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Bugs That Live in Swimming Pool Water

Updated February 21, 2017

Various types of insects find the swimming pool attractive. Even land-dwelling insects visit swimming pools for various reasons -- for example, to collect water. Bugs that live in swimming pools naturally live in bodies of water. They can cause various problems in the swimming pool, but you can keep them away using several methods.

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Aquatic insects may find a swimming pool because they find the lights to be attractive. Swimming pools located near natural bodies of water, such as lakes and ponds, are more likely to have aquatic bugs. You may find soft-bodied insects, such as dobsonflies, stoneflies and mayflies, in your swimming pool. Water beetles, such as whirligig beetles, water scavenger beetles and predacious diving beetles, also often live in swimming pools. Other water bugs include water striders, water boatmen, backswimmers and giant water bugs.


Most bugs in the swimming pool cause no harm to humans, pets or the swimming pool itself, according to Ohio State University. However, they may come in large numbers and make the pool less enjoyable. If large enough numbers are present, water bugs may even clog the swimming pool's filter, according to the University of Kentucky. Some water bugs, including dobsonflies, backswimmers and giant water bugs, may also bite swimmers.


To prevent water bugs from establishing residence in your swimming pool, you have to make the pool unattractive or inaccessible to them. Reduce the wattage of the light bulbs you use, and turn them off when you are not using the pool. If possible, place lights 20 to 30 feet away from the swimming pool. When you're not using the swimming pool, cover it to keep water bugs out. Using the pool cover a few days at a time can sufficiently exclude water bugs.

Infestation Control

When you have a bug infestation, the best way to get rid of them is usually to first find the source of the infestation, according to the University of Kentucky. However, you often can't find the source with an infestation in the swimming pool. You also can't treat the pool water with chemicals for health and safety reasons. Prevention practices, along with skimming the pool surface with a dip net every day, may get rid of water bugs. Insecticide treatment with a malathion spray on plants around the swimming pool and with a pyrethrin spray on lights may also help.

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About the Author

Edriaan Koening

Edriaan Koening began writing professionally in 2005, while studying toward her Bachelor of Arts in media and communications at the University of Melbourne. She has since written for several magazines and websites. Koening also holds a Master of Commerce in funds management and accounting from the University of New South Wales.

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