Quick and Easy Steps on How to Keep Pool Worms Out

How to get rid of pool worms? A pool is an excellent place for kids to learn to swim. It is a good idea to have a swimming pool at home. It is a great way to get fit and have fun.

It’s not common to see worms in swimming pool water. Unless they are earthworms that dropped into the pool unintentionally, the worms you see are probably horsehair or Gordian worms, which thrives on the bodies of grasshoppers, cockroaches, beetles, and crickets.

Although these pool worms don’t cause an alarm, most pool owners don’t like these creepy creatures in their pool. Using the same measures that you would use to remove dirt and debris from your swimming pool, you may safely eliminate these pool worms.

Common Types of Pool Worms

Imagine just having a relaxing day at the pool when you feel something brushing against your leg. Then you look down only to find a worm is in your pool.

Below are the types of worms commonly found in pools:  


Earthworms tend to look for humid places, like your swimming pool.

Earthworms are the most common type of worm, and they’re also the ones you’re probably most familiar with. They appear to be… well, ordinary ol’ worms.

While they’re most commonly found in garden soil or the ground, they’ll seek moisture wherever they can when the weather is chilly. On wet days, they come out and crawl across your driveway, which explains why you see them.

There’s a good chance that if you find them in your pool, they come from the surrounding landscaping. They fall in and get trapped in the pool since they are unable to climb out with themselves.


Bloodworms in Sand

Bloodworms (also known as red worms) can also be found in swimming pools. They are colored red, and they’re the larval form of the Chironomid midge fly, which may be found throughout the United States.

Midge flies breed in calm, stagnant water, which makes for an ideal breeding environment. They deposit their eggs on the surface of the pool water, and the eggs hatch into larvae (bloodworms) within 2 to 3 days, depending on the temperature of the water.

As disgusting as they may appear, bloodworms are safe to people (though they have been known to bite), and when found in their natural environment, they serve as a food source for fish.

Horsehair Worms

Horsehair worm in backyard soil

Horsehair worms (also known as Gordian worms) are the third type of worm you may encounter in your backyard oasis.

These worms have the appearance of a long, thin strand of hair, and they wriggle so much that they wound themselves into a ball-like structure known as a Gordian knot. They may be found in a variety of aquatic settings and can even survive in damp soil.

Don’t worry. Horsehair worms are incapable of parasitizing vertebrates, even if you consume them. However, you wouldn’t want to test that theory, right?

Steps to Remove Pool Worms

Worms can be found in swimming pools, but they’re not necessarily something that should keep you up at night. However, if you find a worm in your pool and end up finding one of the dangerous types of pool worms not listed below, then it’s time to take action. To eradicate these bedeviling pests from your pool, follow these steps:

Step 1: Skim the Pool

Woman Skimming Pool to Clean

Use a leaf skimmer to clean the pool. If you find any pool worms, especially afloat, use the leaf skimmer’s net to capture them. Gently tap them on the ground to release them from the net.

Step 2: Shock the Pool

Pool Shocking

For swimming pools, shocking is the technique of mass-dosing the water with chlorine to kill germs and oxidize chloramines (combined chlorine).

This mass dosing of chlorine increases the free chlorine while reducing the combined chlorine level. 

Pool shocking could eliminate all kinds of pool worms. However, cleaning the pool in an old-fashioned manner will help the shock work better.

While shocking may be unnecessary if your pool has a few pool worms, removing whatever bacteria they may have introduced is still a good idea.

Pool shock is not that costly; the price range is around 5.00USD per 1lb.

Related: Over-Shocking Pool, Shock a Salt Water Pool, Ins and Outs of Pool Shock

Step 3: Use a Vacuum

Vacuuming the Pool underwater

If you’re having a hard time, scoop up the pool worms using a net, a vacuum could work very well to remove them.

You’ll have a great chance of catching all of them if you vacuum them up.

You can also use a leaf vacuum with an attached mesh bag. Beware of the type of vacuum you’ll use in your pool because finishes like vinyl-liner pools could be very delicate.

Pool vacuums may cost as little as 200.00USD or as much as 1000.00USD.

Related: Best Automatic Pool Vacuum, Best Way to Vacuum a Pool

Pool Worm Prevention Tips

A pool should be a place of relaxation, not a spot for slimy surprises. Let’s dive into some ways to keep those pesky worms out of your pool.

Elevate Your Pool Deck

One way to keep worms from entering your pool is by checking your pool deck. If it’s flat with the ground, worms can easily crawl over. Consider raising your deck a bit. This acts like a small barrier for worms, especially when it rains heavily.

Act Quickly After Heavy Rain

Worms love to come out and explore after a heavy rain. If you can, clean the area around your pool after rainfalls. This will stop the worms before they get too close.

Use Simple Methods

You don’t need fancy tools to keep worms away. Some methods are easy and won’t harm your garden or pool. But, if worms aren’t your only problem and you also have insects like bees or dragonflies, you might want to look into more detailed methods.

Handle Dead Worms Promptly

Jumping into a pool and feeling a dead worm is gross. These also affect the water quality. Make sure to remove them quickly for a clean pool experience.

Regularly Use Your Pool Skimmer

A pool skimmer is a must-have tool for pool owners. Use it often, especially after rains. If you have a leaf net pool skimmer, even better! It can quickly clean out worms, their eggs, and larvae. Just a few minutes and your pool will be clean.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I prevent worms from getting into my pool?

Keep the pool area clean, reduce lighting around the pool at night, maintain a well-trimmed lawn, and create barriers such as gravel strips around the pool.

How often should I check my pool for worms?

During worm season, typically in the spring and after heavy rains, check and clean your pool daily.

Are certain types of pools more prone to worm problems?

In-ground pools close to gardens and natural areas may experience more worm issues than elevated or above-ground pools.

Can improving drainage around my pool area help?

Yes, better drainage can prevent water from pooling in your garden, which can attract worms.

How can I make my pool less attractive to worms?

Maintaining cleanliness, avoiding overwatering nearby areas, and using pool covers can make your pool less inviting to worms.


While pool worms aren’t harmful, nobody wants to jump into their pool and discover a swarm of them floating around. Before you do so, it’s important to remember that these creatures aren’t harmful.

These worms are found in many different environments, such as gardens and lawns, so it’s best to take preventive measures and employ the removal steps to ensure they don’t endanger your backyard oasis.

Swimming pools are a wonderful addition to any house, but problems can occur. Click here to learn the most common issues that people have with their swimming pools, and how to fix them. Happy swimming!

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About the author

Brian Anderson

The rather dry pool world out there is in need of some passion to make it shine. With the help of my son Ruben and his wife Maria our mission is to help you create the favorite spot of your house - your pool.

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