How to Remove Backswimmers

Written by nicole cipri
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How to Remove Backswimmers
Keep your pool clean and free of invading insects. (John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Backswimmers are a family of dark brown aquatic insects, typically about 1/2 inch in size, that dwell in freshwater pools, ponds and some slow-moving streams. Backswimmers are so named because they swim on their backs, using their large hind legs for propulsion. Most species of backswimmers are common in North America and Europe, and can be a pest for pool owners or those who maintain ponds on their property. Unlike some harmless aquatic insects, backswimmers are known for having a nasty bite.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Flash light
  • Pool net
  • Liquid chlorine
  • Pesticide for use in pools

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  1. 1

    At night, turn on your poolside lamp, or use a flashlight, and shine the light in the water. Backswimmers and other aquatic insects are attracted to the light and will swim towards it. Use a pool net to scoop them up. Backswimmers are capable of flight, so it's best to kill them, rather than release them, to make sure they don't come back

  2. 2

    If insects are a constant problem in your pool, buy an insecticide that is for use in pools. Add the solution to your pool water, following the directions on the label.

  3. 3

    Shock the pool by increasing its chlorine levels. The amount necessary to use is different depending on the size of your pool and the solution that you are using. If you're unsure how to shock your pool, consult a local pool expert.

  4. 4

    Prevent backswimmers from living in a body of water by keeping it clean and free of algae. Make sure that your pH and chlorine levels are balanced, and clean and repair filters regularly. Remove insects and debris as you find them in your pool or pond.

Tips and warnings

  • Exercise caution when using a pool insecticide or liquid chlorine. Both can be dangerous if misused. Be sure to follow the directions on the label.

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