Summertime is here, which means it’s time to shed those winter clothes and venture into the great outdoors. While you might enjoy spending more time outside during the day, it’s not always fun being near or in the water when you have pests around.
Gnats, also known as white flies or buffalo gnats, are small insects that can become a nuisance when swarms of them invade your home. These industrious little creatures are attracted to sweets, including honey and fermented fruit such as melon. And, let’s face it, who doesn’t love a sweet taste of honey on their food? If you live in area where there are a lot of honeysuckle, you’ll notice that these creepy-crawly insects seem to appear en masse once the warm summer months hit.
While it’s not always easy keeping unwanted insects at bay, there are certain ways to prevent them from feasting on your garden and swimming pool area. And it starts by taking a little bit of precautionary measure.
Wash Your Pool Walls And Water Features
You’ll want to wash the pool walls and water features once a week during the warm summer months to rid them of dirt and other particles which might accumulate during the year. With most commercial pool cleaners, this task is made easy because their proprietary pads are designed to effortlessly stick to pool surfaces without leaving a mark. These cleaning strips are typically green in color and are available in various widths and lengths to accommodate most pools.
To ensure that your pool stays clean, it’s essential to wipe it down at least once every week with a clean cloth or sponge. Using a cleaner specifically for pools and water features is also advisable to prevent possible damage to your pool’s surface. The frequency of pool cleanings will, however, depend on how often you wash your pool walls and water features. Thicker surface layers such as paint or plaster can become worn away from constant water exposure, especially if they’re not properly cleaned and maintained. This will not only cause the water to become stagnant but also make it easier for small creatures such as gnats to breed and multiply. The result is a swarming infestation which can be quite the annoying experience, especially when swimming or relaxing in the pool.
If possible, install screening to keep out the large insects which could be harmful, such as mosquitoes and blackflies, as well as the smaller creatures which might otherwise sneak in, such as ants and spiders. There are several different types of small-scale screening which might be suitable for your situation, so it’s worth looking around at home improvement stores and online marketplaces to find the right solution. Most mosquito and blackfly nets are also designed to withstand heavy use and tear easily, so you’ll need to be sure that your pool screen is built to last the summer season without breaking down.
Hang Up Some Bait
Keeping hungry beasts at bay is never easy, especially when they’re attracted to your pool’s water for delicious feasting. While it’s not advisable to use animals to do your chores for you (they’ll probably end up eating all of your food and creating unwanted messes), there are certain ways you can use insects to your advantage. One of the more popular and simplest ways, is to simply toss a few pieces of meat or fruit into the water for the little buggers to nibble on. It’s a quick and easy way to keep pesky insects at bay while adding a little bit of fun to your summertime activities.
Watch For Wet Spots
Always check for wet spots around the perimeter of your pool where ground water can accumulate. It might be raining outside, but the ground still remains dry. Once this area around your pool becomes wet, the water in your pool will stay stagnant and it will be more susceptible to algae and fungus growth. If you see any signs of wetness in this area, it’s advisable to either build a submersible water feature or install a mechanical or chemical filter to prevent this from happening.
Keep Cleaning And Maintaining
To keep pests at bay, it’s essential to maintain a clean and orderly environment around your pool. This entails regular cleaning, which might include scrubbing the pool walls and water features once a week with a mixture of household soap and water. Remember to cleanse all faucets which are connected to the pool as well so that swarms of gnats don’t congregate and breed behind these fixtures.
Keeping gnats out of your swimming pool doesn’t necessarily require a complete overhaul of your entire backyard. With a little bit of intelligence and common sense, you can limit the number of these annoying creatures which inhabit your pool area. Not only will this make your pool living experience a whole lot more pleasant, but it will also make your food store considerably more attractive to the little critters nearby.