How to Get Rid of Water Bugs

You may be getting ready to swim and enjoy the season at its best. Before opening the pool, you need to address several things related to pool sanitation and safety. Among various things, water bugs in the pool must be addressed immediately before they multiply. Water bugs are insects that usually live in water sources. These insects are often found in swimming pools during the summer season. Generally, these water bugs are not harmful to humans; however, some will bite swimmers. Not only are they a nuisance, it is embarrassing to the pool owner as a sign of neglect. Most pool owners have relied on heavy shock treatments to get rid of these bugs. Although this process may help kill some bugs, disappointment soon follows as this is not a permanent solution. Sometimes the water may require additional treatments to remove the food source which is just a delay for the eggs that remain fertilized. This is where copper ionization stands out. Are you fed up with swimming bugs in the pool? If yes, you are on the right page. This post introduces you to different types of water bugs and helps you understand how copper ionization can be used effectively to eliminate water bugs from your pool.

Common Types of Water Bugs

The following are some common and most active swimming pool bugs types:

    • Backswimmers: Backswimmers are usually about 1/2 inch long. They have a distinctive shape, with their backs held high above the water’s surface. Backswimmers are predators and feed on small animals and other insects like mosquito larvae, amphipods, small fishes, and water boatman. These bugs tend to lay their eggs in algae and swim to the surface for air and to feed. These water bugs can deliver a very painful bite to humans and have the ability to fly.
    • Water Boatmen: Water boatmen are smaller than backswimmers, usually about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length. They are are oval shaped bugs that do not bite. Their main food source is algae and other minute aquatic organisms. They will also eat mosquito larvae and other small aquatic animals. These do not bite but they do fly as well.
    • Water Striders: Water striders are small, long-legged insects that are commonly found on the surface of bodies of water, including swimming pools. They feed on small insects and other organisms that fall into the water. These do not bite.

How to Get Rid of Water Bugs in Pool?

To get rid of water bugs attack their way of living.  Chlorine and shock treatments are not effective at killing them or controlling their population.  In order to eliminate them, one must better understand them and their preferred environments.

The only way to get rid of them is to take away their food supply, for water boatmen its algae, for backswimmers its other water bugs such as water boatmen or water beetles. The first step is to balance your water chemistry of course, scrub the algae off of the sides and bottoms of pool, then add bleach or hydrogen peroxide to oxidize the algae.  With no algae in the pool, the bugs cannot and will not lay their eggs!

If you live in an area with irrigation or standing water areas, water bugs can migrate. Not only can they fly, they can crawl.  By adding Borax around the pool decking, it reduce the change of the bugs crawling from a ditch or puddle into your swimming pool.  But remember, they can fly.  This is why proper balance of water chemistry is important.  When they come to your pool and see there’s nothing to eat, they will leave.

If your pool does get away from you and you find waterbugs in your pool, then here is a simple treatment.  At night be sure to turn off all exterior lights surrounding your pool.  Put a spotlight at the deep end shining into your pool.  Add 2 or 3 teaspoons of liquid dish soap into the pool where the spotlight is shining.  The waterbugs will come up for air and be drawn to the light.  With the soap on the surface, they cannot penetrate the surface and will drown.  Just scoop them up the next morning.

Boatmen bugs or water hondjies can be persistent and annoying, but you can practice basic pool care, cover your pool, and also dim the lights.

That’ll not only remove the floating water boatman bugs but also other water bugs on the pool, including the tiny larvae, water hondjies on the pool and the organic debris.

I have read in some forums BioGuard brand Back-Up algaecide tends to work well and is fast acting.  This is not a pesticide by any means.  However, there are reports of buds dying off 24 hours after treatment.

Recap – being proactive and maintaining your water chemistry is the most effective way to keep water bus out of your pool.  When a population is established, one can use a liquid dish soap treatment or the Back-Up algaecide.

How Copper Ionization Helps in Getting Rid of Water Bugs in Swimming Pools?

Common water bugs in the pool feed on algae and bacteria in the water. Hence, tackling these agents are important for pool owners to get rid of swimming bugs in pool. This can be achieved using copper ionization. The following pointers will help you understand it better.


  • Controls the Growth of Algae: Copper ions help inhibit the growth of algae in the pool. These ions block the photosynthesis of algae, which hinders their reproduction and food intake. Ionization takes away the food source that is necessary for the water bugs to survive.
  • Deter Water Bugs in Pool: Copper ionization effectively deters water bugs from entering the pool. These insects are attracted to the scent of algae and other organic matter in the pool. Copper ions eliminate the smell and make the water less prone to water bugs.
  • Sanitizes the Water: Copper ionization effectively deters water bugs from entering the pool. These insects are attracted to the scent of algae and other organic matter in the pool. Copper ions eliminate the smell and make the water less prone to water bugs.
  • Safe for Swimmers: Copper ions, which are known for their anti-microbial properties and harmful to swimmers. Unlike other cleaning chemicals, it does not cause any eye, skin, or hair irritation problems. Using copper ionization also eliminates the risk of illnesses caused by chlorine and chlorinated disinfection byproducts.
  • Lasting Effect: Copper ions released by copper ionizers continue to act in the pool longer than most chemicals as it is not effected by temperatures or UV rays. This would help curb the growth of microbes in the pool, including water bugs.

You can realize more success with the removal of common water bugs in pool by using quality copper ionization systems. Intec-America is one of the leading manufacturers of water treatment systems, including copper ionizers in the USA. The company has commercialized a NASA-developed water treatment system and offers a wide variety of high-quality and cost-effective water treatment systems. Get in touch with the experts today to understand the possibilities of using copper ionizers for swimming pool sanitation and getting rid of different swimming pool bug types in your pool.

Intec America’s Copper Pool Ionizer to get rid of water bugs

CA10 – up to 10,000 gallons water Pool IonizerCV50 – 250 – 40,000 gallons Pool IonizerCV60 – 5,000 – 50,000 gallons Pool IonizerCV60-C – 50,000-100,000 gallons Pool Ionizer
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