Pool Bugs - What Are They and How to Get Rid of Them

by Pool Builders on 05-12-2009 in Articles

Pool bugs are very annoying, and can make your pool unsafe to swim in, unless you like being covered from head to toe in tiny bug bites. Fortunately, learning just a little bit about them can help you not only get rid of them, but prevent them from returning.

The two most common pool bugs are Waterboatmen, and Backswimmers.

Waterboatmen have an oval shaped body. They don't bite, but can be a nuisance and dirty a swimming pool's water. They feed off of algae, and other forms of vegetation found under water. They also eat mosquito larvae which can be beneficial.

Backswimmers are a bit larger and carry a nasty bite that hurts about as much as a bee sting. Backswimmers feed off of other tiny pool bugs and water insects.

One thing to note about both these pesky pool bugs is that they lay their eggs in underwater vegetation. In the case of swimming pools this is algae.

The best way to get rid of these bugs is to eliminate their food source. First, we focus on getting rid of the waterboatmen because chances are pretty good that if you have backswimmers as well, they're feeding off of the waterboatmen.

Since waterboatmen feed off of the algae then the first thing you should be doing is getting rid of as much algae as possible by hand, then doing a full pool shock treatment, testing the waters regularly to make sure that the pH levels are getting back to normal (between 7.2-7.6 for best chlorine performance.). As always, vacuum and skim the dead algae, and now dead pool bugs, out of the pool.

This should effectively eliminate any algae in the pool, which will take away the waterboatmen problem since they have nothing to feed off of any more.

Not only that, but you should also notice a decline in backswimmers as well, since you've taken away their food source, the waterboatmen.

Pool bugs generally show up thanks to a lack of swimming pool water maintenance. But don't fret too much about it, a lot people are given terrible advice from pool "experts" who's biggest aim is to get you to purchase more and more stuff from them.

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