How to Get Rid of Water Striders

Water striders glide on the top of water surfaces.
Water striders glide on the top of water surfaces. (Image: Images)

Water striders are also called skipper bugs or Jesus bugs because they glide across the surface of still water. Most people who own pools or have water displays around their house will encounter water striders, since the bugs are drawn to still water. These bugs aren’t poisonous but they can be annoying. While you won’t be able to get rid of the water strider bugs permanently, you can eliminate them temporarily and discourage them from returning.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid soap
  • Pool rake
  • Spray bottle
  • Pool cover

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Cover or drain your pool if it won’t be in use for several weeks. A pool cover is also useful on a daily basis to discourage the water striders from staying in the area.

Remove food sources. Water striders eat dead bugs and foliage, so getting rid of these can help discourage bugs from returning. Use a pool rake to clean dead bugs and leaves from the surface of a pool or pond, and keep nearby bushes trimmed.

Change pool lights. Water striders and other bugs are drawn to bright lights, so by using low-wattage light bulbs, you will help keep water striders away.

Spray existing water striders with soapy water. Mix ½ tbsp. liquid soap with 1 cup water in a spray bottle and spray the bugs. The soapy mixture will kill the bugs.


  • “Ask the Bugman: Environmentally Safe Ways to Control Household Pests”; Richard Fagerlund and Johnna Lachnit; 2002
  • “Entomology and Pest Management (6th Edition)”; Larry P. Pedigo and Marlin Rice; 2008
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