3 Common Types of Water Bugs in The Pool

Many different water bugs end up in the pool, but which are the most common, and why is your pool so attractive?

The water boatmen, backswimmers, springtails, mosquitoes larvae, great diving beetle, or the yellow firebug are most common in private pools. The insects usually nest in the pool because there is enough food available from algae.

In this article, you will find the most common water bugs in the pool and why they prefer to be in your swimming pool.

What types of water bugs are in your pool

The USA is a water-rich country with many private pools in the gardens.

But why do insects still fly into the garden pool when there is so much water and other habitats?

The fact is: Insects are magically attracted by water, and they do not differentiate between a natural pool of water and an artificially set up pool in your garden.

Especially flying water bugs like to settle in a pool if the food supply is right.

These include:

  • Algae: The algae in the pool serve as food and a breeding ground for various water bugs.
  • Other insect larvae: The insect larvae of other insects in the pool water, such as mosquitoes, are eaten by other giant insects.
  • Colloidal substances: The fine turbid substances in the pool serve as food for insect larvae, and the parent animals lay the eggs in the pool water.

The food supply for water bugs in the pool always arises when you neglect to clean and maintain your pool.

Algae and other insect larvae are a welcome buffet for various swimming insects that won’t say no.

The swimming insects in the pool are often mixed up, and panic breaks out.

Sometimes the problem is underestimated and ends with a painful bite – this is a problem with babies and small kids.

But which water bugs are most common in the pools?

And how can one differentiate the water bugs and act accordingly?

The most common water bugs in the pool include:

  • Water bugs: These include row bugs, the common backswimmer, great diving beetle, and many more.
  • Swimming beetles: Yellow beetles and others from the Dytiscidae family number over 4,000 different species. It is not uncommon for these to occur in the pool.
  • Water fleas: These are known as fleas, but they are small crustaceans.

Most of the insects listed here are bugs that swim in the pool and feel comfortable in it. Other insects accidentally fall into the water and drown.

But in both cases: The insects have to get out of your pool!

I can’t list and describe over 4000 different swimming bugs – that’s not necessary either.

In principle, you can get rid of all water bugs in the pool the same way.

Nevertheless, I do not want to miss the opportunity to describe the most common bugs in the pool in more detail.

Water boatmen in the pool

The row bug (Corixidae) is also known as a water cicada and belongs to the sub-order of water bugs.

500 different species are known worldwide. Of these, 81 species are native to Europe.

Row bugs inhabit calm waters. The habitats are only left searching for a new place with enough food – the row bugs fly out of the water for this.

Ponds, lakes, and pools have enough organic food and are a favorite place to stay. But even in front of a swimming pool with enough food, the beetles do not stop.

This is why you have water bugs in your pool.

The water boatmen feel good in your pool and find enough organic food in the form of algae.

The next time you see bugs swimming in your pool, they are likely water bugs.

But how are these insects recognized?

What do water boatmen look like?

The water boatmen is between 2 and 15 mm in size and is often confused with the common backswimmer.

The difference becomes clear when we visualize the name.

  • Water boatmen: Swim on their stomachs and have two long row legs that the insects use to move forward.
  • Backswimmer: They swim mostly on their backs and are significantly larger than row bugs.

The water boatmen can also be recognized by its unique tone. In the video, you can see a picture and the sound of a row bug.

The next time you have to distinguish between water boatmen and backswimmers, listen to the noises coming from your swimming pool.

What do the bugs eat in the swimming pool?

The water boatmen feed mainly on algae and other organic dirt on the pool ground. A high volume of algae in the pool attracts this type of water bug.

If you see the bug diving in the pool, it is likely a water boatmen (row bug).

The algae in your pool are used as a food source and serve as a shelf for the eggs.

Therefore, you should quickly take steps to remove the water bugs in the pool before they multiply.

Is the water boatmen dangerous to humans?

The water boatmen and backswimmers are both capable of flying.

The difference is that the water boatmen is not poisonous and harmless to humans.

Still, you don’t want row bugs in your pool, do you?

Backswimmers in the pool

The common backswimmer (Notonectidae) is often referred to as the water bee.

Backswimmers are among the largest insects found in water and are between 13.5 and 18 millimeters in size.

Like the row bug, the common backswimmer also lives in lakes, ponds, and other calm waters. If there is an opportunity, the backswimmer also lives in your pool in the garden.

And how exactly can you recognize the common backswimmer?

What do backswimmers look like?

The common backswimmer is considered an animal with two backs because it can swim on its back and stomach.

But most of the time, the typical backswimmer – as the name suggests – swims on their backs.

Characteristic for these water bugs are the enormous row legs with which the bug moves. He can also run on land and also fly.

What do backswimmers eat in a pool?

The backswimmer is a predator beetle that eats other insects and small fish.

Often you have a problem with backswimmers in your pool because other bugs are in the pool water as well.

Note: If other insects in the pool could be prey, the backswimmer is not far away – the rhyme wasn’t on purpose.

Is a backswimmer’s sting poisonous?

The back swimmer’s bite can be described as painful and resembles the sting of a bee – hence the name water bee.

The injected poison dissolves the prey and enables the backswimmer to suck it out.

But for humans, the bite from the backswimmer is harmless, just painful.

Great diving beetle in the swimming pool

The common furrow swimmer is a black, rounded beetle with long hind legs to move around in the water.

Furrow swimmers are between 15 and 18 millimeters tall and occur in still waters. The furrow swimmer also feels at home in a small pond or a swimming pool.

The furrow swimmers are considered predatory beetles, but they are harmless to humans.

At least, I haven’t been able to find any scientific articles on bites and other dangers for humans.

What do the great diving beetle look like?

The great diving beetles have lots of small black dots on the surface.

The antennae are thread-shaped, and the hind legs are equipped with short bristles.

A yellow line between head and body and a characteristic V-sign on the head are other features of the furrow swimmer.

What do the bugs eat?

The diet of the great diving beetles consists of small insects.

That would be mosquito larvae in your pool, but other insect larvae are also on the menu.

More beetles in the pool water

In addition to row bugs, the common backswimmer, many other insects are in the pool.

  • Hymenoptera: Wasps, bees, bumblebees, ants, mosquitoes, and other insects.
  • Native dragonflies: The dragonfly rarely ends up in pool water but can be found nearby.
  • Other insects: Arachnids, grasshoppers, butterflies, ear peas, etc.

These insects will attract more insects to your pool as they are considered potential prey.

Therefore, you need to remove all water bugs from the pool as soon as possible.

How to Get Rid of Water Bugs in Your Pool

I have listed the most common water bugs in the pool and described them in more detail.

Now is the time for appropriate measures against all insects in your swimming pool.

It doesn’t matter whether you fight backswimmers or want to remove mosquito larvae from the pool.

The procedure is always the same!

In my blog post, I explain how to get rid of swimming insects from the pool – see the link at the beginning of the post.

Do you have any further questions about the types of water bugs in the pool?

Contact me at @contactswimfool on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Pinterest – I’ll be happy to help you personally.

With that in mind, good luck in the fight against bugs in the pool.

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Hi. I'm Max Berg. I've been in the pool industry since 2015 and have always felt drawn to water. I'm the author behind swimfool.com, where I share my years of experience in pool maintenance and give helpful tips on keeping a swimming pool or hot tub clean. My tips reduce the costs of water treatment and protect the environment.

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