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Thread: Backswimmer Problem

  1. #1
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    Default Backswimmer Problem

    I had never heard of these bugs till I got a couple last year. My girlfriend was bitten by one and it hurt big time. A couple of pool centers in my area (suburbs of Montreal, Canada) either had never heard of these bugs, or others told me there is nothing you can add to the pool to get rid of them.

    This spring I started the pool a bit later than usual, the water was pretty swamp like and I could see plenty of backswimmers having a good time. This year just a minute drive from my home a new place opened. Being this close makes it very convenient, provided they have decent service and prices on their products. They carry BioGuard products, which I had never heard of before (not being a pool techie, doesn’t mean much), but I asked them about the backswimmer problem. A couple of guys had never heard of them but one guy did. He said that he had read about success with the super concentrated algaecides (40% or 60%), not the copper based solutions but the ones that have an ammonium base. His product with the ammonium base is Back Up, but I am sure there are many other brands that have their own version. I tried it and so far it looks like it has worked, it’s only been about 10 days but no backswimmers and I have crystal clear water. The guy at the store said that along with this algaecide to keep the chlorine level high for a week to 10 days (4-5 instead of the 1.5 to 3).

    So a couple of questions, first, anyone have any success stories with backswimmers…in case this solution does not work long term? Second, these BioGuard products, anyone have good or bad feedback about them?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Backswimmer Problem

    As my name says I am still new to the whole pool world. I have done some reading on the backswimmer/boatmen issue. There are 2 different bugs from what I have read that infest your pools. (I'm sure there are others, but these look alike). The Boatmen bug is smaller and eats algae and so forth. They look like the larger Backswimmers except for the fact that as their name states, Backswimmers swim upside down. Backswimmers are predators and will eat the smaller Boatmen, as well as bite a human. It supposedly feels like a bee sting, although it is actually a bite. These bugs actually fly also, so just removing them from your pool without killing them is pointless. I have removed them with a net and watched them take flight, only to land back in the pool.

    I currently am battling the bugs, but I am seeing a decrease in number as the pool chemical levels are approaching what they should be, and my pool becomes clearer. But I've read that none of these algaecides actually kill the bugs. They only make the water surface tension weaker, making it harder for these bugs to come to the surface and breathe. The bugs will not live in a balanced pool. If you do decide to fish the bugs out with a net, then dispose of the bugs into a bucket of very sudsy, soapy water. This will suffocate them.

    Correct me if I am wrong, please, as I am watching them as well.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Backswimmer Problem

    You cannot actually prevent them from entering your pool, since they can fly. However, you can make your pool far less attractive to them, by eliminating their food sources:

    1. Kill all algae.
    2. Make sure your pump and SKIMMER is running at night.
    3. Turn off or block lights from shining on your pool. (The lights reflect, and the reflection attracts bugs.)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Backswimmer Problem

    So far, 2 1/2 weeks after the ammonia algecide treatment, crystal clear water and no sign of any backswimmers. The product they gave me at the store looks to have worked because last summer I had crystal clear water AND backswimmers.

    Speaking of products, I had never heard of BioGuard before, and didn't realize they were one of the bigger MFRs of pool products. Anyone have recommendations to use them or advise against them? The new store that is just a minute from my home only carries their products. So far I have had limited use, the might cost me just a bit more for this summer, but I am satisfied with the results. Most of their products are for use through the Skimmer, which I like. Otherwise most pool centers carry HTH, Azure, or house brands. Anyone have any opinions on which brands they prefer, or just go with the best sale because they all work about the same?

    Thanks

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Backswimmer Problem

    On the positive side, BioGuard dealers have the most extensive training, and BioGuard chemists are probably the most knowledgeable in the pool business.

    On the negative side, BioGard / Chemtura has pioneered virtually all of the parasitic developments in pool care, and their computerized dosing program is notorious (at least, here) for CREATING pool problems. For example, we usually see 3 or more cases each season of pools turned to milk as a result of adding large simultaneous doses of calcium chloride and sodium bicarbonate to vinyl pools that never needed calcium in the first place.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Backswimmer Problem

    Good to know, thanks

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