How to Get Rid Of the Water Bugs in Your Swimming Pool: 6 Ways

Your pool is full of several chemicals, and you might expect that it should not harbor any insects. However, your pool is like watery heaven to many creatures for eating, hanging out, and making babies. Water bugs are one such, and finding them in your swimming pool would gross you out.

But you can’t leave the pool that way. It would affect your pool and environment. You are probably asking yourself right now, how do I get rid of these water bugs? However, before we get to that, you need to understand what water bugs are.

We have provided answers to all your possible questions with usefultips on eradicating the bugs from your garage. Read on to learn more about water bugs!

What are the Water Bugs?

Just as their name suggests, they are bugs that live on or in water. Naturally, you’ll find water insects in natural water bodies, but there are two types of water bugs that love pools;

Water Boatmen

These water bugs are slim, oval-shaped, and are usually greenish-brown or brown. Water Boatmen have big eyes and typically don’t grow longer than half an inch. They have wings, and yes, they can fly. 

The other legs are shorter than the rear-most legs. The back legs are oar-like and help it stay on the water and paddle, hence the name boatmen. The rear-most legs are always extended past the second leg.

Water Boatmen are in your swimming pool because they eat plant residues, algae, mosquito larvae, and other water microorganisms. If these things are not in your pool, water boatmen will stay away. Even though they are kind of beneficial, it’s gross having them in your pool.

Water Boatmen are not dangerous. They don’t bite and are not poisonous. They are docile, but that doesn’t mean you want to keep one as a pet. But as far as insects are concerned, they can be called the good guys.


Yes! You guessed, right. If Water Boatmen are the good insect guys, the Backswimmers are one of the bad guys. Backswimmers are thin, long, and have a light-brown color. They have back legs that are longer than the front ones and are fringed to assist them in moving across the water. They do have wings and can fly.

They don’t grow longer than half an inch. Backswimmers swim on their backs. That’s why they are called backswimmers. They can be easily mistaken for boatmen, so if there are water bugs in your pool and you are not sure which they are, check to see if they are upside down.

Backswimmers are predators. They eat other bugs, which include boatmen. Like you have water boatmen in your swimming pool because of the algae in your pool water, you likely have Backswimmers because of the Water Boatmen.

They are not poisonous, but they bite, and it hurts! Backswimmers, unlike boatmen, do not eat algae, but they lay their eggs in it, so you will need to get rid of algae in your pool.

Now you know the enemy. Let’s take you through how you can fight them.

6 Ways to Get Rid of Water Bugs in Your Pool

You probably don’t care about what water bugs are. You want to get rid of the silly creatures and enjoy your pool once again. So, let’s eliminate them;

1. Skim Your Pool

The easiest way to remove water bugs from your pool is through the use of a skimmer since most of them stay on the surface of the pool water. Remember, they can fly. So just as soon you scoop them from the water, they may fly away. The skimmer can collect a lot of bugs in one scoop.

The question you are probably asking is, should you kill the bugs? You might have seen or heard some advice about dumping them in a bucket filled with cooking oil and water to kill them. Doing so suffocates the bugs, which is a gradual and painful death. It can also be messy.

They might be just bugs, but they helped you eat up the algae in the pool. While they are gross, you can also considerrelocatingthem. The decision is yours to make.  

2. Brush the Pool Walls And Floors

Ensuring that the water bugs do not have a food supply to come back to is essential. Scrub the walls, ladder, and steps of your water pools using algae brush to eliminate any algae that might be present there. Brushing the pool would cause the algae to move into the pool water, so the shock you are going to apply would effectively kill all of them.

3. Vacuum the Pool

We would advise you to make use of a manual vacuum rather than an automatic vacuum cleaner. Remove as much debris and sediment from the pool water as you can. Ensure you vacuum the waste properly to keep the dirty water from returning to the pool.

4. Test and Balance the Pool Water

You can use either a liquid test kit or test strips to ensure that the pH and alkalinity level is at the supposed levels. It should be between 7.4 and 7.6 for the pH level and 100 parts per million (ppm) and 150 ppm. If the pool water is not balanced, then adjust them until they are balanced. It would ensure that chlorine shocks work efficiently.

5. Shock Your Pool

This step is not the standard weekly shock. You’re trying to get rid of the algae present in your swimming pool. We would recommend that you make use of over two doses of the pool shock. You should typically make use of one pound of hypochlorite shock for ten thousand gallons of water.

You have to make use of 2 pounds of calcium hypochlorite shock per 10 thousand gallons of waterto get rid of algae in your pool efficiently. If the water is a little bit greener, you might need to increase the dose of shock.

Remember to shock the pool at night or dusk. If you shock the pool during the day, the sun will burn off the chlorine before it gets a chance to kill the algae.

6. Run the Pool Pump

Now that you have shocked the pool, you would need to let the shock getdistributed appropriately and dissipated so you would be able to make use of your pool again. We would advise you to run the pool pump for over 8 hours, overnight preferably. And if you happen to have increased the amount of shock, run the pump for twenty-four hours.

Ensure that you properly test the water to ensure that the chlorine levels have returned to the average level before you dive into the pool again.

7. Use a Dish Detergent

Using water and liquid dish soap in a spray bottle is also a natural but efficient way to eliminate the water bugs in your swimming pool. The mixture would change the pool water’s surface tension and make it impossible for the bugs to float on top of the water. 

You can spray the mixture on the water bugs directly to get rid of them, or you can also employ it as a preventive measure. If they land in your swimming pool, it will kill them, and you can skim them out of the pool.  

How to Keep Water Bugs from Returning to Your Pool

Once you get rid of all the water bugs in your pool, you sure don’t want them coming back and causing another headache for you. All you have to do to keep them from returning is easy: Clean your pool regularly, and ensure your pH and alkalinity level be balanced.

Doing so would help keep algae out of your swimming pool, which would, in turn, keep Water Boatmen out as well as Backswimmers. If algae are not growing in your pool, there’s nothing the water boatmen would eat in the pool, and they’ll find another habitat, never infesting your pool again.

You can easily make use of a pool cover whenever you are not making use of the pool. The cover would float on top of the swimming pool water, so the water bugs wouldn’t.   

Final Thoughts

One common problem among pool owners is water bugs, but if you keep your pool clean always, you should control their presence in your pool. If you already have them in your pool, they should not be in there for long anymore with these tips.

We have also taken the time to explain what the water bugs are and what attracts them to your pool. Now you know what you can use to get rid of the water bugs and keep them from ever coming back.  

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