I purchased a house in late 2011 that had an above ground pool. Come spring 2012 It was time to open it and what a disaster. The previous owner didn't add any chemicals when he closed it so it was pretty nasty to say the least. After some TLC a buddy and I were able to get the pool looking pretty awesome. Throughout the season I patched a few holes and decided the next year I would need a new liner and that is currently #1 on my todo list (liner ordered and will be installing it this week).
One major issue I had last year was the exterior of the pool. The pool has a small deck wrapping around one side of it. The other sides and the area where the pump / filter are are stones that were dropped down on top of some of that black tarp material that you use to prevent weeds. Nevertheless, weeds grow everywhere so I make sure to spray weed killer all around and it seems to do an OK job. However, different types of bugs simply love to live in this environment. I kept my pool pretty well maintained last year but still noticed the pump would some times fill with water bugs and te area around it would be covered in all types of water loving insects. I am sure it doesn't help that there are bushes from my neighbors houses along side a gate that is just a couple of feet away.
My question here is while I am opening the pool this season, is there something I could put down around the area to help prevent some of this? I was just going to pile decorative rocks pretty high but wasn't sure if there is something else recommended to put down in this area.