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How to Get Rid of Water Striders in a Swimming Pool

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Imagine slipping into your temperature-controlled pool on a hot summer day, only to find it has been invaded by strange, skinny insects that seem to float on the water. Water striders, otherwise known as “Jesus” bugs because of their ability to glide on the water surface, grow anywhere between 5/16 and 5/8 of an inch and feed on other small insects, crustaceans and algae. Ridding your pool of water striders can be accomplished without the use of harmful chemicals.

Fill a plastic spray bottle with 1 tbsp. liquid dish soap and 2 cups water. Spray any water bugs directly with the soapy water. This will kill the water striders.

Skim the surface of the pool with a pool rake to remove the dead bugs, including water striders and any other dead insects and foliage. Removing the dead bugs and foliage will also discourage any new water striders as this is the bug’s food source.

Install a pool cover when the pool is not being used, especially if it is for a long period of time.

Drain the pool when it is not going to be used for a period longer than two weeks. Any small, plastic children’s pools should also be drained on a regular basis to remove any water striders found there.

Trim any bushes or shrubs found within a few feet of the pool. This will discourage any water striders from using the foliage as a meal.

Avoid using high-wattage light bulbs to light the pool at night. This will only attract more insects, including water striders to the pool. As an alternative, use low-wattage high-pressure sodium vapor lights, which the water striders find less attractive, according to Ohio State University.

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