Do you see tiny jumping insects in your pool? Those are likely springtails. In this article, we will show you how to get rid of springtails in pool using simple techniques.
While nobody loves having a bunch of pests in their pool, it isn’t too unusual for pool owners to find clusters of springtails in the water.
Unfortunately, the ample moisture near a pool provides the perfect environment for springtail infestations and attracts these pests.
Although springtails won’t hurt you, a large nest of these pests can be a nuisance. Clusters of dead springtails in the water aren’t very hygienic either. Let’s have a quick look at how you can get rid of the springtails infesting your pool.
Why Are There Springtails in Your Pool?
Pools are attractive to springtails because they provide a damp environment with plenty of moisture in the air.
It is mostly the surroundings of the pool that draw springtails, such as moist soil, the pool deck, railings, etc. Some of the factors that can lead to a particularly large infestation of springtails in your pool are:
1. Mold, Algae, and Fungal Pores
When you don’t clean your pool regularly, it encourages the growth of mold, algae, and fungi. These are prime food sources for quite a few insects, including springtails.
Naturally, a place that offers a humid environment and a constant supply of food would attract them.
Such dirty pools also help springtails to reproduce very fast, making the infestation even more troublesome. It is easy to see when your pool water has too much mold, as the mold tends to float and create a mucus-like surface.
While this might sound gross, it isn’t too uncommon for human feces to end up in pools. This is especially a big problem in pools that are open to the public.
Even if someone doesn’t intentionally defecate in the pool, particles of stool may be stuck on them if they didn’t shower before entering the pool.
Springtails feed on almost any organic material and aid in the decomposition process of dead and decaying matter.
Feces are an attractive food source for these pests and can draw them in large numbers. In this regard, note that stool from pets can pose a similar problem too.
3. Dead Organic Matter
Leaves, grass, and other plant material in the water not only make the pool look dirty but also attract a host of pests.
Springtails would flock to your pool to feed on the organic matter and eventually start breeding. This is especially a problem if you leave your pool water stagnant for too long.
4. Grass and Potted Plants Around the Pool
Having lush green grass or potted plants near your pool might enhance the aesthetic appeal of the space, but it also attracts pests like springtails.
The damp environment, together with any decaying matter in the soil, provides them with an ideal habitat.
Make sure not to overwater the vegetation around the pool to avoid making the soil too moist. Also, it is best to move the potted plants away from the pool’s immediate vicinity and trim the grass short. This will reduce the chances of the springtails ending up in the pool.
What Kills Springtails Outside The Pool?
In case you notice springtails outside your pool, you’d want to kill them before the pool gets infested by those pests. Here’s what you can do to get rid of springtails outside your pool.
1. Remove Their Food Source
The easiest way to get rid of springtails and prevent them from returning is to do away with the food source that attracts them.
Keep the surroundings of your pool clean and rake away dead leaves and other dead organic matter so the springtails cannot feed on them. Also, avoid eating near the pool as any food dropping on the ground can act as a food source for the pests.
2. Use soap and water
To destroy springtail infestations around the pool, you may use a solution of water and detergent. Soapy water will kill the pests instantly.
Simply spraying the solution on the springtail infestation should do the job. However, be careful walking over the area later on as soapy water can make the surface very slippery.
Also, it’s best to do it when no one is using the pool, as soapy water runoff getting into the pool may cause irritation in the eyes and skin.
3. Keep the Surrounding Dry
Considering excess moisture is a key to making a place an ideal habitat for springtails, it makes sense that you should keep the surroundings of the pool dry.
Fixing any leaky pipes, not allowing stagnant water to remain, and refraining from overwatering the grass or plants should help.
4. Remove Pool Lights
This might be a little inconvenient, but consider removing the pool lights or simply not turning them on at night. Springtails are attracted to the light and heat generated by artificial pool lights.
How To Get Rid of Springtails in Soil Around The Pool Naturally
In case you don’t want to use soapy water or chemical insecticides around your pool, it’s perfectly understandable. We would advise you to prioritize natural methods anyway, as soap and other chemicals can have unwanted side effects.
One of the best natural solutions against springtails is diatomaceous earth, a powdered compound rich in silica. Diatomaceous earth kills springtails by destroying their waxy exoskeleton and dehydrating them.
Neem oil and other essential oils make great natural pesticides too. All you have to do is use a spray bottle and spray the solution in and around the pool. Natural solutions like these are harmless to humans, which makes them safer to use.
What Kills Springtails Inside The Pool?
Eliminating springtails that are already inside the pool is a little tricky, as you can’t risk contaminating the water with too much pesticide.
Springtails have special skin that lets them survive in water, even if they are fully submerged. They often stick onto algae floating around in pool water or just float on the surface of the water.
If the water is too dirty, you’ll have to drain the pool, clean it thoroughly, and fill it back with fresh water. Else, you can try the following solutions.
1. Skimming and Vacuuming
Thankfully, springtails float in clusters on the surface of the water. This means you can easily fish them along with their eggs out using a pool skimmer. If you don’t have a pool skimmer, a vacuum cleaner will work too.
Although it’s best to avoid using insecticides for springtails in your pool, heavy infestations may not give you much of a choice.
Insecticides like allethrin and pyrethrins are effective against these pests. However, in this case, it’s best to call a professional exterminator to avoid spraying and contaminating the pool with too much insecticide.
Frequently asked questions
1. How do springtails get in the pool?
Although springtails do not have wings, they can still jump through the air and end up in the pool if they’re infesting the surroundings. Moreover, if adult springtails find a food source in the pool, they might bring over the younger ones.
2. Are springtails harmful in pool?
Springtails are mostly harmless. Besides the fact that they do not bite or sting humans, these insects are not disease carriers either. However, no one would like to swim in a pool filled with clusters of springtails floating around.
3. What are springtails in my pool?
Springtails are tiny insects belonging to the order Collembola. These insects are about 8/100th of an inch in length. Their most interesting feature is the furcula, a curled appendage that grows from the fourth segment of the abdomen. Springtails can use the furcula to jump by unfurling it like a spring. They can jump as far as a hundred times their size.
4. How do I get rid of jumping bugs in my pool?
If you have very tiny jumping bugs in your pool, those are likely springtails. The easiest way to get rid of them is to skim or vacuum them out, but you may use pesticides as a last resort.
Other methods that you can use are to apply shock chlorination and using an algaecide. Of course the best way is to simply keep your pool surroundings dry and free of organic matter.
Maintaining a clean pool and using shock chlorination from time to time is the best way to keep away most pests. Besides springtails, you might also find plenty of water boatmen and mosquito larvae in pools with stagnant and dirty water.
If you aren’t using the pool for a long time, just drain it to avoid the water from getting stagnant. Also, clean the pool filter from time to time, as mold can get stuck there and end up back in the pool later.
Thank you for reading; we hope the article helps you get rid of springtails in your pool!
Over the years, our readers have sent us several emails on this topic. Please go through them below.
Letter 1 – Springtails in an Aquarium
Subject: Unidentifiable Semi-aquatic Insect Location: Fish tank in Denver Colorado. February 11, 2016 5:46 pm These small black insects are sluggish out of the water but very fast on the surface tension of the fish tank. They seem to be very successful in reproducing as the colony is fairly large 100-200+. They appeared in a cichlid tank, on the moist lid and rim of the inner tank. The parameters of the tank match that of Lake Tanganyika, the tank is hooded so air circulation is null. They are no more than a CM to a CM and a half. They are very fragile. The images were taken with a 60X microscope. The home in which they appeared is in Denver, Colorado. Mid-winter, in a 74-72 degree indoor environment. Signature: James
Dear James, These are Springtails in the Class Collembola, and they are benign creatures that can become a nuisance indoors if they are plentiful. They thrive in moist environments, so the aquarium is a perfect habitat for them. See BugGuide for more information on Springtails.
Letter 2 – Springtails in the Swimming Pool!
I have springtails in my swimming pool. I was hoping that after covering the pool for the season, and reopening it in the spring, they would have died over the winter. But low and behold, the swimming pool is still full of live spring tails which seem to congregate in the corners of the pool, between the water line and the tiles. I can’t believe they survived such a harsh winter! I’m so frustrated, and last year I tried just about everything from spraying pesticides around the pool, to shocking it,,,, nothing worked. I’ve read that spraying the tiles with diluted soap ( dawn ) helps temorarily. my question is this – do you think they will go away, if i empty the pool, acid wash it… let it dry for a while, then fill it again . spray the tiles in the interim and then fill it again. thank you for your help. Since Springtails seem to be a big problem with swimming pools, you might want to check with your local pool shop for erradication advice. They do not appear to be harmed by cold weather, and one type is even known by the common name of Snow Flea. They do tend to by cyclical, multiplying when conditions are favorable, and declining at other times. I don’t know if emptying your pool will help. Its funny because I checked last year and none of the pool stores or pool companies here in ny ever dealt with them in pools. It seems to be a new thing.
Letter 3 – Springtails in Swimming Pool
Subject: Tiny bug in pool in Fountain Hills AZ Location: Fountain Hills AZ October 27, 2016 4:59 pm A neighbor found thousands of these tiny things floating in their pool. Here is a microscopic image 10x Signature: Katie
Dear Katie, These are Springtails. They are benign creatures that can get very numerous, creating a nuisance when conditions are correct. This is not the first report we have received of Springtails in a swimming pool.
Letter 4 – Springtails in the Swimming Pool
Subject: Insects in Antioch CA swimming pool Location: Antioch California March 11, 2017 4:03 pm Hello A friend of my moms has these insects in her swimming pool. Antioch CA Currently (march) Any ideas what they are? Signature: Emily
Dear Emily, These benign Springtails can become a nuisance if they get too plentiful. We have gotten other reports in the past of Springtails associated with swimming pools.