Water Bugs in Pool: 4 Simple Steps to Keep Your Pool Bug-Free

Water bugs in pool? Here’s how to get rid of them once and for all. Here we will tell you how to identify the beetles in your pool, and then we’ll tell you how to stop them from coming back.

It’s summer, the sun is shining, and you’re bored. Your backyard beckons and your pool is calling your name. But when you get to it, you find that there are a lot of water bugs in pool! 

These pesky critters can be a big problem for someone who wants to enjoy their backyard and you need a way to get rid of these bugs without spending too much time and money eradicating them.

Water bugs in pool can be an absolute pain to get rid of. Often when there are water bugs in pool, there are in the pool house, and even in your backyard as well. These invasive little creatures are sometimes attributed to infestations of all sorts, including water mites, eels, snails, and more.

You need to learn how to get rid of them quickly if you don’t want the infestation to get worse. In this article, we will teach you how to do just that.

What Are the Common Bugs Found in the Pool?

There are two species of water bugs commonly seen in pools: the boatman and the water backswimmers. Water bags are probably the most docile. They are only in your pool to munch up some algae in your pool. The other one is the backswimmer. It’s more of a predator and more likely to hunt other bugs in your swimming pool. 

Bugs like cicadas, aphids, water boatmen, and backswimmers are members of the order Hemiptera. They look like cockroaches, but they aren’t in the same family.

Water Boatman 

Water Boatman on pool surface

The water boatman belongs to the Hemiptera order. These bugs can fly and swim. The structure of their body is boat-elongated oval shape. Thanks to their oar-shaped legs, they are good swimmers; that’s why they prey on your pool.

The water boatman is like all the water bugs, but they have a darker top and lighter bottom. This is because predators from above are less likely to see the dark color of the dorsal side. Furthermore, in-water predators approaching from below are less likely to see the light-colored ventral side of these bugs.

Water boatmen typically have mottling on their dorsal side to help them blend in with water and swamp environments. A swimming pool that contains algae is an excellent source of food for this water insect.


Common Backswimmer on water Surface

On the other hand, the backswimmer is a predator, as opposed to the ordinary water boatman. It eats by piercing and sucking out the blood and other body fluids of its victim. They prefer to eat minnows and tadpoles, but if you see them in a swimming pool, it’s because they’re after the water boatman.

This bug has three sets of legs. The front set is to seize and hold onto prey. The middle set of legs is for securing and subduing the victim. The hind legs are used for swimming.

As implied by its name, the backswimmer swims backward. A backswimmer’s color scheme is like typical water bugs. The ventral side is dark in color while the dormant side is light in color.

How to Get Rid of Water Bugs in Pool

Algae and bacteria in your pool are the cause of water bugs in pool. Cleaning thoroughly and frequently, as well as careful monitoring of pH and chemical levels, will all contribute to making your pool water a less desirable environment for them.

If you want to get rid of water bugs in pool, you must first eliminate their source of food. For boatmen bugs, this means maintaining the algae pool and keeping the chlorine levels at optimal levels. For backswimmers, it means clearing out your pool of boatmen bugs.

“NOTE: For a super simple remedy for stopping bugs from returning, just place a solar pool cover on your pool while you’re not using it. The cover floats on top of the pools so these bugs can’t.” -Matt Giovanisci, founder of Swim University®

Here are several steps on how to get rid of the water bugs in pool.

Step 1. Pool Skimming and Scrubbing

Skimming a Pool with Blue Net

The initial step should be to remove as much trash, bugs, and algae as possible with a pool skimmer. After removing everything from the pool’s surface, use a vacuum to remove as much silt and trash as possible from the pool’s bottom and walls. Finally, using an algae brush, scrape all the pool’s surfaces to loosen any build-up of algae. Sediment may remain in your pool water, but here are the steps to eliminate it. 

Step 2. Test the Water

Holding Test Kit for Pool Chemical Levels

When you are ready to start working on your swimming pool, be sure to test the water for chlorine, pH, and alkalinity. Chlorine is essential in breaking down the organic material that feeds backswimmers. Also, check the pH level of the pool water. A level that is too high or too low can both be very hazardous to swimmers using that water. 

If water chemistry is not in the ideal range, you need to adjust the level accordingly. Whatever changes you make must be made slowly over time, so you won’t potentially do more harm than good by adding or subtracting chemicals all at once without taking proper precautions.

Step 3. Shock Your Pool Water

Pool Shocking

Shocking your pool with chlorine will eliminate any algae that may still be present in your pool. We strongly suggest shocking your pool with chlorine once a week, using 1 pound of calcium hypochlorite shock per 10,000 gallons of water, to maintain your pool clean and healthy. Whenever your pool’s chlorine level falls below 3ppm, it’s an excellent idea to shock the water.

You’ll need extra calcium hypochlorite to deal with the algae and water bugs in pool if you want to get rid of them. When dealing with algae, it’s a good idea to add twice as much shock to the pool as usual.

The quantity you usually put in may not be enough if your pool is green. Also, it’s best to shock the pool at night so the sun’s UV rays can’t reduce the potency of chlorine.

Step 4. Remove the Algae

Algae growth in pools is a great place for bugs

Algae is a favorite food of water bugs. Use a filtration pump to remove algae after shocking your pool. Let the filter run for eight hours. Then the following day, brush and vacuum the pool after you wake up to eliminate any leftover algae. Keep in mind that both of these bugs are algae-dependent. So the faster you get rid of the algae, the more likely you are to get rid of the water bugs in pool as well.


And there you have it! As long as you maintain your pool, you won’t have to continue getting rid of water bugs in your pool.

You can find great pool articles on our website. Swimming pools aren’t as hard to maintain as you might think. Listed below are a few tips to get you started. Keep your pool clean and safe. 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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