Removing Bugs from Your Pool

Removing Bugs from Your Pool

by Mark Zalewski

If you are a pool owner, then odds are you've dealt with the frustration of bugs in your pool.  Of course, there are other behind-the-scene things that can make you want to pull your hair out, such as a leaky pump or pH level that is off, but bugs are on the front end and actively annoying.  

So how do you get rid of bugs?

For starters, make sure your water is circulating well and that your chlorine levels are good.  You may want to consider investing in a pool cover if your pool will be going unused for an extended amount of time.  This will help prevent any type of bugs from invading.  For more information on the types of pool covers available along with their additional benefits see the US Department of Energy's article.


Midges are small flies that hatch in clusters near water.  The come from nearby ponds, rivers or lakes to swimming pools and will hatch eggs in your water.  Placing strong lights 20 feet from your pool and turning off your underwater lights, will prevent midges from being able to "locate" your pool.  Keeping your grass area cut prevents them from hiding and laying eggs in your grass.

Clean the Catch

Prior to turning off the filtration system take the catch-net and clean it out.  If the filtration system gets turned off without cleaning out the catch-net, any bugs the net caught now have a chance at freedom!  They will escape back into your water if given the chance.

Starve Them

Some bugs are stubborn and refuse to let chlorine take them down.  In this case, get rid of their two main food sources:

  • Small Bugs - Use your dip-net to skim out any small bugs and remove their food supply which prevents bigger bugs from growing.
  • Algae - Maintain a pH level of 7.2 to 7.6 and keep your chlorine levels good.  Use algaecide to kill any growing algae in your water.  By stopping its growth, you remove the food supply for any algae-eating bugs.

Dish Detergent

Turn on only one light in your pool and add 4-5 teaspoons of dish soap to your water.  The light attracts the bugs that get covered in the soap and die because they're unable to breathe with the soap coating.

These are a few ideas to remove the bugs from your pool.  In order to kill them once and for all, you need to address the underlying causes.  The cleaner your water is, the more inviting it is to your guests and greatly reduces the annoying bugs that can invade.