The two most common water pests are the backswimmer (Figures 1-2.) and the water boatman. The water boatman is oval-shaped (Figure 3.) and does not bite. It feeds on algae and other vegetation growing in the pool, particularly in the traps, filters and drains. This is also where it lays its eggs. It is beneficial because it will eat mosquito larvae. The backswimmers are slightly larger and will bite. This is usually a nasty, stinging sensation. The backswimmer feeds off other insects in the pool, such as water boatman. The best way to remove these pests is to change their habitats and food sources. Both of these pests can fly and will lay their eggs on underwater vegetation. Removing their food supplies is the best way to help get rid of them. For the water boatman, it's the vegetation in the pools and filters. For the backswimmers, it's the other insects like the water boatman. The initial treatment is chlorination -- shock the pool several times then scrub off the algae from the sides and bottom of the pool and in the filters. Each time you shock the pool, scrub. Fish out the pests with skimmers and put them in a bucket of water and oil to kill them. After you remove the water boatman, the back swimmers will begin to die off or move on.
Make sure the pool is heavily chlorinated, and make sure your filter is cleaned out. If you have an auto water refiller, put a chlorine tablet in it to keep the algae from growing in there. Every part of your pool has contact with water, so make sure chlorine is passing through.
Buy an ALGAECIDE. With no algae in the pool, the bugs cannot survive there.
1. Chlorinate; shock the pool several times.
2. Scrub the pool after each shock and get the algae floating so the chlorine can be more effective. Skim off heavy amounts.
3. Use an algaecide. Be careful because there are some algae that chlorine will not kill. Without a food source, the bugs will not stay or multiply.
4. Fish out the bugs in the process, and be sure to kill them. Dump them in a bucket with water and oil.
5. Keep your water pH and other factors balanced.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture