How to Get Rid of Waterbugs in a Concrete Pool

If there are waterbugs in your concrete pool, you know how annoying these pests can be. Since there are plenty of bugs outside, and your pool is outside, it stands to reason that you will have bugs around your concrete pool. And, you’re probably cool with that. But, bugs in the pool is a different thing entirely! No one wants to be relaxing or playing in the pool and have a giant bug come up to your face! Waterbugs can be a nuisance so, how do you get rid of them and make sure they don’t come back? Here are the steps for getting rid of pesky waterbugs and keeping them out of your concrete pool for the rest of the season.

Two Types of Waterbugs

There are 2 main types of waterbugs you find in your pool – water boatmen and backswimmers. Water boatmen, also known as corixidae, live in slow-moving water and swim under the surface of the water. They are flat with dark brown and black markings on their wings. They are about 1/2 inch long with heads shaped in a triangle and pincers in their mouths and they eat algae. Backswimmers, also known as notonectidae, swim upside down in the water. They are attracted to bright areas and they can bite. The bite feels like and itches like a mosquito. Backswimmer waterbugs eat water boatmen. So, in effect, if you get rid of water boatmen, you won’t have backswimmers.

Getting Rid of the Existing Waterbugs

The food source for these 2 types of waterbugs is the algae that live on the sides and the bottom of the pool. To eliminate the waterbugs, you must eliminate the algae.

Step 1: Skim the water

Using a leaf skimmer, skim the water to get the bugs out of the pool.  Remember, they have wings, so be prepared for some to fly away. These bugs eat mosquito larvae, which is helpful for your backyard environment. Therefore, you don’t have to kill the waterbugs, you can just relocate them to another place in the yard.

Step 2: Brush the concrete pool’s surfaces

The goal is to remove algae spores that are on the surface of the concrete pool so the waterbugs don’t have a food supply they can come back for.  For your concrete pool, we recommend that you use a stainless steel algae brush for this task. (If you have a vinyl liner, you will need to use a nylon brush.)

Remove Water bugs from concrete poolStep 3: Vacuum the pool

Manually vacuum the pool with a vacuum instead of using the automatic pool cleaner. Pick up as much sediment and debris as possible from the water and the pool’s surfaces. Vacuum to waste so that you remove the dirty water and keep it from going back into the pool.


Step 4: Kill the algae

Chlorine shock is the only thing that kills algae. Depending on the number of algae in your pool and, subsequently, the color of the water due to algae, you will need to shock heavily and a couple of times. Use a quality pool shock such as calcium hypochlorite to completely kill anything left after cleaning up the pool. Add the shock at night or at dusk to keep the sun from contacting it, which burns the chemicals too quickly.

Step 5: Balance the pool chemistry

After waiting about 24 hours after shocking, test the pH and alkaline levels of your water for balance. Optimally, the pH should be between 7.4 to 7.6 and alkalinity should be between 100 – 150 parts per million.

Keeping Your Concrete Pool Free of Waterbugs

Now that you’ve gotten the existing waterbugs out of the pool and eliminated their food source, here are the steps you can take to keep the pests out of the pool for the rest of the season. Basically, you need to keep your pool very clean.

Remove Water bugs from concrete pool

Step 1: Maintain the proper chemistry

Keeping the correct chemistry levels in your water is the most important thing you can do to prevent algae growth. Again the proper levels are:

  • pH: 7.4 – 7.6
  • Chlorine: 1.0 – 3.0 ppm
  • Total alkalinity: 80 – 140 ppm

Step 2: Skim your pool daily

By skimming daily you continually remove algae spores that have entered your pool. This will help keep the spores from sticking to the surface and blooming and, as a result, keep your pool clean.

Step 3: Use a liquid dish detergent

Liquid dish detergent and water is a great natural bug repellant. It actually changes the surface of the water so the bugs can’t float on the surface. When sprayed directly on the bugs, it will kill them, but you can also spray around the perimeter to prevent bugs from coming into the pool.

Step 4: Use an algaecide

Using an algaecide is a good way to keep the algae from attaching to the concrete pool surfaces and growing. If there is no food source, there are no waterbugs!

Step 5: Cover your pool

When you aren’t using the pool, just keep it covered in order to keep algae and bugs out.

Step 6: Keep your pool pump in good working order

If your pool pump is not working well, the pool water is murky and not as clean as it should be. Make sure the filters are clean and regularly check the pump for buildup or problems.

Contact Prestige Pools

Contact us to get our expert design, installation, and maintenance information regarding your concrete pool. Browse our site to learn more about us and our services, read testimonials, and find answers to frequently asked questions. Call us at 919-779-1033 or complete the easy-to-use form below.

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