Many pool owners know this problem. You have kids playing happily in the pool and suddenly one shrieks in terror, pointing to a bee hovering over the water. Or, you might notice, when cleaning out your filter, that several dead wasps have gathered there, clogging the filter. The fact is that water attracts bugs. While there are some remedies, it’s likely something that you will deal with on a continual basis, especially if you live in the desert. Read on to learn what you can do to reduce your risk of infestation.
The water boatman is a tiny bug that is attracted to your pool water. This insect likes to swim at the bottom of your pool, though you might see them on the surface after they die or occasionally while they are alive. Water boatmen eat algae, so keeping your algae levels low is key to keeping their population in check. Test your water frequently, especially if you notice an uptick in the water boatman population.
These insects don’t feed on algae, they feed on smaller insects. For instance, they eat water boatman. This is why you often see both species in your pool. Unlike the water boatman, backswimmers swim upside down, under the surface of your pool water. Also, they can fly, making it easier for them to spread to new habitats. Backswimmers can sting, similar to a mosquito, and their sting is painful. So, it’s important to keep these insects from becoming too populous in your pool area.
Overall, keep your pool skimmed. Remember, insects often feed on other insects, and backswimmers are no exception. If you are diligent about reducing their food supply, it’s unlikely you will have a problem. And remember, smaller bugs like water boatmen eat algae, so reducing algae indirectly reduces your backswimmer population.
Also, they are attracted to light, presumably for the warmth. Lighting around or in the pool can create an party zone for bugs, including backswimmers. LED lights don’t produce much heat, so try to use them wherever possible. Also, keeping outside lighting away from the pool area will help, although your pool area should be well lit for night swimming safety.
There are few insects that will bother you more in the pool than flying, stinging insects. This is especially true with children or people who are afraid of them. Your relaxing day by the pool turns into chasing bees and wasps away from the water and your swimmers.
There are a few ways to get rid of bees and wasps in or around your pool area. First of all, find their nests or hives. Often, if you have a big problem with these insects, it’s because your pool is like a convenience store on the corner for them. It’s an easy trip to get a drink of water. Many species won’t travel too far from home to get water, so check the area around the pool. If you do find a nest or hive, please have a professional remove it for you. It’s dangerous to attempt this on your own.
But, if you can’t find their home, it’s likely that the bees or wasps you are seeing are just adventurous individuals, desperate for a drink. Adding a chemical called Skillet to your water can help. Skillet is an algaecide that has another beneficial effect. It changes the surface tension of the water slightly, making it unpleasant for flying insects to land on your pool. Some users report that their pool water is slightly foamy, but that it’s worth it to get rid of those pesky stinging insects.
Because your pool is an ample water supply, just about any bug can be found in your pool. Cockroaches, scorpions, mosquitos, crickets, and other bugs might be attracted to it. This is where chlorine and algaecide play an important role. Without these chemicals, you have a large pool of raw water, which is essentially a pond. Anyone who has spent time around natural ponds knows that there are bugs of many kinds thriving in, on and around them.
Keep your pool balanced by testing it frequently and by using a skilled technician to add chemicals as needed.
It’s also important to brush the dust from the pool sides, following that up with a good vacuum. Dirt carries fungus and other germs, and eventually will lead to an imbalance in your water. Skim frequently and keep leaves swept from the deck. Leaving wet towels or other clutter on the deck will attract bugs like crazy. Keep the pool area clean and clutter-free.
This summer, make sure the only things swimming in your pool are you and your family and friends. If you feel that insects have become a problem in your pool and you have tried everything and can’t get rid of them, make sure you make an appointment with a professional. Sometimes, it just takes an expert and a simple fix.
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