How To Get Rid Of Water Bugs In Your Pool

How To Get Rid Of Water Bugs In Your Pool

Anthony Barnes

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Water bugs are tiny insects that live in swimming pools. They feed off algae and other organic matter floating around in the water.

If left untreated, they can cause serious damage to your pool equipment and even pose health risks.

There are several ways to get rid of water bug infestations. The most common method involves using chemicals such as borax (see also ‘Borax In Your Pool: How & When To Use It‘) or chlorine to kill them.

But these methods aren’t always effective. In some cases, they can also harm your pool equipment.

Keep on reading to find out more!

What Are Water Bugs? 

What Are Water Bugs 

A water bug is a small insect that lives in swimming pools. They’re usually about 1/8 inch long and look like little black dots. Some species of water bugs have wings, while others don’t.

They eat algae and other organic material floating in the water. This helps keep the water clean by filtering out harmful bacteria and debris.

They also help prevent the growth of algae because they break down dead plant cells in the water. However, if you leave them alone for too long, they will multiply and grow into large colonies.

This causes problems because they can clog filters and block drains. They can also be dangerous to humans. For example, people who swim in infected pools may contract skin rashes.

Some species of water bugs can carry disease-causing germs. These include giardia, cryptosporidium, cholera, salmonella, shigella, and e coli.

How Do I Know If My Pool Has Water Bugs?

How Do I Know If My Pool Has Water Bugs

If you see any signs of water bugs in your pool, it’s time to take action. Here are some telltale signs:

You might notice an unpleasant odor coming from the pool. This could mean there’s a problem with the filter system. It could also indicate that the water contains high levels of ammonia.

You might find dead fish in the pool. This could be caused by a lack of oxygen in the water. Or it could be due to a chemical imbalance.

You might notice cloudy water. This could be caused when the water contains high levels of iron.

You might notice white spots on your pool walls. These could be caused by algae growing in the water.

You might notice brownish stains on your pool floor. This could be caused if the water contains high levels of nitrates.

How Do I Remove Water Bugs From My Pool?

The first step is to make sure you’ve got all the necessary tools. Then, you’ll need to use one of the following methods to get rid of the bugs.

Use Borax

Use Borax

Borax is often used to treat water bugs. You should add it directly to the pool. Borax is safe for children and pets. And it won’t hurt plants or animals.

Add 2 teaspoons of borax per 10 gallons of water. Stir well before adding it to the pool. Wait at least 30 minutes before diving in.

Borax works best if you add it during the day. That way, it doesn’t interfere with nighttime chlorination.

Use Chlorine

Use Chlorine

Chlorine is another popular treatment option. To use it, mix 3 tablespoons of household bleach (sodium hypochlorite) per 10 gallons of water and stir well.

Wait 15 minutes before jumping in. If you want to use this method at night, you’ll need to wait until morning.

Chlorine kills water bugs by breaking their exoskeletons. Once they die, they float to the surface where they decompose.

Use Dish Detergent

Use Dish Detergent

Put enough dish soap into your swimming pool to kill off most of the bug population. Then let the pool sit for a couple of days, and skim off any remaining bugs.

This will not make your pool bubbly. The detergent stops the bugs breathing when they are in the water, and their bodies become trapped inside air bubbles (see also ‘Air Bubbles In Your Pool? Here’s Why‘) from the soap.

Use Copper Sulfate

Use Copper Sulfate

Copper sulfate is a common home remedy for killing water bugs. Add 5 drops of copper sulfate per gallon of water. Mix well before using.

Wait 15 minutes before diving in. Copper sulfate only works if you add it to the pool during the daytime.

Use Vinegar

Use Vinegar

Vinegar is another effective solution. Simply pour 1 cup of apple cider vinegar into the pool. Let it sit overnight. The next day, drain out the vinegar and replace it with fresh water.

Vinegar is especially useful if you have a lot of water bugs. It helps kill them quickly.

Use Calcium Chloride

Use Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride is another popular pool treatment. Just add 1/2 teaspoon of calcium chloride per 10 gallons of water to help eliminate water bugs.

Let it sit overnight. The following day, drain out the calcium chloride and replace it with fresh tap water.

Use Oil

Use Oil

Oil can also be an effective way to get rid of waterbugs. Pour some vegetable oil into the pool. Let the oil sit for 24 hours. Skim off any floating bugs.

If you’re worried about getting oily looking water, just add more oil after skimming.

If you don’t see any bugs after 24 hours, then you probably didn’t use enough oil. Use twice as much oil as you did last time.

Use Salt

Use Salt

Salt is another effective way to get rid of waterbugs. Sprinkle salt on top of the water and let it sit for 24 hours. After that, skim off any bugs that are stuck to the bottom of the pool.

Salt is very effective because it disrupts the insects’ ability to breathe. This makes them drown in the salty water.

Use Lemon Juice

Use Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is another effective way to kill off water bugs. Put one part lemon juice to two parts water in a bucket. Stir well.

Dip your feet or hands in the mixture and leave it there for 30 minutes. You should notice fewer bugs after that.

You might need to do this several times over the course of a few weeks to completely eradicate the problem.

General Ways To Get Rid of Waterbugs


A Net Skimmer is used to collect insects from the surface of water. You use a net skimmer to skim off most of the bugs from the surface of the water.


Scrubbing pools is important because you want to make sure there isn’t any algae growing in the water.


You must first brush away algae and debris from the side of your swimming pool before using the vacuum cleaner.


Pool shocks should be used to clean pools thoroughly. Calcium hypochlorite is the most effective chemical to use.


After you add chlorine to your pool, wait about 24 hours before testing your water. Your pool should be tested every 3 months.

Why Are Water Bugs Attracted To Pools? 

Water bugs are attracted to pools because they like warm temperatures. They also enjoy swimming around in shallow areas.

They are attracted to pools because of their high oxygen content. Swimmers often create bubbles while splashing around in the water. These bubbles provide oxygen to the bugs.

They are attracted to pools because many people swim in them. When swimmers enter the water, they stir up the bugs.

They like pools because they like the food that’s available. Most bugs feed on decaying organic matter.

The best ways to keep water bugs from invading your pool include:

Keep Your Pool Clean

Clean your pool regularly. Scum and dirt build up on the sides of the pool. If you don’t clean your pool, these scums will attract bugs.

Add Chemicals

Adding chemicals such as chlorine helps prevent bugs from entering your pool. Chlorine kills bacteria and prevents algae growth. It also keeps the water safe for swimming.

Install a Filter

Your filter removes particles from the water so that they can’t clog your pipes. The filter also reduces the amount of chlorine needed by your pool.

Check Your Pool Regularly

Make sure that your pool is free of leaks. Leaks allow bugs into your pool.

How Can I Prevent Water Bugs From Coming Back In My Pool?

How Can I Prevent Water Bugs From Coming Back In My Pool 

Water bugs can come back after you’ve treated your pool. Here’s how to prevent that:

Keep an eye on the weather. If there’s heavy rain, then you’re more likely to see insects coming back.

Clean the filter regularly. Dirt clogs up the filters, which allows water bugs to enter the pool.

Change your filter every month. A dirty filter also makes it easier for water bugs to come back.

If you find water bugs in your pool, don’t panic. They’re harmless. But they do carry diseases like giardia and cryptosporidium. So, if you see them, call your local health department right away.

Final Thoughts

Water bugs are pests that can cause problems if not dealt with properly. There are different methods to get rid of waterbugs.

Some work better than others. Try all of them until you find the method that works best for you.

Thank you for reading!

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By Anthony Barnes

Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age