How To Get Rid Of Water bugs In Pool

Honestly, I hate bugs and I can imagine having to share a swimming pool with them! They make my skin tinge and even writing this, I’m tingling all over…
Anyway, you need to get rid of those water bugs in your swimming and I’m sure that’s the sole reason you are here. The most common bugs you are likely going to find in your swimming pool are the water boatman and the backswimmer. Generally, these bugs will not harm human beings, though the backswimmer can give a really painful bite. The water boatman feeds on algae while the backswimmer feeds on the boatman and any other bugs. These bugs can only survive in water so getting rid of their sources of food supply and habitats prevent them from living in the pool.

So, how to get rid of water bugs in pool? Here are several ways you can follow…

Shock Chlorination

preparing shock treatment
Chlorination kills any organic matter in the pool. This is vital because we know bugs feed on algae that often grows in pools when there are low levels of chlorine, about 1.0 to 3.0 ppm(parts per million). After your pool gets balanced, the pH levels get to a range of about 7.2 to 7.6. Ensure your pool is shocked at least twice each week especially if it’s frequently used. Every shock treatment should improve the chlorination levels of the pool. When shocking your pool, add the chemical to 5 gallons of water and then gently stir it until it gets completely dissolved. Pour the mixture slowly into the pool but directly to the front of the return line fitting. It’s recommended that you chlorinate the pool late in the evening. Avoid swimming into the pool until the chlorine levels are at 1.0 to 3.0ppm.



Insects are cold blooded and when your introduce light, you provide warmth and ultraviolet energy which is not a wonderful combination for their survival. Insects get attracted by lighting and so it should be placed 30 feet away from the pool. Direct the lighting towards the pool. Attract as much bugs as possible by using lights that are loaded with low wattage bulbs so as to offer adequate light. When the bugs get to the lighting, they will likely die due to the ultraviolet energy.

Thoroughly brush and Vacuum

vacuuming a pool
Scrub the walls of your swimming pool with overlapping strokes of a brush. After scrubbing, vacuum the walls and floor with a pool vacuum cleaner. You can purchase cleaning products from your pool supply store to help in the cleaning process. By just taking about 15 minutes every day to maintain your pool, you will be controlling bugs in the pool water.

Use cooking oil

Get a bucket that has a lid, fetch some pool water and then pour the oil in it. We know from our elementary science that water and oil do not mix, so oil will float at the top. Using a pool skimmer, skim out the bugs from your pool and put them in the bucket with oil. Cover it with the lid and then wait for them to die. This sounds crude, I know, but aren’t you looking to kill those water bugs in your pool? This works perfectly.


a swimming pool with bugs
The aim here is to eliminate any food supply for the water bugs. Without food, the water boatman will die, the backswimmer will not have anything to eat and will end up dead. Shock your pool and give it about 2 days for the chlorine to evaporate and the level to get to about 1.0 to 3.0 ppm(parts per million) . Work out the amount of algaecide that your pool needs and then according to the instructions on the product you are using, apply it. After about 12 hours following application, brush and vacuum the pool to get rid of the dead algae.


Skim your pool everyday to get rid of any dead bugs and algae. When you are regularly treating your pool for algae, skimming is important. Dead bugs are food for other bugs so get rid of them as soon as possible. When there are no dead bugs, there will be no food for other bugs that feed on them and thus they will go to search for food in other areas or starve to death. Organic matter such as leaves and grass offer shelter and a place for bugs to lay their eggs so skimming the pool is important.

Using liquid dish wash detergent

liquid dish soap
This is one of the most simple and cheap ways of getting rid of water bugs in your swimming pool. For water bugs to breathe, they should come to the surface of the water. They will have to stand on the water to do so. This method alters the surface tension of the water so that they are unable to stand on the water and cannot make any bubbles of air to carry with them underwater. They will drown and then the pool filtration will get them out of the swimming pool.

• Measure 3 tablespoons of liquid dish detergent and pour them in a spray bottle
• Fill the remaining part of the spray bottle with water and thoroughly mix them together.
• Check for any groupings of water bugs you can find and directly spray your soap solution
• Spray the solution along the perimeter of the swimming pool.
• Wait for a few hours. The bugs will have drowned and will get cleaned by the pool filtration system. You can repeat this process as many times as possible. Dish soap biodegrades and its pH balanced so small quantities will not harm your pool.

With the above ideas, you should be able to get rid of water bugs in your swimming. If you are unable to, then consult your pool professional for further guidance. Good Luck!

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