A waterbug is a type of aquatic insect that is attracted to a moist/ damp environment.
Some people refer to them as cockroaches and whilst they do not present any great threat to humans, an infestation in your pool or home certainly isn’t pleasant.
There are two different types of waterbugs to be aware of, these include water boatmen and backswimmer bugs. The former have oval-shaped bodies and they are typically a brown-green color.
They are not the biggest of bugs as they do not tend to grow longer than 3cnm.
Moreover, they have two large eyes, wings and are not known to bite. Backswimmer bugs, on the other hand, are known to bite, and whilst their bite may not be poisonous it can be a little painful, very much like that of a bee or a horsefly.
In terms of appearance, these bugs have more streamlined bodies and are a similar color to water boatmen. As implied by their name, they swim on their back and approach the surface when they need air.
Once they have collected their supply of air, they will then make their way back down below the surface.
Getting Rid Of Waterbugs
There are several steps that you can follow to get rid of waterbugs. The sooner you react to them, the easier they are going to be to control.
Remove The Bugs
First and foremost you will need to remove the water bugs from the pool. You can scoop them out of the water by using a skimmer.
The water boatmen fly so you will likely find that they take off when they feel the skimmer moving the water. This is a humane method that isn’t going to subject them to any sort of pain.
Use A Natural Repellent
You can get rid of waterbugs by using natural repellent. Again, this is a more humane way of removing them that doesn’t involve killing them.
Many natural water repellents can be made using products that you will likely have readily available in your home. The first option is simple but effective in targeting the problem.
You can easily create this powerful remedy by combining powdered sugar and baking soda.
Once you have decided on the type of natural repellent that you are going to use, you will need to spray it around your pool area. This will deter them from coming near.
Vacuum The Pool Manually
It is important to dedicate time to properly maintaining your pool as doing so will help to get rid of waterbugs. We would recommend that you do this manually and try to remove any debris and dirt that has built up.
Brush The Surfaces Of The Pool
After vacuuming the pool, you will then need to begin brushing the surfaces to free them of algae. You can do this using an algae brush.
Don’t forget to pay attention to the steps and the ladder too as algae is prone to growing on these surfaces too.
Carry Out Tests On The Water
Next, you will need to conduct tests on the water to check that the pH and alkaline levels are correct.
Ideally, the pH should fall between 7.4 and 7.6 whilst the alkalinity should be between 120 and 150 PPM.
If the tests show that these levels are not right, you will then need to make the necessary adjustments.
Shock Your Pool To Prevent Algae Growth
Once you have tested the water you will need to progress onto the next step which involves shocking the pool water.
Shocking the pool will help to kill water especially if you do a double dose.
Furthermore, we would advise you to shock your pool during the night time or when dusk arrives as this is when it is going to be the most effective.
Run The Pump System
Now that you have followed all of the previous steps, you can start to run the pump and your pool will then be ready to use again.
You should run the pump the night before you intend to use the pool.
This will ensure that the chlorine is properly circulated. For clarity, you will need to retest the water to check that the chlorine levels are acceptable.
How To Stop Water Bugs From Returning
Regularly Clean And Maintain Your Pool
As we have mentioned, maintaining your pool plays an important role in stopping water bugs from returning to your pool.
You must make sure that you clean it regularly as doing so will stop algae from growing and as this is the food source for water bugs if it is not there, they are less likely to be attracted to your pool.
Whilst cleaning the pool, you can check the chlorine levels too.
Seal Up Any Gaps And Cracks
To prevent any future waterbug infestations you will need to seal up any gaps and cracks in the pool which they may be sneaking through.
You must make sure that you use a sealing product that is suitable for the surface of your pool, otherwise, it is not going to work very well.
Use A Pool Cover
Another option is to use a pool cover. A solar pool cover is a viable option, although you may find any type of cover works sufficiently in deterring the bugs.
A cover will sit on the surface of the pool and will make it difficult for the bugs to float in the water.
A waterbug infestation can be quite an issue if it is not kept under control. It is important to deal with the problem as soon as you notice the waterbugs.
However, before you react, it will help to identify the type of waterbugs that you are dealing with as there are two different kinds.
There are several steps that you can follow to eradicate the presence of the waterbugs but it essentially revolves around proper maintenance and cleaning. It’s also important to keep on top of algae growth.