7 Effective Methods: How To Get Rid Of Waterbugs

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Jun 27, 2023

Although water bugs aren’t regarded as pests and often harm your health, having them about your house is unsettling.

Some people regard them as cockroach species and claim they are outdoor roaches. But the reality is different.

If you are suffering from an infestation, we have you covered with expert guidance and entomological facts—not fantasy. Read on how to get rid of waterbugs in your house and yard.

Sign of An Infestation

Understanding the origins of water bugs is crucial since early action is essential for successfully eradicating pest outbreaks. Knowing the typical indications of a pest infestation can help you spot the issue immediately.

To help you identify them and effectively eradicate them, we’ve included some of the most common signs of a water bug infestation below.

Water Bugs In The House


Wherever the bugs reside, egg casings and droppings are often left behind. Your home’s appearance of black pellets and broken shells might indicate that pests are close.


Water bugs typically prefer to remain outside, but inadequate ventilation causes humidity and moisture, which attracts them.

Leaky Pipes

Water bugs love to live in standing water since they enjoy humid, wet areas. Bugs will likely lurk in leaking pipes if you put off fixing them for a while. Contact a licensed plumber like North East Plumbing to get your leaky pipes fixed quickly.

8 Waterbug Removal Methods

A waterbug may be killed in several ways. However, they could be challenging to eliminate if you locate them in huge numbers.

In this case, contacting a pest control specialist is the best line of action.

Here are some small-scale methods for eliminating them:

1. Boric Acid

Waterbugs may be killed using boric acid, a great pesticide. Typically, this solution comes in powder form, which you may sprinkle in waterbug-prone regions.

The compounds damage the bugs’ digestive systems when they consume boric acid. Most DIY stores sell boric acid, which you may purchase. Add a little dusting of boric acid powder. Most waterbugs will avoid substantial powdery heaps.

2. Synthetic Indoor Pesticides

Bug-killing synthetic insecticides are yet another fantastic option. They are available as powders or sprays that include potent insecticides.

3. Bug Spray

The most popular method for DIY pest control is water bug spray, available through shops and online. They swallow the chemicals that harm the neurotransmitters when you spray pesticides on the bugs or their nests. As you’ll see, the bugs slowly die a short time after exposure.

4. Bug Trap

A straightforward method for eradicating an entire colony of water bugs is to use insect traps or bait. Many bugs are eliminated when they ingest the bait particles when an insect comes into touch with a trick that includes attractants and brings them back to the nest. Tip: To ensure that the scheme is the waterbugs’ sole food source when you keep the trick inside your house, keep all other food sources—including pet food—away.

5. Essential Oils

Common essential oils used to repel insects include lemongrass, peppermint, and cedarwood. It’s incredible to see how oils affect insects. The majority of insects are quite sensitive to moisture loss. When water bugs are exposed to oils, their wax surface is dried out, causing them to dry out and eventually die. According to the experts at Wholesale Botanics, common essential oils used to repel insects include lemongrass, peppermint, and cedarwood. It’s incredible to see how oils affect insects.

6. Natural Methods

You may also eliminate these pests with items you already have at home. These include detergents, alcohol, and baking soda. Any of these may be used to kill bugs by pouring them on them or their nests.

Baking Soda

Because it absorbs water and causes insects to become completely dehydrated, baking soda is often employed as a pesticide.


Alcohol will cause two deaths for them. It first functions as a solvent to dissolve the bug’s outer shell, killing it. Second, when applied, when applied, it is a full dehydrator that causes severe dehydration in bugs. Spray alcohol on the waterbugs and their nests after diluting them with water in a spray bottle.


Another easily accessible pest control solution is liquid dishwashing detergent. By dissolving the bugs’ protective skin, the soap progressively kills them. Spraying water with a few drops of liquid detergent can kill waterbugs and their colonies.

You may use various methods to get rid of waterbugs without killing them.

7. Bug Repellent

A repellant is a great option to solve the issue when it becomes impossible to eradicate water bugs. Sprays that repel bugs prevent them from smelling their environment, which makes them dull and unappealing. This makes it more probable that bugs may leave treated regions in pursuit of other, more advantageous settings.

Water Bugs In Pool

Pools are perfect for this beetle to reproduce since they adore standing water. However, you shouldn’t give up collection’s convenience.

Your pool likely has algae in the water or on the pump fixtures if there are water bugs around. The majority consume algae; if they are satisfied, they stay put.

Watch out for algae and tiny eggs in your pool. Additionally, they will scatter broken shells, eggshells, and droppings about them. If you see little black granules there, f you see little black granules there, it’s time to clean your pool.

Stop Waterbugs from Entering Your Home

It is essential to avoid infestations before they begin since it is challenging to eliminate bugs that have found sanctuary in or around your house. Take all required steps to remove them and block their entryways when you detect them in your home.

Follow these five practical suggestions to prevent these pests from entering your home:

1. Get rid of standing water.

Eliminating the water is the most crucial preventative strategy to eliminate “water” pests. To avoid infection, eliminate any sources of standing water or clean those already there.

Eliminate wet spots and repair pipe leaks. Keep in mind that they enjoy moist, humid settings.

2. Improve ventilation.

Water bugs don’t always live outside. If the weather is damp, they go inside. Open the windows and increase ventilation to minimize humidity.

3. Seal all food containers.

Any bug will be attracted to food leftovers if they are not firmly secured with airtight lids. When you’re done dining, wash the dishes, and empty the trash often. Water bugs will have an easier time locating their preferred location—your kitchen—if food is left out overnight.

Additionally, limit your dining to a particular space to prevent unintentionally leaving behind the food.

4. Seal the entry points.

Find any cracks, gaps, or fissures in your house, then fill them with steel wool, cement, or other materials to prevent further damage. Check windows and doors for cracks and openings where pests may get through.

5. Set up traps and baits.

The most efficient technique to exterminate the whole colony is via bait. Online retailers provide traps, temptation, and repellents in powder or spray—place traps and tricks in high-activity locations.

Identifying Water Bugs

You must correctly identify water bugs before considering how to get rid of them. Let’s fix the often mistaken problem since this is the first step towards controlling their removal.

A common word for any of the following insect species that are found in or near water is “waterbug” or “water bug”:

  • Giant water bugs (Belostomatidae)
  • True water bugs (Nepomorpha)
  • Backswimmers (Notonectidae)
  • Creeping water bugs (Naucoridae)

However, “waterbug” is often misapplied to refer to cockroach species living on land. What distinguishes cockroaches from waterbugs, then?


  • German cockroach
  • American cockroach
  • Oriental cockroach

This essay concentrates on the actual water bug living in or near water.

Binomial Name

Lethocerus americanus

Lethocerus americanus is the scientific name for giant water bugs. They are freshwater hemipteran insects that are members of the Belostomatidae family. Some more popular slang terms for these insects are toe-biters, Indian toe-biters, alligator ticks, and fleas.

Body Type

1.5 to 2 inches long

Body Shape

The head, thorax, and abdomen make up their three-part body. Their bodies are flat, oval, and have a boat-like form.

A little breathing tube retracted into the belly is visible since adults cannot breathe underwater. The line performs comparable duties as a snorkel.

The forelegs have been changed into hook-shaped appendages to grip and retain prey, making their body structure well-suited for hunting. To swim in the water, the flattened hind legs are employed, which resemble oars.

Number of Legs

It has six legs, like a vast water insect. Hook-shaped appendages on the two frontal legs are used to catch and hold onto prey. Once the victim is in their grasp, they inject a potent poison that renders the target unconscious and liquefies its body.

The two fringed hind legs function as oars or paddles to keep the beetle afloat.


Most people have two eyes. Water bugs often have small antennas hidden behind their eyes.


They often have a large, brown or grey body.


Giant water bugs are ferocious predators with a significant diet. Despite sometimes being considerably smaller than their food, they mostly eat aquatic insects, fish, and amphibians.

The insect often stays still in a freshwater pond or stream, clinging to plants while they wait for their food to arrive. Belostomatidae uses their forelegs to hit their prey and inject potent venom as it moves past.

In contrast to other species, the male insect aids care for the eggs and transports them until they hatch, whereas the females spend a considerable amount of time searching for males with whom to mate.


As their name suggests, these bugs spend most of their time in the water. Most species are found in freshwater ponds, streams, and marshes. They like warm, humid conditions and are drawn to wet, moist environments.

In certain areas of Asia and other tropical and temperate regions, giant water bugs are a familiar sight.

Cockroach vs. Water Bug

Although water bugs and cockroaches are often confused with one another, there are a few clear distinctions between the two:


Generally speaking, water bugs are more significant than cockroaches. Cockroaches are between 1 and 1.5 inches long, whereas adult bugs are roughly 2 inches long.


Cockroaches prefer dry terrain, although both may live in water. However, water bugs are exclusively aquatic and thrive in warm, humid climates.

Feeding and Food

Because they are omnivorous scavengers, cockroaches don’t have particular food preferences. Any leftovers that are accessible to them are consumed. On the other hand, water bugs use poison to seek and immobilize their prey.


If water bugs feel threatened, they may bite you. Shy and non-biting, cockroaches often flee from bright lights and other animals.

Pest Determination

True water bugs are not regarded as pests since they don’t significantly interfere with people’s daily lives. On the other hand, cockroaches are natural pests that should be eliminated from household settings due to several health problems.

How To Treat A Water Bug Bite

Bites from water bugs typically only cause people a little bother. However, a searing sensation at the site of the puncture is conceivable, and as with any insect injury, it must be treated immediately.

The most typical signs of an insect bite are itchiness, redness, swelling, and minor discomfort. The following natural treatments may help lessen the consequences of an edge:

  • To minimize swelling, use cold compresses for the stung location.
  • Apply cooking oil or peppermint oil.
  • Apply a paste composed of turmeric powder and water to the affected area.
  • Apply aloe vera gel.
  • Utilize anti-inflammatory medications to lessen discomfort and swelling.
  • Use an all-purpose bug bite lotion or gel.

Nevertheless, seek quick medical attention if the symptoms worsen.

Bug Extermination Service

Let’s be honest. No one wants insects inside their house. We often attempt home remedies, but they only really work partially.

The best action is to contact a skilled exterminator when the infestation is overpowering. After trying many DIY solutions, seeking expert assistance may be essential if the issues.

Because pests may infest bedrooms and kitchens and bite you, your children, and your pets, pest control is crucial. The best way to guarantee protection against vermin is to engage a qualified pest control specialist.

In this case, calling in the pros for pest treatment is your best bet. This is because of the knowledge, tools, and resources required to complete a complete elimination. Professional pest controllers utilize potent pesticides and sprays that kill on contact, according to Jason from Empire Pest Control. They will also treat the surrounding surroundings to guarantee that all the pests are removed. Having your house bug-free will provide long-lasting effects and peace of mind.


There you have it, then! Contrary to popular belief, waterbugs are a separate species from cockroaches.

Although not a severe threat to human health or hygiene, it’s often advisable to act and control the issue before it necessitates the services of specialists.

Employing the seven effective methods to get rid of water bugs can protect your home and swimming pool from serious infestations by the likes of the giant water bug, palmetto bugs, and oriental cockroaches. These water bug species, typically dark brown, thrive in damp areas and pose a threat with potential bites and widespread infestations. One efficient strategy to kill water bugs is by using food-grade diatomaceous earth. Spread a thin layer of this natural insecticide in their habitats to effectively deal with water bugs bite concerns and actual water bugs.

Prevention is always better than cure. To prevent future water bug infestations, consider the importance of good sanitation and home maintenance. Keep your surroundings clean, fix leaks promptly, and ensure food storage containers have tight-fitting lids to discourage these pests. Remember, water bugs, whether in your pool or house, are more than just a nuisance, they indicate a damp, favorable environment that could invite a multitude of other pests. Learning how to get rid of water bugs is key, but modifying your environment to deter them is equally vital.

These well-proven methods, coupled with proactive measures, can help you not only get rid of water bugs, but also maintain a safe, hygienic, and water bug-free living space. The sight of a single dark brown bug may not indicate a serious infestation, but it’s always a call to action. Use these techniques, act promptly, and stay vigilant in your battle against water bugs.

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