Outdoor Pests | Pest Control

Types of Swimming Pool Bugs (With Photos) & How to Get Rid of Them

Having bugs in your swimming pool can be quite an annoying and unhygienic sight and the prospect of having to get rid of them can seem like a huge task as well.

However, if you notice bugs in your swimming pool, it is essential for you to deal with them immediately so that you can start using the pool again. You should also be aware of the types of swimming pool bugs so that you can identify them properly.

Let’s take a look at some common types of bugs as well as how you can get rid of them.

Types of Swimming Pool Bugs

There are several types of swimming pool bugs that you might notice. Some of them bite while some might be harmless. Even so, it is essential for you to get rid of them as soon as you can.

You can go through the types of swimming pool bugs and their characteristics below.

Water Boatman

water boatman on water

Water boatmen bugs belong to the Corixidae family of insects that thrive in aquatic environments, including both freshwater and saline water. They tend to have long bodies and can thrive in your swimming pool.

They live in your pool not only to eat the algae and sustain themselves but also to breed, lay, and hatch eggs.

As long as there are algae in your pool and some lights nearby, these bugs will be attracted to your pool. It is essential for you to deal with them as soon as possible otherwise they can end up multiplying at a rapid rate.


a thrip on a leaf

Thrips are extremely tiny insects with blackish-brown bodies. While they are not immediately attracted to the water in your pools, they can certainly end up getting in them if they notice some plants nearby or even the algae inside the pool.

The eggs that thrips lay are quite small as well, making it quite easy for them to reproduce and spread their population.

They might also end up carrying bacteria and causing some skin itches if they get on your body from the pool. Another reason for their attraction to the pool is the fact that they easily swarm towards the color blue.


backswimmer on water

Backswimmers is another commonly used name for the Notonectidae family of insects. They are referred to as backswimmers since they tend to swim in an inverted position.

These bugs live and thrive in freshwater, stagnant ponds, and swimming pools and tend to rely on the oxygen already present inside their bodies to breathe inside the water.

Make sure you manage them as soon as you notice them since they can not only spread rapidly but can also sting you if they get onto your body.



Mosquitoes are menacing everywhere, including in your swimming pools. What is it about swimming pools that attract mosquitoes to them?

Mosquitoes tend to lay their eggs on stagnant water surfaces and are attracted to algae if it builds up in your pool. This is why it is important to maintain your pool regularly.

Once the eggs hatch, the mosquitoes will spread around your house quickly and cause itchy bites as well as potential diseases that they might carry.

Some of these diseases can be quite serious, so make sure you do what it takes to get rid of them.



Springtails are bugs that you can also commonly find in your swimming pools. They are hexapods that tend to thrive in areas of high moisture and around organic substances.

This makes swimming pools quite attractive for springtails, especially if you have not carried out your routine cleaning and maintenance of the pool.

Springtails are not too harmful to our bodies since they do not bite. They can, however, spread certain bacteria and infest your swimming pool, making it look unseemly.

These bugs are usually brown, black, or grey in color.

Water Beetles

water beetle

Water beetles is an umbrella term for all species of beetles that tend to live and thrive in water. Usually, these species tend to get attracted most to freshwater, although they can also thrive in swimming pools in the presence of algae or stagnant water.

This is because water beetles (herbivorous) exclusively feed on algae. If you have other kinds of water beetles in your pool, then these might be a bit more dangerous to have around.

Make sure that you handle them soon so that they do not spread any diseases. In case they end up laying eggs, then this can cause them to multiply pretty quickly.

Jesus Bugs

jesus bug on water

Jesus bugs are also known as water striders. These bugs belong to the Gerridae family of insects and are particularly known for their unique characteristic of skimming, gliding, or walking on water using their appendages.

Most of these bugs are found in freshwater, but like most other bugs mentioned here, these too tend to get attracted to swimming pools if the water is dirty, stagnant, or full of algae.

These bugs are usually found on the surface of the water. If there are plants or algae nearby, then these can allow them to lay their eggs as well, making them spread across the pool.

Giant Water Bugs

Giant Water Bug

Giant water bugs or toe-biters belong to the Belostomatidae family of insects. They are pretty big in size and most of the species belonging to this family are found in freshwater.

You can commonly find them in ponds, damp regions, marshes as well as stagnant swimming pools.

Particularly, if your pool tends to have some vegetation in and around it, then you can anticipate the presence of these bugs.

These bugs tend to leave behind quite a harsh and painful bite, so be careful while dealing with them.

Water Mites

water mites

Water mites are some other bugs that you should look out for. Known as the Hydrachnidia, these water mites are abundant in all kinds of freshwater sources, whether that includes marshes, ponds, still streams, lakes as well as pools if you do not clean it up regularly.

They can also easily find their way into the pool if it has recently rained and if the pool was left open.

These water mites are small but colorful, making them quite easy to spot. They are also parasitic and tend to feed on the larvae of other host insects, so generally preventing the infestation of bugs in your pool can be a good way to keep these bugs away.



Gnats are usually used to refer to insects belonging to the Nematocera suborder. There are several families and species within this suborder, many of which are found near wet and moist regions.

The gnats found close to water are unlikely to bite, but they can certainly carry a host of diseases with them. Further, they tend to lay their eggs in water that tend to come up to the surface while hatching, making your pool look extremely dirty if the gnats multiply in this way.

You might come across gnats that bite as well, so make sure you exercise caution.



Midges are bugs that can describe a range of families and species. When it comes to the midges found in your swimming pools or other aquatic regions, however, it is important to note that these usually do not bite or cause any harm, unless they are carrying diseases.

These midges are also referred to as blind mosquitoes due to their inability to bite us. These non-biting species are also known as Chironomoids and are usually found in freshwater or any other stagnant water with organic material.

If you find these midges in your pool, you should deal with them effectively to prevent too much contamination and spread.


fly on a leaf

Flies belong to the Diptera order and can be used to refer to a whole range of species and families, many of which can thrive underwater or on the surface of the water while some are simply attracted to it.

They can also end up laying their eggs in water, allowing them to multiply rapidly and spread across the swimming pool as well as your house. This can end up spreading a range of diseases to you and your family while also causing irritation and itchiness if they land on your body.

What Attracts Bugs to Swimming Pools?

Now that you know about some common types of swimming pool bugs, you must be wondering what exactly it is about your pool that attracts them to it. Some reasons include the following:

  • Leaving your pool uncovered can attract dust, debris, and insects.
  • If your water becomes stagnant, then this can be a sure sign of bug infestation especially since these bugs tend to get attracted to still and dirty water.
  • Algae and other vegetation in and around your pool can serve as food for the insects and sites for laying their eggs.
  • In many cases, the presence of insects can end up attracting other insects as well, which is where most of these bugs might come from.

How to Get Rid of Swimming Bugs in the Pool

It is essential for you to take measures to get rid of bugs in your swimming pool since they can otherwise swim around, spread diseases, multiply, and lead to contamination.

You can go through the following methods through which you can get rid of as well as prevent these bugs from swimming around and housing themselves in your pool.

Types of swimming pool bugs

Leaf Skimmers

Leaf rakes can be a good way to scoop out the bugs at once so that you can clean up the pool in a quick manner. They can also help you get rid of other debris and dirt that might be swimming on the surface of your pool.

Make sure you opt for leaf rakes that have a large handle so that you can easily carry and control them. You can also opt for automatic devices that will float around the surface of the pool and absorb all the bugs and leaves.

This can help you get rid of the insects that usually thrive on the surface, but you might need to carry out additional steps to clean the pool in depth.


Chlorinating your pool can be a good way of getting rid of all the algae that might have collected inside your pool. This can also be a good way of getting rid of any bugs present inside the pool whose eggs are on the algae.

Further, this can be a good way to prevent bugs from gathering inside your pool as well so that they do not find any organic elements inside to actually feed or reproduce on.

You will, however, need to bring your pool back to safe chlorine levels so that you can actually use it again.


Using algaecide inside your pool can be another method that you can apply to get rid of the algae inside your pool so that no other bugs can get attracted to it.

Although not strictly essential as long as you take useful preventative measures, algaecides can give you that extra power to effectively kill off all algae. This can especially help if you have already tried other methods of cleaning your pool.

Make sure you select a good but strong enough algaecide, but you will also need to take care of the chemicals present and how they might alter the safe makeup of the pool.


Vacuuming your pool can end up killing all the bugs and getting rid of all algae, debris, and other potential dirt present inside your pool. This can also ensure that the entire floor of your pool is clean enough to be safe enough to use once again.

You can either buy pool vacuums or you can attach a vacuum top to a pole and adjust the power. Make sure you cover the entire floor.

You might have to carry out this process of vacuuming twice so that nothing gets left behind, especially since algae have the tendency to settle down without being too visible. Thus, once you carry out the chlorination process, you can run the vacuum again.

pool vacuum


Take a brush with sharp enough bristles and attach it to a long pole. You can also buy this kind of specific pool brush so that you can use it for a long time to clean up the pool.

Run the brush all around the floor and scrub well. This method might not be enough on its own but it can certainly help give you that initial or even final scrub through.

This process will require you to put in a bit of time and effort and can get a bit tiresome.

pH Level

If the pH level of your pool changes too much, becoming either too acidic or too alkaline, then this can invite a host of problems into your pool, making it a breeding surface for all kinds of bugs.

Algae will be more likely to grow in this kind of altered pH level. Make sure you restore the pH level of the pool so that you can safely swim in it again.

Ideally, swimming pools should have a pH level between 7 and 7.6. Apart from bugs, low and high pH levels can also lead to skin and eye irritation.

Remove Chemicals

It is possible for several other chemicals to be present in your pool that can change up the standards of what the water should be like. This is once again likely to attract bugs to the water, making it easy for them to multiply.

You can buy a pool test kit through which you can run your pool water to figure out whether there are any harmful chemicals in them. Based on the results, you can then buy chlorine tablets or other pool sprays that can restore the pool water to its safe levels.


Swimming pool pumps can help filter out dirty water inside your pool by getting rid of the debris, algae, and bugs present in the water. This can also be a good way of preventing the bugs from getting attracted to the pool in the first place.

Pumping is something that you should undertake periodically so that you can maintain the cleanliness and safety levels of your pool. In fact, pools usually come with their built-in pumps for this very purpose.

Fix Stagnation

Stagnation is a common reason for your pool water to allow for the growth of algae and attract bugs. Since the water in your pool stops flowing well and is allowed to sit for too long, then this can end up contaminating your pool significantly.

It can allow mosquitoes and other insects to use the water for breeding and laying eggs, leading to the spread of these bugs all across the pool and your house.

This also puts you at risk of various diseases. You can deal with this stagnation by fixing potential leaks and ensuring that all the holes are full of water.

Clear Vegetation

Apart from the algae present inside your pool, you might also have vegetation such as plants surrounding your pool. While these might add aesthetic value to your pool, it can also attract a range of bugs to them since many insects feed on this kind of vegetation.

Ensure that you maintain a suitable enough distance between your pool and these plants, shrubs or trees. You should also regularly trim this vegetation so that they do not end up making their way too close to the pool.

In case you notice bugs around the plants, you can use a spray or pesticide to deal with them.

clearing vegetation from pool

Regular Cleaning

This is a simple but effective and necessary measure that you must undertake no matter what. Cleaning your pool regularly can help keep the water safe enough so that you do not get any rashes or irritants on your body.

Accidentally swallowing dirty pool water can also end up spreading various bacteria and diseases. By regularly cleaning your pool using rakes, vacuums, pumps and by keeping the pool covered when not in use, you can ensure that the pools remain safe from bugs.

You should also drain out and replace the pool water once in a while.


A good way of getting rid of organic matter inside your pool can be to make use of oxidizers that you can easily buy from a nearby store. These oxidizers are also safer to use as compared to raising the chlorine levels of the water.

However, you should note that oxidization is more useful for getting rid of various kinds of debris and also for preventing bugs from getting attracted to the pool. It might not work too well to get rid of algae if it has already formed in your pool.

Positioning of Lights

Lights are a sure way of attracting bugs. In case you have placed lights around your swimming pool, then these will end up gathering various kinds of bugs to them, further enhanced by the presence of the pool.

Before you install the lights around your pool, ensure that their positioning is a bit further away from the pool.


Apart from the steps mentioned above, an essential thing for you to do is keep monitoring your pool on a regular basis so that you can spot the bugs in time and prevent them from spreading anymore. You should particularly do this if the pool is not in use in a particular season.

Professional Help

While these were some ways that you can make use of on your own, sometimes the infestation might be too much to deal with yourself or you might not have the confidence to do it on your own.

In this case, calling professional pool cleaners can make the job easier for you, although it can cost a bit as well.

Concluding Remarks

To sum up, we have taken you through several types of swimming pool bugs that you might be able to spot in your pool. Make sure you identify them on time so that you can prevent them from spreading too much.

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