The Biting Pest That's Attracted To Your Pool (& How To Get Rid Of Them)

Summertime is here, and you know what that means: pool season! While there's nothing quite like dipping into your cool pool to escape the heat, possessing a pool can sometimes feel like owning a high-maintenance pet. You've got to keep an eye on chlorine levels, use that laundry staple to keep your pool clean, and fish out the occasional leaf or bug. But there's one pest that might not be on your radar yet — horseflies. These little nuisances are more than just an annoyance; they can put a real damper on your poolside fun.

Horseflies are those large, fast-flying insects that seem to have a knack for buzzing right into your personal space. They're equipped with sharp, blade-like mouthparts that make their bites particularly painful. Unlike mosquitoes, which gently pierce the skin, horseflies slice open the flesh, which is about as much fun as it sounds. Their bites can lead to itching, swelling, and even infections if not properly treated. What's worse, they seem to have an uncanny ability to zero in on pool areas, making your backyard oasis a prime target.

Why are horseflies drawn to your pool and backyard?

It turns out that several factors are attracting horseflies to your yard and pool. For starters, the smell of chlorine is like a siren call to them, and since they are highly drawn to the scent, these pests will flock to your pool in search of it. Add to that the mixture of sweat and skin oils from sweaty bodies being outdoors, and you've got a potent cocktail — at least when it comes to these bugs! 

But that's not all; horseflies are also drawn to sunshine, making it more common to see them in the summer and around decomposing organic materials, so those leaves and clumps of grass around the pool are like a welcome mat for them. Finally, your pool itself is attractive to these bugs. Not only do horseflies breed in moist environments, making your pool the perfect hatchery for these biting bugs, but they also like the shiny, nearly reflective nature of the water itself. This makes it hard to keep them away from uncovered pools.

How can you keep horseflies away from your pool?

You're probably thinking, "Great, now what? Am I doomed to a summer of swatting and scratching?" Fear not, for there are several ways to chemically and naturally keep these flies out of your house or yard and away from your pool. First off, consider using repellents. There are plenty of options out there, from burning citronella candles and torches to more heavy-duty chemical sprays. Another effective method is setting up traps around your pool area. These can range from DIY contraptions made from sticky tape and a bit of bait to more sophisticated electronic devices.

Keeping your pool clean is another must. Make sure to skim off any debris and consider using a pool cover when the pool is not in use. This not only helps keep the water clean but also reduces standing water where horseflies might want to breed. Lastly, encourage natural predators to hang out in your yard. Some species of birds, like swallows, for instance, have a taste for horseflies and can help keep the population down.