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7 Common Pool Pests and How to Get Rid of Them

Pool Chemical Icon Blogs
Calendar Icon September 16, 2022

What are the common pool pests?

  1. Backswimmers
  2. Water boatman
  3. Thrips
  4. Mosquitoes
  5. Water bugs
  6. Water mites
  7. Gnats

Having friends and family over for a swim whenever you want is one of the great joys of owning a pool. It’s the uninvited swimmers that you need to be aware of, however. After all, it’s not only humans that enjoy taking a dip — bugs do, too. Common pool pests are drawn to water for many different reasons. 

Either way, no one wants to share their pool with them. If you think you’re dealing with these uninvited guests, read on. In this article, we cover all the common pool pests — and how to get rid of them! 



Backswimmers, also called paddle bugs, come to your pool because it can be a good source of their food (other bugs and their larva). They have a streamlined body shape, and swim upside down. 

Backswimmers in your pool only mean that you’re dealing with a bigger bug problem, as they’re only attracted to your water when you have other pests already living in them. 

Water boatman

Like backswimmers, water boatman bugs have long, slender bodies. You can find them attached to the sides of swimming pools. They breed fast — so if you see even one of these bugs, you have to take quick action.

They come to your pool for two reasons: to feed and to lay eggs. They feed on algae and will be drawn to even the smallest algae formation in your water. Water boatmen are also prey for other bugs, such as backswimmers. 


While your swimming pool isn’t a typical habitat for thrips, they can make their way there in search of food — such as the plants and flowers you might have around your pool. They usually feed on plant leaves, flowers, pollen, and even vegetables and fruits. 



Mosquitoes in your swimming pool mean you have a stagnant water problem. They prefer water that’s idle, dirty, and uncovered. If you haven’t used or maintained your pool for a long time, you might start seeing mosquitoes breed in your pool.

This pool pest unfortunately also attracts other bugs to your pool. And, this problem will quickly become evident, as they can start up an entire food chain of bugs living and infesting your pool.

Water bugs

Also known as water striders or Jesus bugs, this pool pest looks like a small black bug, floating on long, thin legs. They skim across the surface of your pool — hence their name. 

They’re harmless to us and don’t bite, but they can multiply very quickly and cause an infestation. Seeing a water bug also means there are other tiny pests in your water (such as thrips), or algae. 

Water mites

This pool pest is common after heavy rains (and if you left your pool exposed during a storm). They’re quite tiny, but when they start to increase in number they’ll become more visible. 

They’re yellow or orange when they’re young, but look like tiny black specks when they mature. 


Gnats look similar to mosquitoes and also like to lay their eggs in wet, stagnant areas. They also like to swarm around the plants by your pool. These bugs look like yellow-orange mosquitoes hovering over your pool, and can quickly swarm if left alone. 

How to Get Rid of Common Pool Pests 

 How to Get Rid of Common Pool Pests 

Now that you know the most common pool pests, it’s time to learn how to get rid of them: 

Eliminate the cause

The cause for the existence of common pool pests is usually because there’s food or ideal conditions for breeding, which will depend on the type of bug you’re dealing with. 

For example, if you see backswimmers, it’s because there are other bugs in the pool. If you see water boatmen, it’s because they’re feeding on the algae in your pool. Removing the source will make your pool less hospitable for these bugs. After that, your problem will become less severe, and you can start working on restoring your pool. 

Skim the surface of the pool

Skimming is also a great way to remove bugs from the surface of your pool. Use your pool skimmer and slowly clean up your water of any bugs that are either dead or cannot fly or swim away. This can help clear out a majority of these common pool pests. 

Shock your pool

Once you’ve cleared up your water a bit, it’s time to shock your pool with a sanitizer like our Chlorine Granules 70% Megachlon

This can kill off the rest of their food supply — such as algae. It can also kill the rest of the aquatic pests in your water, as chlorination helps kill off any organic material in your pool. 

We’ve covered how to shock your pool (and how much pool shock to use) in our previous post here

Vacuum waste and debris

A clean pool is not one that pool pests want to live in. So, be sure to clean your pool walls and floor regularly — especially after shocking your pool — to prevent them from coming back.

Vacuuming your pool is a good way to clean the floor and sides thoroughly. After vacuuming, be sure to refill your pool water to the right level. You will have to test your pool with a kit like our Pool & Spa 5 in 1 Test Strips and adjust its levels with the right pool chemicals accordingly. 

Maintain your pool area

Afterward, make sure to maintain the areas around your pool. As we mentioned, some bugs are attracted to standing water and dense plant growth that could be near your pool. 

Try to remove any stagnant water sources, yard waste, and other areas where these pool pests may breed. And, try to keep the plants around your pool neat — as they can use overhanging branches or leaves to get into your pool. 

Key Takeaway

Many common pool pests could be infesting your waters. That’s why it’s important to know what draws them in — and how to get rid of them. 

If you need more help maintaining your pool, contact Oktakem today. We have all the pool maintenance supplies you need to keep your water safe, clean, and ready to dive into! Check out our online store here, or place a bulk order through our official numbers (+63933-8608708 (Sun), or +63917-8461689 (Globe)).