The Old Solution
My customers have asked me for years, "how do we get rid of those swimming bugs?" They are called boatmen or backswimmers and they fly in to your pool. For a while I was using Bug Off. Then the state of California decided to prevent the use of that chemical here due to environmental reasons.
A New Solution?
Since Bug Off wasn't for sale I tried an algaecide
(why the state of California says we can still use algaecide and not Bug Off I just don't understand). The algaecide was expensive but I was told it would work well against the swimming bugs. The algaecide worked alright but it had limited success. There were still a lot of bugs in those pools.
A Better Solution
I came across a home remedy to resolve the issue. An old pool service buddy of mine said, "Use some dish soap." Dish soap?! I couldn't believe it. Obviously my customers didn't either. One customer that had hundreds of these bugs in his pool flatly said, "I'm not putting dish soap in my pool. Now, how do we get rid of the bugs?" I couldn't blame him since it did sound ridiculous. Still I had to try. When he was away one day I convinced his wife to try it. After asking her for the dish soap I squirt a good portion (1/4 cup) over the middle of the pool (it was a 20,000 gallon pool). It was like a swimming bug grenade had gone off! It took a couple of days for the soap to take effect. Hundreds of bugs showed up dead in the skimmer and automatic cleaner bag. I couldn't find even one of them left! Success!!!
I told the homeowner to reapply the dish soap on a weekly or biweekly basis as needed. There wasn't a problem with bubbles from the soap because the soap is very diluted in a swimming pool of over 10,000 gallons. The bugs have been gone all season and I still have a great customer! The husband hasn't complained about the soap either. ; )
How does it work?
The soap is a surfactant; so the soap interferes with the water surface tension in the pool. As it turns out, the little boatmen and backswimmers trap air against their little bodies by utilizing the properties of water surface tension. They use those little air bubbles to breath under water. When there is little to no water surface tension then they run out of air and die by drowning. So, if the dish soap doesn't work for you at first then just use a little more until it does. Over the years I have found Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid to be the best
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Happy bug killing!
I'm Jered Linden, the owner of Linden's Pool Service. I live in Petaluma, CA the base for my business.
Call today to start worry free service!