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How to Get Rid of Waterbugs In Your Pool


Having a swimming pool in the house can seem charming at first. At the time of purchasing the property or having the swimming pool installed, you might contemplate getting fit. Your daily swimming routine and breakfast by the poolside would have to be the highlight of your day. If you like to have a lot of social gatherings or parties, having a pool adds more glamour. But it comes with a huge price of maintenance. The water has to be cleaned, on a bi-weekly basis at the least, if not every day. The biggest problem though, that homeowners with swimming pools face is that of waterbugs.

Now a cockroach might also be considered a water bug but that is not your primary concern. Cockroaches can survive in all kinds of environments including water but you are really concerned with water bugs such as the water boatman and the backswimmer. These bugs are categorized under the Hemiptera classification of insects. They use their legs to swim through the water and remain on the surface. Other kinds of water bugs include water spiders, pond skaters and water striders that create surface tension on the water to remain on the surface.

Types of water bugs - Hemiptera

There are four types of water bugs which we will learn about next. Most are not harmful to human beings but you wouldn’t want any of them in your pool. Accidentally swallowing one can be poisonous. You would not want to share your pool with any of the following:

Backswimmers – also known as notonectidae, are as their name suggests. They swim upside down on their backs. They come in light colors and have fringed hind legs meant for swimming. They inhabit fresh and stagnant water areas and are attracted to bright lights. They can bite which is somewhat like a mosquito’s sting.

Giant waterbugs – also known as belostomatidae, toe biters and alligator ticks. These are huge bugs with the largest ones up to 12cm in length. They can be found in many parts of North America, especially Florida.

Water scorpions – also known as nepidae, they have long slender bodies with raptorial forelegs and a tail like resemblance. They feed on other fish, tadpoles and other small sea creatures.

Waterboatmen – also known as corixidae, inhabit ponds and slow moving streams as well. They can swim under the surface of the water. More than 500 species of waterboatmen have been identified. They have flat bodies almost half an inch long with dark brown and black markings on their wings. They have triangular heads with triangular pincers in their mouths.

Most effective ways to get rid of water bugs in pool

Bugs are certainly not welcomed in your pool. That is the reason to go for regular cleaning on a daily basis. Kids and young children should never be allowed to swim alone as in case of a bug bite, a quick response is required.

Chlorination – Adding chemicals does not kill the insects that infect your pool. However it does kill the food that the insects feed on. It kills the algae and other green plants that grow at low chlorine levels. Use chlorination at least twice a week especially if the pool is used more frequently. A shock treatment includes adding larger volumes of chlorine to the pool and stirring it to dissolve completely. This potentially is more effective than just adding small amounts and letting it dissolve naturally. The best time to add chlorine to the pool is in the evening and leave it to dissolve overnight.

Using algaecide – Another way to reduce the food supply for water bugs is to use algaecides. These work really fast as they kill existing bugs and drive away potential infestations.

Pool side lighting – Most small insects are attracted to lighting. The reason for this is that insects are cold blooded creatures and the light provides them warmth. Lights should not be directed at the pool directly to avoid attracting more bugs. Also, you can get ultraviolet bug zappers to attract and kill bugs without making a big mess.

Brush, vacuum and skim – when you empty the pool to refill it with fresh water, clean the walls and vacuum the floors with a special pool vacuum cleaner. Cleaning products can be purchased from your local convenience store to help you with the cleaning process. Regular maintenance of the pool’s cleanliness can help you keep the bug population under control.

Skim your pool with a net sieve and rod to get rid of algae and dead bugs. Dead bugs are food for other insects and need to be disposed of as soon as possible. Other insects will not come in search of food to your poolside. Also keep vegetation around the pool to a minimum, as these provide potential breeding spots for bugs to lay their eggs. Trim the leaves and grass around the pool.

Using home detergents – one easy and inexpensive way to get rid of waterbugs from the pool is using a liquid dish washing agent. The soap changes the surface tension of the water and bugs are no longer to stay afloat. Eventually they drown and without air, they die.

Ingredients needed

  • 3 tablespoons of liquid dish detergent

  • a spray bottle

  • water


  • Put the detergent in the bottle and fill the rest with water

  • Spray the bugs directly or over the pool area

  • Within a few hours, all the bugs will be dead and can be skimmed out of the pool

Keep Waterbugs Away Easily With Solutions Pest & Lawn Products

A surefire water bugs away from your pool is by utilizing insecticide products in areas where you have seen them. Perhaps the best product for this is a broad spectrum insecticide such as Reclaim IT. Mix reclaim with water in a hand sprayer and spray in any area where you have noticed the presence of water bugs, like around the exterior perimeter of your pool. This will act as a barrier treatment to ensure they don’t make their way inside your pool.

For more helpful DIY pest control advice, give us a call at 800-479-6583 or send us an email at askapro@solutionsstores.com and we will be happy to assist you.


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