Pool Bugs: Backswimmers

So your pool is infected with algae. No doubt you feel disappointed at the work you have ahead of you, and the hot days that you and your family now can’t spend in the pool. But it gets worse; you spot strange looking insects floating on their backs in the water!

Today we will be talking about those insects – which are commonly known as backswimmers, or water boatmen.

What are backswimmers
Backswimmers, or to give them their proper name, Notonectidae, are a species of aquatic insect that get their common name from the way they swim – on their backs. A Backswimmer has three life stages; egg, nymph and adult, and it lays its eggs in algae. It can take six weeks for a Backswimmer to grow to adulthood, and some backswimmers can live for up to a year.

Backswimmers deliver a painful bite so you must be careful not to handle them bare-handed.

Why do I have them?

Backswimmers feed on bugs that eat plant matter – namely algae in your pool. Backswimmers can also fly and are attracted to light, so you may find them attracted to LED lights in your swimming pool overnight.

How do I get rid of them?

There are a couple of ways to get rid of backswimmers. The best way is to eliminate their source of food – namely getting rid of the algae in your pool.

Shocking your pool, using an algaecide and scrubbing any algae off the walls of your pool will rid it of the algae-feeding bugs that provide a food source for the backswimmers along with their eggs. You can also use bug-killing products to just kill the backswimmers outright.

How do I prevent it from happening again?

Keeping your pool clean with a balanced pH and alkalinity is a good practice for any pool owner, but it’s also a sure fire way to keep those backswimmers out of your pool.

If you’re struggling with algae or backswimmers in your pool, call or come in for free advice today!