Bugs Found in Swimming Pools


Many varieties of aquatic insects can become a nuisance to pool owners. These bugs are attracted to lights and can accidentally fall into swimming pools; however, some of these aquatic bugs may actually live in neglected pools. The bugs will not cause any permanent harm to humans or pets, but some can inflict a painful bite.


  • Dobsonflies are soft-bodied bugs and tend to be blackish-brownish. Adults can be 2 to 4 inches from the wing tips to the front of the head. These aquatic bugs are attracted to light and are usually found near a body of water. If the bug is mishandled, it can inflict a very painful bite.


  • The mayfly is pale yellow with brownish stripes and adults are between 1/4 to 1/2 inches long. The bug has a soft body with thread-like tails at the end of the abdomen. Mayflies are usually found around streams and are attracted to lights. These bugs serve as food for many fish and birds.


  • The backswimmer is about 1/2 inch long as an adult and swims on its back. The black-and-white bugs have a boat-shaped body and large eyes. These bugs are often found on the water surface with their long hind legs pointing straight out. When handled carelessly these bugs can cause a bite much like a bee sting.

Water Boatman

  • The adult water boatman is about 1/4 inch long and has an oval, gray-brown body. The bugs have elongate and oar-like hairs that they use for swimming. These bugs do not bite and are usually seen at the bottom of swallow-water pools. Water boatman bugs will feed on dead organic matter at the bottom of a swimming pool.


  • Stoneflies are soft-bodies and range between 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches in length. The bugs are somewhat flattened and can be green, brown, yellow or black. Stoneflies are poor flyers and are attracted to light. They have long, tapered antennae and can be found near water.

Giant Water Bug

  • The giant water bug can get as big as 2 1/2 inches long and is brown in color. The front legs are used for grasping and the middle/hind legs are used for swimming. The bugs are highly attracted to light and are known as "electric light bugs," according to the Ohio State University. Water bugs feed on other insects by injecting a poisonous fluid in them and sucking them dry. They are vicious biters and will inflict pain when mishandled.

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  • Photo Credit Beetle in the water image by Rose from Fotolia.com
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