Mosquitoes are one of the more irritating insects around – quite literally. If you get bitten by one, you're likely to be itching for days, and nothing ever seems to work very well when it comes to soothing the bite or speeding up healing. In some places, mosquitoes can also carry nasty diseases.
It's easier to keep mosquitoes away from your skin if you stay indoors once the sun starts to go down, but running inside every evening is neither practical nor desirable. This is especially the case when you have an outdoor pool you want to enjoy after dark.
Although it's not really possible to completely get rid of these pests, there are a few things you can do to minimise their breeding and keep them mostly at bay.
Take away their breeding grounds
In order to lay eggs and for their larvae to hatch, mosquitoes need standing water. Making sure there's no such water around is a highly effective way to limit their numbers, so do a thorough check of your garden and other outdoor areas.
Look for water butts that aren't covered, deep puddles and other water sources. Don't forget your pool, too – use a pump to keep the water moving.
Use smells they don't like
The most widely available – and effective – natural mosquito repellent is citronella. Extracted from lemongrass, citronella has a strong, sharp, citrus aroma that isn't unpleasant to humans, but keeps mosquitoes well away. It's available as candles, incense, oil and various other delivery products and it works well even outside.
For a more permanent solution, there are some plants with mosquito-repelling properties that can be planted around your pool to create a barrier. These plants include catnip and lavender, both of which are hardy, easy to grow and even smell nice to any humans who happen to be nearby.
If you can't keep mosquitoes away, you can always trap and kill them. One way to do this is with scented sticky traps, which will lure the little pests in and stick them in place so they can't get away.
If you prefer something a bit more high-tech, electronic traps use UV light or scents to attract mosquitoes, killing them instantly with an electric shock when they enter the trap.
Sometimes, a trap or repellent alone is not enough to deal with a mosquito problem, and a combination of both methods is needed. This is especially useful where there are large numbers, which sometimes happens when neighbours or natural features mean there's a lot of standing water nearby that's outside your control.
For more information, contact a local pest control company.