When we first moved in, the plants around the pool were severely overgrown and seemed to provide a nice habitat for roaches/insects that liked to swim in our pool. Last summer we removed all the bushes which significantly cut down the roaches entering the pool. We are also battling rodents that like to dig tunnels under the pool deck (the bricks are there to block their entry). Now we are thinking of revamping the landscape a little bit, but not sure what the best option would be. Plants look nice but I am afraid of the insects they harbor. Would pavers be the way to go? Since the area is fenced, how would one do the digging efficiently without heavy machinery?
A perhaps related question, we also removed a lot of the landscaping plants around the foundation that were growing directly against the wall. The plants stained the wall and kept it moist and in the summer sent an army of insects into the house (through whatever cracks we cannot see). After plants were gone, however, weeds take over. We keep reading the different options but none seems perfect. Mulches are said to collect moisture and attract termites and other insects. Landscaping fabric + stones look good, but the fabric can break down over time, leaving residues that are difficult to replace. Stones on top can also collect dirt and require washing and sifting regularly (3-5 years?). Having lived in cities most of our life, we are awfully ill equipped to deal with these complications from mother nature. We are now even considering an industrial look with perhaps just pavers / concrete blocks around the foundation.