How to get rid of small bugs in your swimming pool

A wide variety of bugs can congregate in your backyard swimming pool, particularly when the weather is hot and humid. Swimming pools attract all types of bugs. They are drawn by the algae and surrounding plants -- as well as the pool lights. Aquatic insects, such as water boatmen, backswimmers, water scavenger beetles and mayflies are especially attracted to swimming pools. Unfortunately, cleaning products such as chlorine, do not completely deter insects from the pool.

Move or trim any surrounding pool plants, so they do not hang over the pool area.

Be diligent about covering your pool each night, or when it is not in use. This will help minimise the number of bugs that can access the water.

Turn off the lights when the pool is not in use. Light is a big attraction for bugs. According to, replacing UV lights with LED lights in your pool will help to minimise the attraction for insects, especially mosquitoes.

Skim the entire surface of the pool with a mesh net, or skimmer, each day. You should use a fine mesh net to pick up all the smaller bugs. Letting bugs or debris gather in your pool will only attract more bugs.

Change or clean the filters on a regular basis. Exactly how often will depend upon how often you use the swimming pool.

Brush the pool on a bi-weekly basis. Take a long-handled pool brush and, starting at the shallow end, brush along the sides of the pool from top to bottom. Then you will need to vacuum the pool to remove any debris loosened from the brushing. This process removes algae, which is an attraction for bugs.

Prevent algae from growing in the pool by adding a polymeric algicide. Follow the instructions on the label to understand how much of the treatment you should add.

Maintain the chlorine in the swimming pool between 1.5 to 3.5 ppm (parts per million) to reduce algae growth. Use a water testing kit, available at your pool supply store.


Although insecticide is another way to get rid of pesky bugs, these chemical agents are not good for swimmers.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine mesh net or skimmer
  • LED underwater lights
  • Pool cover
  • Pool brush
  • Polymeric algicide
  • Water testing kit
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About the Author

Anne Redler is a writer who has worked in research and publishing since 1996. She has published work on the topics of macroeconomics and financial markets, including articles in the "Financial Times" and "The Wall Street Journal." Redler holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Master of Business Administration from Boston University.