Keep Water Bugs Out Of Your Pool
Last Updated 12/28/20
Most of us can agree that there is nothing better on a hot summer day than kicking back and relaxing by the pool. As it turns out, your backyard oasis also attracts many insects. Water bugs can be problematic for many swimming pool owners but the solution for getting rid of them is quite simple.
Common Types of Water Bugs In Swimming Pools
Before learning how to get rid of these pesky creatures, you must understand the two most common types of water bugs that might be living in your pool — water boatmen (also known as corixids) and backswimmers.
The first type of water bug you may encounter while you are wading in the pool is a Water Boatmen. These small brown, oval critters feed on and other microorganisms that may be lying in your swimming pool. Water Boatmen will also lay their eggs in your pool algae. Although it may be startling to see Water Boatmen swimming around in your pool, these insects are harmless and do not bite and are not poisonous.
The other, more common, type of water bug you may come across is the Backswimmer. Backswimmers are light-colored insects that skim the top of the water. Unlike the Water Boatmen, these insects do not feed on algae but rather on other insects hanging around in the pool water (including water boatmen). While you can swim around with the Water Boatmen with no worries, exercise more caution around the Backswimmer as they can bite. The feeling of a Backswimmer bite is comparable to a bee sting.
Similarities between Water Boatmen and Backswimmers
- Both water boatmen and backswimmers can fly.
- Both come up for air and can drown.
- Both lay eggs in algae in your pool
If one or both of these critters has taken over your backyard oasis, we’ve outlined a way to get rid of them and keep them from coming back.
Why Do I Have Water Bugs In My Pool?
These types of water bugs in your pool are probably hanging around because of algae growth in your pool water. Oftentimes, they can sense/spot algae before you do! Since water boatmen eat algae and lay their eggs in it, this is a big draw. Since algae draws bugs like water boatmen and others, it’s also a draw for backswimmers who eat the other bugs!
How to Get Rid of Water Bugs
The best way to get rid of either of these pests is eliminate their food supply (algae for water boatmen its algae, other bugs for backswimmers). To do that, you’ll need properly balanced water chemistry and a clean pool. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you rid your swimming pool of bugs like water boatmen and backswimmers quickly and efficiently:
- First, remove any water bugs in your pool using a skimmer and relocate them away from your pool.
- Once the bugs are removed, scrub and vacuum your pool to remove dirt, debris, and algae.
- Shock your pool. (This will kill the algae that water boatmen eat and backswimmers lay eggs in.)
- Run your pump overnight.
- Test the water to make sure chlorine and chemical levels are appropriate before you swim again.
Shocking Your Swimming Pool
Pool shocking is a sure way to rid the food source for these insects and drive them away from your pool to somewhere more sustainable for life. To do this you will need the following supplies:
- Chlorine Shock – Calcium Hypochlorite
- 5-gallon bucket
- Stir stick
- Pool brush
- Protective gloves
- Protective eyewear
Tip: Buying Chlorine Shock in bulk could save you money in the end and you will always have the supplies on hand in the event that the insects return.
To properly shock your pool follow these steps:
- Fill a 5-gallon bucket with water and add 1 lb of pool shock.
- Stir the pool shock until it dissolves completely in the bucket.
- Ensure your pump is running and pour the dissolved mixture in the water around the perimeter of the pool.
- Repeat this process as necessary. You will want to use 1 lb of pool shock per 10,000 gallons of water in your pool.
Note: You will want to shock your swimming pool after the sun has gone down. If you shock your pool during the day, the sun burns off the chemicals too quickly and the treatment is not as effective.
Shocking your pool will eliminate the algae in the swimming pool forcing Water Boatmen to feed elsewhere. Removing these creatures will also push out Backswimmers as they rely on Water Boatmen as a food source.
Clean up Your Yard
These bugs are attracted to moist areas, and can easily migrate from ditches, dirty birdbaths, and other areas with standing water. Take measures to clean up these areas in your yard and minimize standing water.
Keeping Water Bugs Away
Now that you have eliminated the water bugs from your swimming pool, how can you keep them away?
Two of the easiest tips is to invest in a high-quality pool cover and follow a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule for your pool. Regularly cleaning the water and using a swimming pool cover will reduce algae, which will in turn keep water bugs and other insects from invading the area.
However, if that’s not enough, try using an algaecide to prevent algae from building up in your pool. Without algae, water bugs cannot sustain life, so keeping your pool clean will prevent the return of insects.
Don’t let bugs ruin your day of relaxation at the pool! If you are experiencing issues with other bugs, algae, and other pests invading your pool, leave a comment or check out our blog for more tips!