Mosquito control almost always comes down to prevention.
If you live in Florida, you are very familiar with the nuisance of mosquitoes. Many have joked that the state bird of Florida should actually be the mosquito. Joking aside, mosquitoes are a nearly year round problem for many parts of the state. They are more than just a nuisance. Mosquitoes have the potential to be a health hazard as well. If you own a pool, you need to read this because mosquito control and prevention is part of owning a pool.
After sustained periods of rain, such as we experienced at the end of July, there is a large amount of standing water. This standing water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. But did you know that, regardless of how much it rains, your pool can quickly become the same sort of breeding ground? Whether through neglect, equipment malfunction, or inconsistent chemical treatment, pools can cause the mosquito population to grow exponentially.
As a pool owner, you need to be aware of mosquito control and prevention methods that prevent your pool from becoming part of the problem.
The threat of mosquitoes
Before addressing pool mosquito control and prevention, it is important to understand the impact that mosquitoes can have on your health.
Mosquitoes spread disease. It’s a simple fact. This is why mosquito control is so important. While it isn’t common, mosquitoes can transmit often fatal diseases to humans, dogs, and even horses. The most common of these diseases that spread in Florida include:
West Nile Virus – This virus, when spread to humans, can cause severe encephalitis.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis -This disease is transmitted to both humans and horses. When contracted by humans, the disease can cause a range of symptoms from mild to fatal.
St. Louis Encephalitis – Sporadic epidemics have been caused by mosquito transmission of this disease. It can range in symptoms from mild to fatal.
Heart Worms – A serious condition for dogs, the worms are transmitted by the mouth of the mosquito. Untreated dogs can have serious complications that could even result in death. Preventative medication is available.
Mosquito control and prevention tips to stop your pool from becoming a breeding ground
Here are some great tips from this pool-care themed blog about mosquito control:
- Adding a larvicide dunk to your pool is ideal for when the pool is not in use. Typically, “mosquito dunks” can be used every 30 days and work for 10 square feet of water surface area. These are floating devices, but you may want to weight them to prevent them from getting stuck on the sides of the pool.
- After discarding the larvicide dunk (removing it from the pool), you can chlorinate and shock your pool routinely. This may not be ideal for the “off-season.” In Florida, though, the “off season” is typically very short. A pool that is properly chlorinated and disinfected will not be ideal for mosquito breeding.
- Keep your filter running. Programmable filters will help you keep on top of this. This process helps by moving the water in your pool for as little as two to three hours a day. Standing water is where mosquitoes tend to lay their eggs. The movement will prevent them from being able to hatch.
- Remove any leaves and other debris that floats on the surface of the water. This creates places where the mosquitoes can hatch eggs and breed.
- Cover your pool tightly during the off season or during long periods of non-use, and keep your covers free of standing water. Covers can sometimes be just as bad off breeding grounds as the pool itself.
- Remove and properly store your pool toys and other accessories around the pool that can hold water.
Mosquito control makes a difference
While abandoned pools are the biggest culprit in undermining mosquito control efforts, it’s important to understand that partial upkeep of an active pool can be just as bad. Be sure to control mosquito breeding in your pool during both periods of use and disuse. Mosquitoes eggs can hatch within 48 hours, and it can take as little as 10 days to complete and entire life cycle.
By following these tips, you can be part of the solution instead of a part of the problem