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How to Kill Water Boatman in Your Pool

By Elton Dunn
Keep bugs out of the pool for an enjoyable swim.
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While water boatman causes less harm than other pool pests -- it doesn't bite you -- it turns your pool into a place you definitely don't want to be. Water boatmen feed on algae and debris at the bottom of your pool and gather around pool lights. Since you can't add insecticide to your swimming pool safely, flush out the pests by removing their food, shelter and environmental preference. Turning your pool into a boatman-free zone takes time, and you'll want to provide follow-up care to keep your pool pest-free.

Call your pool maintenance company for a chlorine treatment. Shocking your pool with chlorine sends these pests scrambling for cover. If you've got severe pool pests, you'll likely need multiple chlorine shocks to kill all the water boatmen.

Scrub algae off the sides of your pool using a stiff-bristled scrub brush. Wet the brush in water, then scrub the algae, re-wetting the brush as often as necessary. This removes their food source, so they'll starve. Do this just after a chlorine treatment and whenever you see algae in your pool.

Skim your pool daily with a skimming net to remove water boatmen and other insects. Since water boatmen are drawn to debris and algae in your pool, keeping it clean will shoo them away naturally. When you skim live water bugs, place them in a bucket of water and oil; this drowns them.

Apply an algicide to cut down on large algae blooms, following the manufacturer's directions and dosage recommendations based on the size of your pool.


Things You Will Need

  • Stiff-bristled scrub brush
  • Pool skimmer
  • Bucket
  • Oil
  • Algicide

About the Author


A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.