There are only a few summer time pleasures that beat time spending time in a pool. To your surprise… there are any number of insects that also enjoy that time too! If the sight of bugs sharing your pool isn’t bad enough, some of these culprits may actually bite you. You can convince unwanted insects that your pool is closed for the season. Like any unwanted guest, it takes denying them food and making the place unlivable to them, but ideal for you.
Two Likely Suspects
From lady bugs to caterpillars and every bee, spider, fly or bug between, most any insect can end up in your swimming pool water. After all, it’s outside, in the open, where there are millions of insects both seen and unseen. All of them see your pool as a source of water. But there are a handful of bugs that target your pool specifically. They live, eat, breed and die in your water if allowed. Of these, two are notorious: water boatmen and backswimmers.
The Life of a Water Bug
The aptly named water boatman is only about 1/4 inch long with a thin, grayish-brown body. Long, flattened legs on the rear of his body rapidly propel him through the water where he lives. Usually seen underwater, the water boatman feeds on algae, dead organic matter, mosquito larvae and other microscopic life. You may almost consider boatmen beneficial, and in fact, they make excellent fish food or bait. Backswimmers seem to agree. Slightly larger, with beetle-like legs and front mandibles designed to pierce their prey and suck out their insides, backswimmers eat boatmen and other small organisms such as tadpoles. You can always tell a backwimmer by the way he zips, upside down, across your pool surface — and bites you, feeling almost like a bee.
Kicking the Bugs Out
The best way to get rid of water bugs is to eliminate what they eat. Since water boatmen eat algae, and backswimmers eat boatmen, attacking the algae is the place to start. Wiping down the pool walls will eliminate slimy algae growths. Skimming and vacuuming will gather more. Finally, shocking the pool repeatedly or using a double shock treatment — 2 to 3 pounds of calcium hypochlorite for every 10,000 gallons of water — will kill the rest of the algae and likely many bugs, too. Another brush down and vacuum job and thorough skimming and filtration should remove dead algae and bugs. Adding shock during the night prevents the sun from dissipating it too quickly.
Keeping the Bugs Away
After killing the food source, several steps will help keep backswimmers and water boatmen away. An algaecide, used as directed, will inhibit algae growth. Without boatmen, backswimmers — the worst of the lot — have no reason to stay. Using swimming pool covers, spraying invading insects with a soapy water mixture to kill them — and in the case of bees, prevent them from bringing back a crowd — and other tactics will help. The most important thing, however, is to keep your water balanced with proper pH and chlorine levels. A quality pool water test kit, used constantly, is essential.
If you are having trouble with bugs in your pool, call the pool professionals at Sahara Pool Builder. We specialize in pool maintenance. Contact us now! – Click Here