How to get rid of swimming pool bugs: Some working techniques

swimming pool bugs

Owning a pool is an exciting experience that can make one perfect in many practices, like balancing pool chemistry, cleaning, purchasing pool care products, and many more. One of the big issues that swimmers face is the presence of swimming pool bugs.

No one wants to dive inside water where swimming pool bugs are feeding on dirt, laying eggs, and most irritatingly, biting the swimmer’s body. Removing water bugs is not a difficult task if one understands the nature of these creeping and flying little drones.

Water boatman:

Water boatman is a member of the family Corixidae of aquatic insects. Its appearance in swimming pool water is a sign that algae exist in water-the food for water boatmen, no matter you can feel it or not.

The shape of a water boatman is similar to cockroaches. They are usually dark brown or black, with antenna not much prominent. Their size is larger than cockroaches, nearly doubled. They don’t bite, but their appearance can put a bad impression of your pool care sense on your buddies of swimming.

Water boatman


Backswimmer is a member of the family Notonevtidae of insects, found almost everywhere in the world, with the natural ability to swim on the back. The backswimmer has an oval-shaped head and an extended body that is smaller than 0.6 inches in length. It uses its long oar-like legs for forwarding motion. They are dark-colored, except their back which appears light-colored. It also has wings to fly.


To take fresh air, it appears on the surface and sometimes flies away. They sometimes, target the pool if there is bright lighting near the swimming pool during the night. The backswimmer takes as food small bugs present in the pool, including the water boatman. There is a cycle of swimming pool bugs, algae feed water boatman, and water boatman becomes food for backswimmers.

cycle of swimming pool organisms

How to get rid of swimming pool bugs?

Pool bugs go on multiplying their number if you do not eliminate them. Some working techniques help you eradicate them.

Remove algae from the pool: (skimming, cleaning, and brushing)

If you want to get rid of insects from your pool, first get rid of algae. Water boatman feeds on algae and also lays eggs there. Remove all the algae and dirt from your pool with the skimmer. Clear all sides of the pool. You will need to use the pool vacuum cleaner to clean all walls and base.

For complete removal, finally, apply algae brush to separate any residue. There can be some little bit left, but further steps will exterminate it.

Test the pool water:

To proceed further, you need a better estimate of what quantity of chemicals you need to add to the pool. Use a pool calculator and get the quantifier of each variable like pH, alkalinity, and chlorine.

Shock treatment:

You need to choose a good quality shock for your pool. Common treatments are potassium monopersulfate, sodium dichloro, and calcium hypochlorite. An ample dose of these chemicals can kill everything that remains unscratched during scrubbing and cleaning. The most effective one against algae is the calcium hypochlorite, which can completely resolve the issue.

Before adding the harsh chemicals, do some calculations. First, find out the number of gallons of water in the pool. Follow the rule as

lengthwidthheight7.5 = volume of water in gallons

One pound of calcium hypochlorite is required for 10,000 gallons.

After the shock treatment, wait for 24 hours and test the water again. This will show you a clear picture of the pH level, total alkalinity, and chlorine. If chemicals still need balancing, then do it.

Vacuum once again:

You will think of exterminating every bit of algae from the pool to avoid the appearance of bugs. If you vacuum the pool once again, there will be nothing left behind to feed the bugs. It is not compulsory but will be satisfying enough to dive into the water with a feeling of a crystal clear pool.

Some commands to avoid the occurrence of bugs in the pool:

No one wants to give an easy way to bugs enter the pool and then do all the painstaking work to terminate them. There are some simple steps to follow to avoid their appearance.

Take the regular test:

It is the well-balanced pool water that helps you avoid all unwanted situations. A well-balanced pool has about pH levels 7.4 to 7.6, chlorine ranging from 1.0 to 3.0 ppm, and alkalinity from 80 to 140 ppm.  Take regular tests using a pool chemistry test kit.

Skim your swimming pool:

Don’t allow large debris accumulations to gather in your pool. Use a skimmer to remove debris from the surface daily. This will help to dislocate the algae reproductive structure from the pool.

An easy remedy:

Pool owners often use a liquid detergent as a trap for bugs. Add some dishwashing liquid to water and it will alter the surface’s thrust. The bugs will no longer be able to float on it.

Use a pool cover:

A pool cover helps to reduce many problems regarding pool care. It reduces the risk of fast algae growth, which is food for water boatmen. Also, it stops the direct access of bugs to the pool.

Never use high wattage lights:

Bugs draw towards the bright light at night. If you switch off the lights in all nearby environments of the pool, the bug will find nothing g to follow.

Use effective methods to prevent algae growth:

You should focus on preventing algae growth. If you will take away the food of bugs, they will no more survive in the pool environment. You can use algaecides and search for as many ways as possible to kill algae production.

Build an oil layer:

Like dishwashing detergent liquid, oil also reduces the possibility of floating on the surface for bugs. Add some oil to water and it will set on the surface as a layer. This layer will not allow insects to float and reach the other parts of the swimming pool.

Bottom line:

Handling with little invaders is a part of pool care. It is recommended to terminate the bugs as early as possible; otherwise, they will grow exponentially and make the pool their habitat. Once they cross the limit, the pool water will no longer be able to be re-use.

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