with cement. If your tank covers don’t fit snugly, then replace them.
If your property has an abandoned septic tank, then you must fill it in to prevent mosquitoes from inhabiting it too.
Pool Chemistry Balance
The trick to keeping mosquitoes away from your pool is to keep the water clean and its chemicals balanced. Your pump should also be circulating the water at least 8 hours per day. And, of course, practice your pool maintenance religiously by cleaning your skimmer and filter as often as possible. Maintain a schedule for your maintenance duties so that you don’t forget.
How to Kill Mosquitoes
If you’ve followed the previous advice, then mosquitoes should no longer flock to your pool water. But you’ll still need to eliminate the existing mosquitoes in your water or around your pool area.
Certain pesticides will kill mosquitoes at different stages of their life cycle. Larvicides, for instance, eliminate mosquitoes during their larvae and pupae stages. You can purchase larvicides in various forms, such as briquettes, granules, pellets, tablets, and liquid. It doesn’t matter which one you select, though. Just put the larvicide in the area of the water where mosquitoes probably exist, including on pool covers, septic tanks, gutters, and in pools that are wading or not chlorinated. Larvicides are registered by the Environmental Protection Agency. If you want to know more safety information about them, then contact the EPA.
Adulticides are the kind of pesticides which take the lives of adult mosquitoes. Remember, these are the mosquitoes that bite people and suck their blood. You can purchase adulticides in many different forms, such as foggers, coils, aerosols, and sprays. A few of these forms are okay to use inside your home too.
To treat your pool environment, you must select an adulticide product which is designed for the outdoors. Use the adulticide in areas of the outdoors that are dark and moist, such as underneath a deck. Mosquitoes love it in those places.
Make sure you don’t spray adulticides on plants, gardens, vegetables, and fruits.
Mosquito misters are another way to kill adult mosquitoes. If you only need to treat a few small areas on your property, then you can hang lanterns which spray out a mist of pesticide formula. But if you need to treat a larger portion of your property, then a full mister system installation is a better idea. The misters are connected to a series of tubing which feeds it pesticide fluid from a reservoir unit. You can position these misters throughout your property so that you kill mosquitoes in more areas.
Before you purchase mosquito misters, you must consider a few things first. The EPA does not regulate them, for starters. Only certain states have regulations on them. Research the regulations of your state to see if you can use this type of pesticide solution.
Since this is a pesticide “mist,” it’ll be able to travel quite easily in the air. This could cause a health concern for plants, people, and animals. Use your misters with caution.
Do you prefer natural methods for killing mosquitoes? How about unleashing some natural predators into their habitat? Mosquito fish, bats, and dragonflies love to eat mosquitoes. Let’s see how it is done.
Dragonflies love to eat mosquitoes by nature. You can attract dragonflies to your property by creating a pond that has reeds, cattails, and other tall plants. The dragonflies will lay eggs there, especially in the stems of these plants. The pond doesn’t even need to be big or fancy. Just a small water feature with some tall plants.
To ensure that mosquitoes don’t use your pond for reproducing, use mosquito dunks in this area. It is a larvicide that does not harm dragonflies, but it does harm mosquitoes.
A mosquito fish love to eat mosquito larvae. If you put these natural predators in your pond, they’ll do a great job of controlling the mosquito population in your backyard. Sometimes you can even get these fish for free by local vector control agencies. However, some states have legal regulations regarding the use of mosquito fish in a private pond. Make sure you check out these regulations before acquiring these fish.
Certain insectivorous bats love to eat insects, such as wasps, beetles, and moths. They have been known to feast on mosquitoes too, but not as much. If your property already has bats living there, then you should consider leaving the bats alone rather than killing them. The bats can do a good job of removing a lot of the insects from around your pool. But if you don’t have bats, then forget about this idea. They’re too dangerous to import onto your property, especially since they carry diseases.
Just remember not to use your pool at nighttime if you have bats around your property. Bats are nocturnal, so they only come out at night.
Watch for Soggy Mats
Do you have welcome mats outside your home or pool? If so, you should roll up your welcome mats whenever they get too soggy. This will deter mosquitoes from wanting to go near your pool.
Enclosures for Pools
Floridians commonly use enclosures for their swimming pools. These are large screened structures which surround the pool water so that bugs cannot access it. Enclosures also keep away debris and reduce the impact of UV rays too. They’re made of glass, fiberglass, or mesh in most cases.
It is a great idea to check your enclosure periodically to ensure it does not have any damage or tears in the screen. The smallest opening can invite mosquitoes right through. Repair any tears, gaps, or rips that you see right away.
Bug Nets or Fabric Curtains
Bug nets are basically like curtains for your swimming pool area. They surround your entire pool so that bugs cannot access the water. You can use actual fabric curtains instead of bug nets if you want. Each one does the same thing, but the fabric curtains are more attractive. You can hang them on the lanai roof, pergola, or pavilion. And to open them, a track is the best way to make it easier.
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes
There are certain plants which emit an odor that repels mosquitoes. The most popular mosquito-repellent plants include garlic, catnip, lavender, basil, and marigolds.
According to the American Mosquito Control Association, large fans can create enough wind to deter mosquitoes away. You can even use these fans outside near your pool area too. Of course, this is probably a better idea to implement when you’re using the pool only.
DEET, also called diethyltoluamide, is the best mosquito repellent available. Most commercial bug repellents contain this chemical in it. Another effective mosquito repellent is called citronella, although the EPA does not recommend it. The EPA recommends DEET, lemon eucalyptus oil, and picaridin.
There are many ways you can attract mosquitoes into a trap and then kill them. Carbon dioxide is a great way to attract them. You can use adhesive fly-paper material or commercial mosquito traps to contain them. Some traps will even electrocute the mosquitoes too.
Before you start attracting mosquitoes, make sure your trap is big and strong enough to handle them. Otherwise, you could make your mosquito problem worse.
Mosquitoes are attracted to chemicals, smells, moisture, and carbon dioxide. This means that each time you exhale, you could potentially be attracting mosquitoes. The best thing to do is to use mosquito repellents that are registered by the EPA.
Use environmental barriers around your pool, make a pond in your backyard, and put some natural predators of mosquitoes in the pond. This should help keep these nasty mosquitoes and their diseases away.