Having a pool means that you have a built-in destination for relaxation, fun and entertaining. Unfortunately, having a pool also means that you may attract some uninvited guests to your backyard oasis: mosquitoes. Keep reading to learn more about how to kill mosquito larvae in your pool and how to keep these pesky pests away.
Swimming Pool Mosquito Control Tips
The months of the year that are ideal for swimming are also prime time for mosquitoes. If you’re anywhere near a pool or body of water during the warmer months, you will likely encounter these bloodsucking creatures. You may ask yourself: Do swimming pools attract mosquitoes? Since both water and humans attract mosquitoes, unfortunately, the answer is yes. There are some steps you can take to keep mosquitoes out so that you can enjoy your pool and backyard during the warmer months of the year.
What if you suspect there is already larvae in your pool water? The larval phase lasts about 10 days, so you have over a week to address the problem before these pests are on the move. There are two products you can purchase which can help address this problem. One is methoprene granules, which is formulated to inhibit larvae from maturing. One treatment is effective for approximately a month. Another option is to add organic Bti dunks (also known by the scientific name Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis) to the surface of the water. The slow-dissolving bacteria in the dunks cause the larvae to die within 12 hours from gut poisoning. Some pool owners use a bleach solution to address a mosquito problem, although there can be a negative impact on nearby wildlife. Cinnamon and apple cider vinegar are two other non-chemical alternatives to try for pool mosquito control.
What You Need to Know About Mosquitoes
Before we talk more about how to keep mosquitoes out of your yard, it’s important to know a little bit about these pesky pests. For starters, mosquitoes have four stages of development: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs on the surface of standing water, in damp spoil or on the walls of water-filled containers. One mosquito can lay up to 400 eggs at a time. No wonder they can seem like they are everywhere at once!
The mosquito develops from egg to larva to pupa while still in the water, a process that takes about a week. Since larvae are tiny, mosquitoes can hatch in even the smallest amount of water. Once the insect morphs from pupae to flying adult, mosquitoes mate. After mating occurs, females seek to obtain the nutrients (or blood) necessary for egg development and the cycle begins again. Mosquitoes rely on smell, carbon dioxide and temperature to find humans to feed upon.
Pool Mosquito Prevention Tips
What can you do to keep mosquitoes from spoiling your next dip in the pool? Pool owners trying to take the bite out of their next backyard gathering can take several precautions to control mosquitoes around the pool area.
Keep Your Pool Well-Maintained
One of the best ways to keep mosquitoes away from your pool is by keeping it well-maintained. During the summer months, run a pool pump every few hours to create water circulation. Be sure to chlorinate your swimming pool and maintain disinfection levels, as this will help kill mosquito larvae. Studies have shown that mosquitoes prefer to lay eggs in water with leaves in it, so be sure to promptly skim leaves from the surface of your pool.
Watch For Water On Your Pool Cover
After a rainfall, or even after your sprinklers run, depending on where they are located, water can accumulate on your pool cover when it is not in use. Remove this water promptly, since mosquitoes can develop in as little as 10 days. Keep the cover on your pool tightly sealed to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your pool when some of your pool equipment might not be running as frequently.
Remove Other Sources of Standing Water
Pool water aside, other, smaller bodies of standing water like birdbaths or fountains, can also be a possible breeding spot in your backyard. Stock ponds with mosquito-eating fish. Change the water in any plastic wading pools every week, and turn them upside down when not in use to prevent the accumulation of water. Use mosquito dunks in birdbaths and clean out your gutters regularly. Walk around your yard each week to dump out any water that might have accumulated in ceramic pots or other containers.
Keep Your Lawn Tidy
Though a pool and bodies of standing water are the main sources of growth and infestation in your backyard, there are a few things you can do outside of your pool area to help eliminate mosquitoes. Maintaining a manicured, tidy lawn is essential for mosquito prevention. Overgrown grass and hedges provide shelter in the cool vegetation on a hot summer day. To properly care for your lawn, cut your grass regularly, trim the hedges and kill any weeds and wild grass. Avoid overwatering your planters, as leftover moisture can also serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Natural Mosquito Control
There are also a number of natural remedies you can use as well, like citronella candles, torches and lanterns. Citronella oils, when burning, confuse the mosquito by disguising human and animal body odors. While not a guarantee, the use of citronella oil can significantly reduce the odds of a mosquito landing on you or your family when used correctly. Incorporating mosquito repellent plants into your landscape, including lemon balm, rosemary and lavender, can also make things a little more bearable when you are spending time outdoors. Fans can help keep mosquitoes away on a porch or patio.
ABC Can Help Control Your Backyard Pests
Mosquitoes know no boundaries, so even if you do take measures to control them on your property, these pests can easily come from surrounding areas. When mosquitoes are keeping you from enjoying your pool time, you can count on our mosquito technicians to keep the pest away. Our experts can inspect your property, apply effective localized treatments, install mosquito larvicide stations to target breeding areas and mature mosquitoes and even add no-hassle misting stations to automatically apply insecticide at regular intervals to keep these bothersome pests away.