Eating my words-better than bugs!!

teppy

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2007
120
Louisiana
i posted last year about my bug invasion. nothing i did ever got rid of the bugs. i was using the BBB method for the first two years after my pool was built. Its a 17,000 gal gunite. I followed the advice here and did overnight chlorine loss tests a few times. my chlorine was always good with no problems or issues with algae. i added borates using the borax and Muriatric Acid. I brushed. I tested everyday and had my water balanced perfectly. nothing would ever get the little black, biting, water beetles out. i would scoop 'em and stomp 'em. new ones would crawl back in right away. they loved my water! we even started putting dawn dish detergent in a garden sprayer and we would spray the top of the water. this would kill them initially, the ones that were trapped, but it only lasted for about one hour or so until the soapy top layer was gone. I was and have been ready to fill this pool in after spending $40,000 only 3 three years ago.

Fast forward to last spring. we decided that adding clorox every day was getting old. we added a SWG. this had made pool ownership much easier. this did not slow the bugs down. after leaving for the winter, they were back in full force when it warmed up this spring. I am eating my words now(as my thread title states) because after all of the times that i have preached to my MIL, and other people with pools to do their own testing, blah, blah, blah, and that everything that they need to balance their water can be found at their grocery store, and most importantly that "pool" store chemicals are bad. Out of my frustration, i purchased some algaecide in the gallon container at wal mart a month ago or so. i didn't tell anyone because of all the times i told them not use this stuff. All of can say is that within one hour after pouring this stuff in, the bugs were dead and no more were crawling in. OMG!!! i finally found something that works! unbelievable that a solution has been here all along right on my local wal mart shelf, and not in the grocery aisle either. it was in the swimming pool area all along. i've always read that the borax is the same thing as adding the algaecide, but less expensive and more natural for your pool. i don't know what is in the algaecide, but its more than borates. there is something in there that the bugs don't like.

i still have not admitted to my MIL and everyone else that i actually bought that terrible pool store stuff and have been using it. I will stay a 'closet user'. the bugs are still around. its not that they are out of season or anything. i have been so busy with my photography business and have not been out there every other day or so checking things like i used to, even though i don't need to since getting the SWG. my chlorine stays high enough and my pH is within range of where it needs to be. We had to add some algaecide yesterday because the little boogers were making my water home again. Once again, within one hour, they were dead and gone. this stuff definitely works. i didn't mention above that after adding the algaecide, the bugs will stay away for atleast a week or longer. it works like the dawn dish detergent, but much longer.

i just wanted to share this with anyone else going through this torture. you sure can't enjoy a pool with bugs biting you. and, hopefully a moderater might be able to explain whats going on here and why this algaecide is working when the borax never did. i read in the "so you want to add borates to your pool" article that the borax was the same thing as algaecide. i was a believer before, please bring me back. i want to believe because this site has helped me so much since getting my pool. the bugs are the only problem in the three years of pool ownership that i've ever had. i have never had cloudy water, green algae, yellow algae, or black algae. my water had always since day one been crystal clear and sparkly.
 

momov2

Well-known member
Aug 13, 2009
84
Hattiesburg, MS
I am going to try that one. My bug problem is the "boatman bugs" they look a little like a beetle, but have those flippers for arms and leggs. The dawn gets rid of them on a temporay measure, but I have not been able to keep them from coming back. Thanks for the tip. :whoot:
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,036
SouthWest Alabama
The 20% algaecide at Walmart contains several ingredients including copper. There's no telling which ingredient(s) took care of them but it would be interesting to find out.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,681
Sebring, Florida
I ususally have a few waterboatmen in the Spring but as soon as I provide them a fairly high FC environment, they disappear.
 

X-PertPool

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
1,385
Exeter, PA
Could a barrier insecticide be sprayed around the pool? Just an idea if you don't want to add more algaecides to the water that contain metal
 

lborne

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2009
462
Vero Beach, FL
Funny, I grew up in S. Louisiana and thought removing water bugs from the pool before swimming was just part of owning a pool. We never tried to keep them out in the first place. It seemed like if you were in the water with those bugs that they'd attack you on purpose and the stings were painful. We had the small black ones and then the larger brownish water beetles.

I do remember seeing lots dead on the ground under our bug light, so that may also help.
 

sgtdvldog

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
105
Blue Springs, MO
I have problems with backswimmers, which are similar to waterboatmen, but they bite where I've read that waterboatmen don't. I haven't been bitten and don't want to.

I've done a lot of searching and found that some people recommend BioGuard Back Up Algaecide to get rid of them, because it modifies the water tension, similar to what borates does, from what I've read.

There is also a product called Bug Out that's supposed to do the same thing, but it's labeled as a clarifier.

Here is the MSDS for Bug Out, but I don't know what the scientific names mean.
http://www.recsupply.com/Documents/GLB% ... %20Out.pdf

I've tried the Wal-Mart brand clarifier and it "seems" to work. I think the reason they work is that they modify the water tension, where they can't come up for air or the water bubble they need to breath doesn't hold.

I know there will be folks that say not to put stuff in the pool that you don't know what it is. While I tend to believe, I do know that raising the CL won't be enough to get rid of them. The scoop and squash method gets old as well.

Just my two cents.
 

teppy

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2007
120
Louisiana
lborne said:
Funny, I grew up in S. Louisiana and thought removing water bugs from the pool before swimming was just part of owning a pool. We never tried to keep them out in the first place. It seemed like if you were in the water with those bugs that they'd attack you on purpose and the stings were painful. We had the small black ones and then the larger brownish water beetles.

I do remember seeing lots dead on the ground under our bug light, so that may also help.

there is no way that we could even enjoy swimming even after scooping them all out because as soon as you turn your back, they crawl back in. these bugs are very drawn to human skin too and will literally come after you. the bite is painful.

i know that bug out does change the buoyancy and we have tried that. it never worked. spraying the dawn dish detergent on the top of the water does a better job for about an hour or so. so yes, when they can't swim up for air, they do die. the problem is that it does not last long at all. i don't think that its the borates in the algaecide thats killing them. its got to be something else.
 

ShockerLU3

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2010
80
Toms River, NJ
As stated above it may well be the copper in the algecide. I know from my aquarium experiences that copper can be downright deadly to aquatic life. It's often used to kill off diseases in fish but has to be neutralized quickly or it will kill the fish as well. My thinking is that if it will kill fish at certain rates it'll probably do the same for bugs.
 

flyweed

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2009
525
SW Wisconsin
along this same lines..but changing the subject just a hair...we have had "bee" problems for about the last 2 weeks..they aren't big...they are teeny tiny little bees, but they still bite...they are everywhere on my water surface and on the walls of my pool...I use my leaf rake to scoop them out, and these darn things don't even drown...can anyone suggest anything to get these tiny little pests out of my pool water and away from my pool????
 

lbrownin

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2010
49
Pearl, MS
We seem to attract all manner of bugs to our pool, but especially pine beetles. Every day, there are dozens in the skimmer basket and many more clinging to anything in the pool. Luckily, they don't seem to bite, unless you're a pine tree.
 

txsanchez

New member
Jun 11, 2010
2
Thanks so much for the information! I have the exact same problem and they are driving me crazy! I'll be heading to Walmart for some algaecide now!
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,681
Sebring, Florida
Teppy,

There is more than one kind of algaecide. Would you share what brand and ingredients are on your bottle?
 

dmj4

Well-known member
Jul 22, 2009
60
If anyone has tried these products for bugs and has an update or product name, please let us know if it worked for you too.
Thanks!
 

Other Threads of Interest