It’s the perfect summer night and your pool is filled with patrons enjoying your facility. But as the sun goes down, some unwelcome visitors show up to ruin everyone’s day: insects. Though they are rarely harmless, bugs that are attracted to large crowds and bodies of water are naturally drawn to the noise and activity of pools. Even the aesthetics of the most beautifully designed pool can be ruined by a swarm of annoying gnats, so pool management should take a second to think about its options before buying a dozen cans of bug spray at the nearest outdoors store.
In fact, there are several ways you can go about bug-proofing your pool this summer. Instead of filling up your facility with harmful airborne chemicals that may enter the water and become a long-term issue, consider some of these other methods to clear your facility of annoying summer insects.
Change your lighting
Good lighting can turn an OK pool into a great one, but they also play a large role in attracting insects to your facility, especially at night. Gnats and other small insects are drawn to artificial light, which means that any fixture near seats or the water will have its own small cloud of bugs around it.
It’s not feasible to remove all lighting from your pool, but relocating them may help. Move your light fixtures away from areas where your patrons congregate, such as near seats or lounge spaces. Sometimes, recessing lights in overhead structures can be an effective solution because it moves the group of bugs away from swimmers.
You can also experiment with the wattage of the bulbs in your lighting system. Most bugs are drawn to bright, direct lights that have a high ultraviolet output. Colonial Pest Control recommended a system of low-intensity lights aimed at patron-facing areas and a handful of high-intensity decoy lights, such as a mercury vapor lamp, to draw insects away from crowded places.
Contrary to popular opinion, insects rarely congregate around pools for the humans. Unlike mosquitos, which may make the occasional appearance at your pool, gnats and midges do not bite humans.
Instead, these insects feed off algae and appear where the food occurs in the largest quantities. This means that a clean pool is less likely to attract as many insects because algae can’t grow as effectively in treated water. Check your filtration system, clean any buckets or traps and balance your pH levels to give the bugs one less reason to come back.
Install an enclosure
If insects keep coming back despite your best efforts, it may not be your fault at all, but the climate’s. Bugs typically breed larger populations in moist and humid areas such as the southeast, so pool managers in this part of the country may want to consider installing a physical barrier, such as a net or full awning system, the blocks any insect from entering your facility.