What Are The Swimming Bugs In My Pool


Identifying and understanding swimming bugs in a pool is of utmost importance for pool owners. These bugs can not only be a nuisance but also have potential health risks and impact the overall water quality. This comprehensive guide aims to provide detailed information on common swimming bugs found in pools, including their characteristics, behavior, impact, prevention methods, and control measures.

Types of Swimming Bugs


Mosquitoes are well-known pests that can breed in stagnant water sources like swimming pools. They have small bodies with long legs and wings. Mosquito larvae thrive in standing water such as pools and can transmit diseases such as West Nile virus or Zika virus.

To prevent mosquito infestations, it’s important to regularly maintain the pool by skimming off debris and ensuring proper circulation and filtration systems are functioning effectively. Additionally, using larvicides or insecticides specifically designed for mosquitoes can help control their population.

Water Boatmen

Water boatmen are small aquatic insects commonly found in swimming pools. They have flat oval-shaped bodies with long oar-like legs that allow them to swim gracefully through the water surface.

While they do not pose any direct health risks to humans, high populations of water boatmen may indicate poor water quality due to excessive organic matter or algae growth. Regular cleaning of the pool along with appropriate levels of chlorine treatment will help control their presence.


Backswimmers are aquatic insects that swim upside down on the surface tension of the water due to special adaptations on their legs which resemble paddles. They have slender bodies ranging from 1/4 inch up to an inch long.

Although backswimmers do not typically bite humans unless provoked, they may cause irritation if they come into contact with bare skin while swimming in infested waters. To prevent backswimmer populations from growing out of control, maintaining proper chemical balance is essential along with regular cleaning routines including brushing pool walls and floors.

Water Striders

Water striders are insects with long slender bodies and long legs that allow them to walk on the surface of water. They primarily feed on small insects or other organisms that get trapped in the water’s surface tension.

While their presence in pools is generally harmless, high populations can indicate poor water quality. To discourage or attract water striders based on personal preference, adjusting pool lighting or adding plants near the pool area can be effective methods.

Dragonflies and Damselflies

Dragonflies and damselflies are flying insects that lay their eggs in aquatic environments such as swimming pools. They have elongated bodies, large eyes, and four transparent wings.

Having dragonflies or damselflies around a pool can be both beneficial and problematic. On one hand, they help control mosquito populations by feeding on their larvae. However, they may also become a nuisance due to their frequent visits around the pool area. Encouraging dragonflies to breed away from the pool by providing alternative breeding sites is recommended if their presence becomes bothersome.


Mayflies are delicate flying insects with two pairs of wings held upright when at rest. They have short lifespans ranging from a few hours to several days depending on species.

Although mayfly nymphs do not pose any direct harm to humans or cause health risks, they may indicate poor water quality if present in significant numbers within a swimming pool. Proper maintenance practices such as regular cleaning routines along with appropriate use of algaecides will help control excessive algae growth which serves as food for mayfly larvae.

Identification Techniques

Identifying swimming bugs in a pool requires careful observation of physical characteristics and behavioral cues:

1.Visual identification: Examining physical characteristics such as body shape, size, coloration patterns along with using field guides or online resources for reference can assist in identifying different types of swimming bugs accurately.
2.Behavioral cues: Observing swimming patterns, feeding habits, or any specific behaviors exhibited by the bugs can help in narrowing down their identification.
3.Professional assistance: Consulting with a pool expert or entomologist can provide valuable insights into identifying specific bug species. Pest control professionals may also offer advice and solutions tailored to individual needs.

Prevention and Control Measures

To prevent swimming bug infestations and maintain a clean and healthy pool environment, several measures can be taken:

1.Regular pool maintenance: Skimming off debris, cleaning filters regularly, maintaining appropriate chemical balance (including chlorine levels), and brushing the walls/floors will reduce the chances of bug populations thriving.
2.Physical barriers: Installing pool covers or nets will minimize access for bugs to enter the water. Surface skimmers or traps are also effective at capturing floating insects.
3.Natural remedies: Adding beneficial insects like dragonflies that prey on mosquitoes or introducing fish species that feed on larvae can help control bug populations organically. Using organic insect repellents can deter certain bugs from approaching the pool area.
4.Chemical treatments: Selecting appropriate insecticides or larvicides specifically designed for different types of swimming bugs is crucial. Following safety guidelines and regulations when using these chemicals is essential to protect both humans and aquatic life.


Identifying common swimming bugs found in pools is essential for maintaining a clean, safe, and enjoyable swimming experience. By understanding their characteristics, behavior patterns, prevention methods as well as implementing proper control measures such as regular maintenance routines along with using suitable chemical treatments when necessary; pool owners can effectively manage bug infestations.

It’s important to remember that seeking professional advice from experts such as pool specialists or entomologists if needed ensures accurate identification techniques are utilized along with tailor-made solutions based on individual requirements.

For further information on how to identify specific types of swimming bugs commonly found in pools along with detailed guidance on prevention methods including additional resources related to pool bug identification and control, refer to the following links:


Q: Can swimming bugs cause harm to humans?
A: While some swimming bugs like backswimmers may bite if provoked, most swimming bugs do not pose any direct harm to humans. However, their presence can indicate poor water quality or potential health risks associated with stagnant water.

Q: What are the primary food sources for swimming bugs?
A: Swimming bugs have varied diets depending on the species. Mosquitoes feed on blood while other insects like water boatmen or backswimmers primarily feed on small organisms or debris present in pool water.

Q: How often should I clean my pool to prevent bug infestations?
A: Regular cleaning routines such as skimming off debris, cleaning filters, brushing walls/floors, and maintaining appropriate chemical balance should be performed weekly or as needed based on environmental factors.

Q: Are there any natural remedies for controlling swimming bug populations?
A: Yes, introducing beneficial insects that prey on specific types of swimming bugs (e.g., dragonflies for mosquitoes) or adding fish species that consume larvae can help naturally control bug populations. Using organic insect repellents may also deter certain bugs from approaching the pool area.

Q: What safety precautions should I take when using chemicals for bug control in my pool?
A: It is essential to carefully follow safety guidelines provided by manufacturers when using insecticides or larvicides in pools. This includes wearing protective gear and ensuring proper dosage calculations based on pool volume.


Swimming Pool Bugs Glossary:

  1. Times: Refers to the frequency or instances when certain events occur, such as bug infestations in a swimming pool.

  2. Mosquito larvae: The immature stage of mosquitoes that hatch from eggs and develop in standing water, including swimming pools.

  3. Night: The period of darkness during which bugs may be more active in the pool.

  4. Eggs in algae: Mosquitoes and other bugs may lay their eggs within algae present in the pool water.

  5. Gallons of water: Measurement used to determine the volume or capacity of a swimming pool.

  6. Bee sting: An unpleasant reaction caused by bees when they sting humans; not directly related to swimming bugs but can be an issue for some individuals around pools.

  7. Types of water bugs: Various species of insects that inhabit bodies of water, including beetles, mites, boatmen bugs, etc., which may also infest swimming pools.

  8. Pool algae: Unwanted growths composed primarily of microscopic plants that thrive under specific conditions within the pool environment if not properly maintained and treated with chemicals or cleaning methods.

9.Type of swimming pool : Different styles or designs (e.g., above-ground vs backyard) affect factors like maintenance needs and potential bug issues.

10.Food supply : Availability or sources of nourishment for bugs living in or around the pool area.

11.Beetles : A type o

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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