A backyard swimming pool is a wonderful addition to any home, providing a refreshing oasis in warm weather… or year-round if you’re in South Florida like me.
However, one common challenge pool owners face is dealing with bugs. Whether it’s pesky mosquitoes, gnats, or flies, these unwelcome visitors can disrupt the tranquility of your poolside experience.
Luckily, we have a screened-in lanai so don’t have this problem by our pool, but when we leave the pool enclosure, I get attacked by mosquitoes. They love me and cover me in itchy bug bites when I step outside.
How to Keep Bugs Away From Your Swimming Pool
In this blog post, I’ll share effective strategies to keep bugs away from your swimming pool, allowing you to enjoy a bug-free and relaxing swim.
Maintain Proper Pool Chemistry
Maintaining proper pool chemistry is crucial not only for the health of swimmers but also for deterring bugs. Bugs are attracted to stagnant water and the scents that emanate from it.
By keeping your pool’s chemical balance in check, you can ensure the water remains clean and free from organic matter that attracts bugs. Regularly test the pool water pH levels, chlorine levels, and alkalinity, and adjust them as needed.
We used to pay someone to come and do this for our pool, which is a saltwater pool but also takes chlorine. Then, my husband took over and uses WaterGuru. Whenever he needs to do anything, he gets a message on the app letting him know exactly what to do.
Install a Pool Cover
When your swimming pool is not in use, consider covering it with a pool cover. This will not only prevent debris from falling into the water but also act as a barrier to keep bugs out.
Choose a cover specifically designed to keep bugs away, with a tight fit and mesh-like material that allows rainwater to drain while keeping insects at bay.
Again, this is something you may not need to do if you live in the south where many are enclosed in a screened-in lanai.
Utilize Bug Zappers and Traps
Bug zappers and bug traps can be a great way to combat bugs around your swimming pool. These devices attract insects with their UV light or scent and then either zap them or trap them, respectively.
Place bug zappers and traps strategically around your pool area, away from the pool itself, to draw bugs away from the water. This electric bug zapper on Amazon is very popular.
Use Citronella Candles or Torches
Citronella candles or tiki torches can be helpful in repelling bugs due to their strong scent. Mosquitoes, in particular, dislike the smell of citronella. Place these candles or torches around the pool area, creating a protective barrier against insects.
However, remember to exercise caution and keep them away from flammable materials, especially near the pool.
As a bonus, they look very pretty outside.
Maintain a Clean Pool Surrounding
Bugs are often attracted to areas with debris and standing water. It is a breeding ground for biting insects. Regularly clean the pool surrounding, removing any leaves, grass clippings, or other organic matter that might accumulate.
Additionally, make sure that gutters and downspouts are clear to prevent water from pooling near the pool area, as this can attract bugs.
Consider Natural Bug Repellents
If you prefer a more natural approach, there are several bug repellents you can use that are safe for both humans and the environment. Essential oils like lemon eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint have bug-repelling properties. Dilute them with water and spray them around the pool area to deter bugs.
Alternatively, you can plant natural bug-repelling herbs like basil, mint, or lemongrass near your pool to naturally discourage insects. For more on plants that keep mosquitoes away, click here.
One more tip: Call your local pest control. Your best bet is to talk to a professional about your bug problem. We get regular maintenance done inside and outside our house, but in South Florida, you can’t just rely on that.
Let me know what your favorite natural bug repellent is on Instagram at @ChristinaAllDay.
With these strategies in place, you can significantly reduce the presence of water bugs around your swimming pool, creating a more enjoyable environment for you, your family, and your guests.
7 Ways to Safely Kill Mosquito Larvae
Mosquitoes are not only irritating pests but also carriers of various diseases. To effectively manage mosquito populations and protect yourself and your family, it’s essential to understand their life cycle and take preventive measures.
Because these pesky bugs follow me everywhere, I had to go deeper into different ways to avoid mosquitoes.
Understand Mosquito Larvae
Mosquitoes undergo a four-stage life cycle: egg, larvae, pupae, and adult. The larvae stage is spent in bodies of water, where mosquito eggs hatch and transform into larvae.
These larvae, commonly referred to as wrigglers, are found in standing water sources such as ponds, birdbaths, flowerpots, rain barrels, or even in neglected backyard swimming pools.
1. Eliminate Standing Water
The best way to prevent mosquito larvae from developing is to eliminate or minimize standing water around your yard or pool area. Regularly inspect your property for potential breeding grounds, such as flowerpot saucers, buckets, discarded tires, and any other containers that collect water.
Empty or drain these sources to deprive mosquitoes of their breeding sites.
2. Maintain Pools and Water Features
If you have a swimming pool, it’s essential to maintain proper chemical balance and regular circulation to prevent mosquito breeding. Keep your pool clean, well-maintained, and chlorinated to discourage mosquito larvae from thriving.
Additionally, regularly clean and maintain your pool filters to ensure optimal circulation and prevent stagnant water.
For decorative water features like fountains or ponds, consider incorporating mosquito larvae-eating fish, such as goldfish or guppies, which can help control mosquito populations naturally.
3. Cover Rainwater Collection Containers
If you collect rainwater in barrels or containers for gardening purposes, make sure they are covered with tight-fitting lids or screens. This will prevent mosquitoes from accessing the water and laying eggs.
Regularly inspect these containers and remove any debris or leaves that may accumulate on the surface.
4. Maintain Your Yard
A well-maintained yard can help deter mosquitoes. An effective way to do this is to mow the grass regularly and trim vegetation. It will reduce mosquito resting spots. Remove any discarded objects or debris that may collect water, and ensure proper drainage around your property to prevent water from pooling.
5. Use Mosquito Repellents
To protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites, use effective mosquito repellents. Look for products containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), as these ingredients have been proven to repel mosquitoes. Apply the repellent according to the instructions on the label, especially during peak mosquito activity times, such as dawn and dusk.
If you know of any that don’t feel gross on your skin, please let me know. I need to find one that doubles as a lotion and wear it on a daily basis.
6. Create a Mosquito-Unfriendly Environment
Mosquitoes are attracted to areas with high humidity and warm temperatures. Keep your outdoor areas well-ventilated and consider using fans to create airflow, as mosquitoes are weak fliers and cannot withstand strong winds.
Additionally, consider planting mosquito-repelling plants such as citronella, lavender, marigolds, or basil to naturally deter mosquitoes from your backyard. For those 12 natural ways, like peppermint oil and citronella grass, click here.
Did I miss any of the right plants? Comment here and let me know the popular method that works for you. Is it tea tree oil or lemon-scented geraniums?
7. Soap and Oil
Liquid soap in the form of dish soap or shampoo is known to effectively kill mosquito larvae. Just a millimeter of dish soap in a gallon of standing water will kill off the larvae.
Also, olive oil and vegetable oil will get rid of mosquito eggs and larvae almost immediately.
It’s a good idea to keep these in a spray bottle in your patio area to spray on the surface of the water to have fewer bugs. This recommendation is for standing water, not bird baths or pools.
By understanding the life cycle of mosquitoes and taking proactive measures to eliminate their breeding grounds, you can significantly reduce the mosquito population in your backyard or pool area.