How to Get Rid of Water Striders
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.
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.
Eliminate Water Striders In Pools
Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of household soap and water. Spray the water striders with the soapy water. The soap prevents them from skating across the water and out of reach. Skim the water striders out of the pool with a pool net. This system also works on flying insects, so remove any other bugs the same way. Work from the shallow end to the deep end of the pool, pushing all the debris toward the pool filter. Scrub any other areas that show signs of algae as well. Fish out any sunken leaves or twigs. Bright lights are more likely to attract insects, which can then fall into the pool and drown, creating food for the water striders. Maintain your pool properly. Keep the chlorine levels constant and the pH balanced.
- Liquid soap
- Pool rake
- Spray bottle
- Pool cover
- “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
- Fairfax County Public Schools: Common Water Strider
- Clean Pool and Spa: Mosquito-Like Animals on Pool Water
- Pool Center: Pool Janitor FAQ