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How To Get Rid of Water Mites in Pool

Water mites are microscopic bugs that feed off of plants and can sometimes wind up in your pool. Fortunately, they are harmless to people, and there are several ways to remove them from your pool.

Water mites can be removed from pools by skimming the surface with a net. Alternate ways to kill mites are to double shock the pool and use algaecide. To prevent water mites altogether, don’t keep plants near the water, keep lights at a distance, and remove any standing water near your pool.

Types of Water Mites

TypeAppearance Behavior
Water BoatmanOval shaped with wingsAttach to the sides of the pool
Spider MitesSeparate head and body segmentsCrawls around surface
Shrimp typeCurved bodyFloats around algae or plants

The term “water mites” or “pool mites” is a bit of a catch-all for several types of insects and bugs that like to live or take over your pool. 

Water mites indicate that you may have other water bugs floating around. 

Water Boatmen

Water boatman on a leaf
Water boatman

Water boatmen are common along any body of water. They are prey for frogs and usually are found on the sides of the pool or in pipes.

Spider Mites

Spider mites on a plant

Spider mites have segregated bodies and live off of plants, so if your vegetation has spotting, it’s a good sign you have a spider mite problem. 

Shrimp Mites (Lawn Shrimp)

Shrimp mite aka Lawn Prawn, Lawn Shrimp, Arcitalitrus Sylvaticus

Shrimp mites are also know as Lawn Prawns (in Australia), Lawn Shrimp (USA) and the scientific name is Arcitalitrus Sylvaticus. They get their colloquial name because they look like shrimp. They congregate next to plants and could be a problem if you’ve had a recent algae issue.  

What Water Mites Look Like

Telescopic view of a water mite

Water mites look and act in different ways. They are small and hard to detect. The easiest way to spot them is to look at your plants for signs of “spotting” or where the mites have made a meal for themselves. Some have wings, like boatmen, which carry other bugs to water sources. Mites typically have oval-shaped bodies with triangular-shaped heads. 

Other pool bugs include thrips, Christmas beetles (Australia mostly), water striders, mosquitoes, skimmers, and more. 

How To Get Rid of Water Mites in Pool

What attracts water mites to a pool?

Tropical swimming pool garden.
Plants around a pool can attract water mite and pool bugs.

Stagnant water and vegetation are the two biggest attractants for water mites and bugs in pools. These conditions provide food and a spawning ground for mites and other aquatic bugs. 

How to get rid of water mites in the pool

The easiest way to remove water mites, or any pool bugs for that matter, is to skim them with a net. After skimming, manually vacuum the pool to remove smaller debris that the net couldn’t remove.

Tip: If the water mites are too small and go through your net, put an old t-shirt over the net or use cheesecloth to prevent the bugs from slipping through the net.

How to kill water mites in pool

If there is an abundance of mites, or they keep coming back, you can add dish soap to the pool. ⅛ cup is enough to treat 10,000 gallons of water. The soap will kill the mites and enable you to skim them off within 48 hours.  If the problem persists, double-shock your pool. This high influx of chlorine will kill off any living organisms in your pool.

Preventing Water Mites from Coming Back

To prevent water mites from coming back, thoroughly inspect your yard. Remove any standing water (drain buckets, brush standing water off of your pool deck, etc.), and make sure there are no piles of leaves or vegetation.

Make sure the deck drains are draining properly. If they’re not, the standing water will attract mites. Also, check the plants near the pool for signs of bug damage. If there is damage, and if you are able, move the plants away from the pool.

Keeping Water Mites Out of Pool 

The best way to keep mites out of the pool is by using a pool cover. Be careful when removing the covers so that you don’t dump them into the pool. Aside from a cover, taking prevention steps is your best bet.  

Are Water Mites Dangerous?

Water mites are non-dangerous to humans, though skin irritations can occur. They are herbivores and are too small to worry about. They are dangerous to plant life, which is why you should check plants first for any sign of mites in your area. 

Do Water Mites Bite?

Water mites don’t bite people per se, but water boatmen will bite swimmers. The bite feels like a bee sting, so they are sometimes called “water wasps”. They are generally looking for a vegetative food source and not being malicious, but either way, the sting can be painful. Water boatmen are rare, however, and usually prefer stagnant ponds. 

Other Types of Pool Bugs

a bug swimming in the pool

Many types of bugs also end up in your pool, including thrips, mosquitoes, Christmas beetles, spiders, backswimmers, and more. 

The main advice to keep these bugs away from your pool is to remove organic matter, which is a food source, and make sure you don’t have algae in your pool. Algae is also a good food source. 

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