How to Get Rid of Backswimmer Water Bugs in Pool

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Things You'll Need

  • Skimmer

  • Swimming pool shock

  • Chlorine

  • Pool brushes

  • Algaecide

Backswimmers are a type of biting water bug with a streamlined body that lay their eggs in algae. They must come to the water's surface for air and feed on other water bugs that live on algae, such as water beetles. Cutting off the bugs' food supply and nesting space is the only way to get rid of them. Do this by maintaining your pool's pH balance, keeping your pool well-chlorinated, and shocking and scrubbing your pool.


Step 1

Use a skimmer to remove backswimmer bugs from your pool. Place skimmed bugs in a bucket of oil and water or other liquid that will drown them.

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Step 2

Shock your pool every day if you can afford it for one week. "Shocking" refers to a chemical process called oxidation that breaks down waste in your swimming pool. Shocking an in-ground pool is done one of three ways: pour liquid shock directly into your pool, mix powder shock and water in a bucket and add it to your pool, or use the multi-port valve on your pool's filtration system -- if the system has one -- to distribute the shock. Research which method works best with your filtration system. If you have an above-ground pool, use a type of shock that will not burn or stain the pool's vinyl liner.

Step 3

Scrub your entire pool thoroughly, including the skimmer, following each shocking. This removes algae, where backswimmers' lay their eggs.

Step 4

Use an algaecide in your pool to ensure it remains free of algae. Algaecides are chemicals added to a pool to control algae. Polyquats are a type of non-foaming algaecide that kills green, mustard and black algae, which are resistant to chlorine.

Step 5

Regularly check your pool's pH levels. Unbalanced levels cause algae to form. Check your pool's filtration and filter pressure.


Copper salts are an effective algaecide for ponds, lagoons and pools. Colloidal silver is a type of algaecide that can stain pool walls if not used properly. Keeping your pool heavily chlorinated will keep algae from returning.


Never mix pool shock with your hands. Wear gloves when handling pool shock and other pool chemicals to avoid burns and other injuries.


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