Nothing kills a pleasant summer afternoon by the pool faster than a cloud of buzzing, biting mosquitoes. If that wasn't enough, they also host a number of harmful and even deadly diseases that could put your family at risk if they come into contact with them.
For both your safety and your sanity, here are some great steps to take to keep mosquitoes away from your pool:
Mosquito-Proof the Pool
The first step toward taking back your pool area is to mosquito-proof the pool itself. Mosquitoes spend the majority of their lives underwater, and if you don't take proper care of it, female adults will see it as a perfect place to lay eggs.
Don't give mosquitoes any opportunity to take up residence in your pool. Keep water circulating by running the pool pump every few hours, and take care to keep the pool's chlorine and chemical balance at adequate levels. Mosquitoes prefer to lay eggs in water that has leaves in it, so it's also important to regularly clean the pool and skim out any leaves or foliage.
Consider creating a pool maintenance schedule to ensure that your pool is always safe, clean, and mosquito-free.
Keep It Clean
With the pool itself under control, it's time to shift your focus to the surrounding property. Mosquitoes will use tall grass to rest and get some shade, so be sure to cut the grass regularly, keep the hedges trimmed, keep the yard free of any weeds or wild grass, and so on. Also, avoid overwatering your plants, as the leftover moisture can build up and stagnate.
You should also keep your yard free of any objects that can hold in moisture, such as pots, buckets, or other open containers. Old tires are particularly notorious mosquito hot spots, so be sure to dispose of any in the yard and store any tires you have indoors in closed containers. If your yard has a tire swing, drill holes in the bottom so accumulated water can drain properly.
Don't forget to reach out to your neighbors. Even if it's not on your property, the presence of standing water, wet mulch, blocked drains, or excessive shade in your neighbor's yard can still result in a mosquito invasion, so try to convince the people living around you to take preventive measures against mosquitoes as well.
Check the Pool Cover
Ironically, while your pool's cover was specifically designed to keep things out, a worn or poorly-maintained cover can actually attract mosquitoes toward your pool. Even the smallest hole can quickly cause large puddles of standing water to form, which can become a mosquito breeding pool in as little as a week. Keep your cover clean and replace it when necessary.
While simple upkeep and maintenance can go a long way in keeping mosquito populations manageable, there are also a number of ways you can protect yourself directly.
Mosquitoes find humans using the odors our bodies create, but their sense of smell can be turned against them. Plants such as citronella, peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, catnip, and several others give off scents that repel mosquitoes, and can be used in your yard to form a natural defensive perimeter. For more information, check out our blog on effective do-it-yourself mosquito methods you can use to keep your yard mosquito-free.
Citronella is particularly effective. Contrary to popular belief, citronella candles are largely ineffective in deterring mosquitoes; however, used as a spray, citronella can be an excellent personal repellent when applied to the skin or clothing. Outside of rare allergic reactions, citronella is completely safe for humans, making it an excellent method of defense.
Consider putting up a physical barrier around your pool. Used strategically, mosquito nets can be effective at blocking off access to certain areas, but for the best protection, consider installing a pool enclosure. Usually made out of mesh, glass, or fiberglass, a pool enclosure can not only protect you from mosquitoes, but also from high winds, debris, and even ultraviolet rays.
Just remember: as with your pool cover, even the smallest rip or tear can serve as an access point for mosquitoes, so be sure to regularly inspect the enclosure for any holes and repair them as quickly as possible.
Hire a Professional
While these tips will help you keep the mosquito population around your pool at a minimum, if you want the problem gone for good, you'll need to hire a professional. For some helpful tips on how to get a great one, check out our blog on how to find a qualified mosquito exterminator.
For more information about mosquitoes, the dangers they pose, and the steps you can take to protect your home, download our free informative guide, How to Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Yard This Summer.