It’s safe to say mosquitoes are a major nuisance for most people
Where humidity and moisture is present, mosquitoes will most likely be present – annoying people with their itchy bites, and potentially transmitting diseases such as dengue fever and Zika virus.
Your backyard can be a breeding ground for these pests, so if you do have mosquito larvae in your swimming pool, this one’s for you.
How Mosquito Larvae Gets Into Your Pool
Mosquitoes have four stages of development: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
They’re drawn to stagnant water surfaces, where they lay their eggs. Once the eggs hatch, they enter the larval phase, which lasts about 10 days before they go on to fully mature into adults.
Mosquitoes can lay up to 400 eggs at a time allowing them to multiply and a high rate, so it’s in your best interest to avoid an infestation using whatever means necessary.
You’ll know pretty quickly if you have an issue with mosquito larvae, as they have a specific “pin-like” appearance and wriggle around in the water.
Is Mosquito Larvae A Problem?
Yes, but not for the reason you probably think.
Larvae live beneath the surface of the water and snack on any microorganisms they can find, but they aren’t necessarily harmful to humans.
How To Remove Mosquito Larvae From Your Pool
Removing mosquito larvae can be accomplished using a few different methods:
Kill Them First
Killing mosquito larvae in your pool is necessary so they can be more easily removed from the water. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Chlorine. Unfortunately, chlorine won’t kill mosquito larvae in moderate amounts. This means you’ll have to shock the pool – and even then you might not kill everything. The problem is that large doses of chlorine are dangerous for swimmers, which means having to spend more time, money, and chemicals, rebalancing the water chemistry (compared to other methods).
- Mosquito dunks. Mosquito dunks are small, slow-dissolving rings that get tossed into the pool. They contain BTI, a bacteria that the larvae will feed on. Little do they know, it will also kill them. Dunks won’t affect your water chemistry and are safe for swimmers, pets, birds, and other wildlife. Most pools will only need 2 or 3 dunks, making them one of the best ways to eradicate larvae, and they’re super affordable too!
- Methoprene granules. Methoprene granules are easily added to any pool, and contain a synthetic growth hormone inhibitor that stunts the development of the larvae. Using granules allows for wider distribution in the pool compared to using dunks. A single application can last up to 30 days, ensuring the larvae won’t survive past the pupa stage.
If you want to try products you have around the house, apple cider vinegar, bleach, dish soap, shampoo, and oil can all kill mosquito larvae. However, you’ll also have to take the proper steps to rebalance the water and remove oils from it if you go this route.
Scoop Them Up
Using a skimmer net is a quick way to remove the dead (or mostly dead) larvae from the water.
For easier and more thorough removal of mosquito larvae, use your pool vacuum. Vacuuming to waste will send the larvae straight out the system’s waste line so you’ll never see it again.
Just keep in mind, depending on how much vacuuming is required, you may need to replace the water that has been drained.
Automatic pool cleaners, whether it be pressure-side, suction-side or robotic cleaners can also be brought in to help manage the cleanup process.
Leave It To Your Filter
You can always run your pump and let the pool’s filtration system take care of the problem. However, this will take a bit more time, and you’ll have to clean out your cartridges or backwash your filter to keep it from getting clogged up.
Additionally, you can “pre-filter” the water by wrapping a skimmer sock (or even a hair net) around your skimmer basket. This will catch the larvae so the filter doesn’t have to work as hard, and you can toss the sock when you’re done.
How To Prevent Mosquito Larvae In Your Pool
Killing is one thing, prevention is another. Here are steps you can take so it doesn’t come to committing insect genocide.
Maintain Your Chlorine Level
The free chlorine level in your pool should always be kept between 1 and 3 ppm for effective sanitizing.
While this level of chlorine won’t kill mosquito larvae, it will make it hard for larvae to appear and grow.
Keep Your Water Circulating
Mosquitoes won’t lay eggs in moving water. This is why you always come across mozzies when you’re in a swamp or marsh, as the stagnant water is a female mosquito’s cup of tea.
You should also be mindful of areas of the pool that may not get any circulation. Areas like ladders and steps should be cleaned regularly, and you should remove leaves or even pool floats from the surface, as they can hold stagnant water for mosquitoes to land on.
Use A Pool Cover (And Cover Pump)
By covering the pool water, you’ll prevent mosquito access in the first place. The type of cover you choose may require a pump to move pooled water off of it. This is to help keep the mozzies from laying their eggs.
- Winter cover. A winter cover is a tarp-like material that goes over the pool, protecting it from the elements during the winter months. While mosquitoes aren’t present in winter, the cover will keep mosquitoes out in the fall and spring. Lasting between 1 and 3 seasons, the cost averages around $150.
- Safety cover. A safety cover is made from either solid vinyl or fine mesh. It fits tight over the opening of the pool and is secured to the pool deck with straps. A pool cover pump is required for the vinyl cover so it doesnt cave (or become a mozzie breeding ground), and you can pick up either version for between $1000 and $3000.
- Solar cover. A solar cover is a large, bubble wrap-like cover that usually comes on a spool. Its purpose is to relieve the workload of the pool’s heater by keeping warmth locked into the pool water when the pool isn’t in use. The price range for a solar cover is anywhere from $75 to $500. An effective spin on the solar cover are individual solar rings, which perform the same function but link together magnetically to form the cover.
Check The Surroundings
Other areas around the pool itself can contribute to a larvae infestation if they provide stagnant water.
Birdbaths and fountains are a big one, and any poolside floats should be turned upside down so water can drain properly. If you have a drainage system, make sure it’s cleaned regularly so water flows through it unrestricted.
Also, keep your lawn and surroundings well-manicured to remove cooler places where mosquitoes can seek shelter, and be careful to not overwater your garden as mosquitoes like to breed in moist soil.
Mozzies Be Gone!
No one wants to swim laps with mosquito larvae in their pool.
Thankfully, there’s easy removal options to keep these annoying buggers out of the swimming pool for good!