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Thread: Water Boatmen in my pool...

  1. #1
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    Cool Water Boatmen in my pool...

    I have an in-ground pool infested with Boatmen, no matter how many hundreds I scoop out every day, there are a hundred more the next day. -Including a HUGE QUEEN, Or KING, over an inch wide.

    Under the clear ice, one winter, I followed a GIGANTIC Boatman over 2 INCHES long, but I never saw it in summer. I am convinced they lay eggs which hatch in days or maybe even hours. Yes, they are trying to find organic matter on the sides of the pool, but rest assured, THEY DO BITE HARD, like a bee sting or a DEER FLY. It makes you scream and try to jump out of the pool as if you were chased by Piranhas !!!

    If you watch them for a while, you will see them surface every few minutes to grab a bubble of air with their back legs and carry it under water with them to breathe while foraging for food on the walls and bottom. They rely on the surface tension of water for this to work. I knew regular dish soap like Sunlight breaks surface tension in water, so I tried this and it works !! I put a couple of teaspoons of liquid dish soap in a spray bottle filled with water, and sprayed all over the pool surface, especially where the Boatmen were gathered near the whites steps.

    When they came up for air on the soap-covered surface, they could not grab an air bubble, and the soap seems to kill them within a few minutes. They splash around turning upside down very quickly and die. The small amount of dish soap is not as toxic to humans as other bug sprays, like RAID, which works too !

    Please comment on how effective this is for you !!!

    Graham Rolph

  2. #2
    Watermom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water Boatmen in my pool...

    This doesn't sound like too good of an idea to me. Putting liquid dish soap into a pool may turn into a pool full of suds and bubbles which would be extremely hard to clean up! I don't think I would advice following this suggestion. Just my $0.02.

    Welcome to the Pool Forum, by the way!
    Last edited by Watermom; 07-16-2012 at 07:22 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Water Boatmen in my pool...

    We use dish soap in water to drown stinkbugs, a house pest, not a pool pest. It does work very well to break surface tension. IMO, 2 teaspoons dispersed over the entire surface area of a backyard pool aren't harmful to the pool and if you do wind up with some minor soap bubbles, that sounds far preferable to the water boatmen infestation. I'm surprised you have them in Canada. I always thought they were more of a warm climate creature. We haven't seen any here in our pool, knock on wood.

    One thing: with such a large amount of water insects they obviously have a food source in your pool water. What is your water chemistry like?
    Oval 12.5K gal AGP; Hayward 19" sand filter; Pentair Dyn 1 HP 2sp pump on timer
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  4. #4
    chem geek is offline PF Supporter Whibble Konker chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars
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    Default Re: Water Boatmen in my pool...

    Some people report that using 50 ppm Borates in the pool has the same effect of keeping the water boatman away. I suspect it is for similar reasons of reducing the water's surface tension which is one of the effects of having the borates in the pool.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Water Boatmen in my pool...

    Water boatmen eat things that shouldn't be in your pool: algae, tiny bugs or small amphibians.

    There are 3 reasons why there's something in your pool to eat:
    1. You have algae. If so, eradicate it.
    2. You have bugs that are living in your pool . . . but such bugs live on algae. See #1
    3. You have bugs that are landing on your pool, because of night lights OR the reflections of night lights. Turn off the lights; block the reflections.
    4. You have bugs that are randomly migrating or falling into your pool. This is not easy to fix; use the solutions above.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Water Boatmen in my pool...

    No matter how high my chlorine level is, I seem to always have at least 1 sometimes 2-3 of these things. I scoop them out and they get back in. Haven't had algae since spring so I don't know what they are eating or why they decide my pool is a better home than the pond! I am afraid to try dish soap, my pool is on the small side so that could be disastrous. I once bought an off brand of bleach and it caused a small amount of foaming, must have had some kind of surfectant (sp) in it, I wish I remembered where I got it, I'd start using it.
    18' round 7.5K gal AG vinyl pool; bleach; Hayward C900 cartridge filter; Hayward Power Flo Matrix 3/4HP pump; hrs; HTH 6-way test kit
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Water Boatmen in my pool...

    Waterbugs fly.

    They are going to investigate water bodies in their range. There is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent that, except enclosing your pool. So you can't keep them from arriving, but you can keep them from wanting to stay!

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