Springtails in pools are attracted by evaporating water molecules which cause a damp humid environment around pools. They are a major problem in swimming pools during the warm seasons because their natural habitats are dried out.
High chlorine levels will oxidize and kill bugs in a pool along with their food sources like algae or mold. Shock the pool to get rid of springtails by adding 2 pounds of granular chlorine per 5,000 gallons of water. A springtail pool shock should be done at night. Avoid using the pool for 8 hours after shocking.
Springtails in a swimming pool float on water in clusters because adults release pheromones that attract them together. Sometimes they are swept by the wind to the edge. Springtails can also stick on pool beams around the perimeter. They easily get stuck on anything that rubs against them.
Can springtails live in pool water
Springtails only live on the water surfaces but they cannot survive when submerged. Those are common on abandoned pools with stagnant waters that are out of use for a while. They do not like disturbance and will dwell in calm waters where there is no wind or human activity.
In most cases, springtails are found in moist soil or under damp leaves when they live on land. They are active in those areas because they feed on decaying organic matter, mold, and fungi. Eggs are always laid in groups and this is why they are found as a cluster even when floating in a pool.
Springtails can live on pool water because they have natural waterproof skin. This keeps water from reaching its inner layers. This feature helps them keep dry and breathe while floating. However, they cannot survive underwater since they need to breathe via tiny holes found on their abdomen.
When dipped in water and fully covered, springtails will drown to death. They can only drown if the surface tension is broken because that is what keeps them floating. Drowning is not a good way to get rid of springtails infestation in a pool since you will need to add surfactants that can cause contamination.
Causes of springtails in a pool
The main attraction of springtails into a pool is moisture and the damp environment around it. This includes wet pavements and moist plants that grow around the pool area. They can also hang on the fence and pool surroundings as long as they are always wet. Here are more causes:
1. Mold, algae and fungal pores
A poorly maintained pool can have algae, mold, and fungal spores in it. Those can be seen on the pool’s surface and are a major cause of several bugs’ contamination. Those three are a major food source for springtails. They will lay eggs and reproduce in large numbers if they find something to eat.
Signs of mold in a pool include a mucus-like layer covering the water surface. Those may also be seen along the water lines around the pool. Springtails can feed on mold on a pool’s water surface and this is enough to keep them living in and around your swimming pool.
Keep springtails from your pool by getting rid of any mold in your pool. This can be done by treating the water and brushing off any mold on sight. Mold can also live in your pool filter and that is how they will keep coming back. Springtails can survive on mold and this will encourage an infestation if not dealt with.
Human waste from those who swim before taking a shower can be washed into the pool. This contaminates the water and leaves a food source for springtails to eat. They can feed on human stools and the adults will invite young springtails to thrive in large numbers since there is a food source.
It is therefore important to take showers before swimming. Pets should also be washed before they are left to enjoy a swim because springtails can also feed on your pet’s stools. If you suspect the pool has been contaminated, either replace the water or find efficient treatment alternatives.
3. Dead organic matter
Springtails can also feed on dead decaying organic matter. Any pool that is left unattended will be a good habitat for them to live and thrive. Pools should never be left stagnant for a while and those that are not in use are better drained to keep bugs away.
After cutting any grass around the pool, rake and remove them. Do not let them form a thicket that springtails can hide in. An infestation around the pool will eventually leave those jumpy bugs in your pool. Controlling them becomes difficult in this case since they will keep coming back.
4. Grass and potted plants around the pool
While on land, springtails also live and hide under thick grass in the bush. Those will always provide a shade above them and keep them from dehydration. The grass canopy provides a thicket that they can leave as the food on decaying matter on the ground.
Trim the grass around pools to the lowest level to discourage springtails from nesting under them. Keep the grassless moist and regulate the amount of water in the soil beneath until the infestation is over. Avoid food around the pool that can fall on the crass and decay because that is what they feed on.
Springtails in potted houseplants around the pool can also encourage an infestation. Those can provide a natural habitat for them since they leave under leaves in the wild. To keep springtails from your plants, avoid overwatering the soil to reduce moisture.
Springtails in sleeping rooms around the pool can also end up in the water when there is no moisture for them. Once humidity levels are regulated, they will relocate and any pool nearby will be their next habitat.
How to get rid of springtails in pool
Based on all the causes of springtails in a pool, the basic solution is to keep the pool clean. A well-maintained swimming pool will be free from molds, algae, decaying matter, or anything that springtails can feed on. A clean pool reduces the survival chances since they will have to find alternative food sources.
1. Eliminate food source
Springtails feed on mold and algae in a stagnant pool and eliminating those leaves them with nothing to thrive on. To control mold and algae in a pool, control the pH levels at 7.5. This will provide an unstable environment for their multiplication since they will have nothing on their feet to survive.
Even though they are not a threat to anyone in the pool, they give a wrong impression of a dirty pool. They do not sting or suck blood from humans. Those jumpy bugs can also get stuck on hairy pets in a pool. After the pet is dry, they will fall off on their own since they do not live on pets as fleas do.
2. Soapy water
Soapy water can kill springtails on contact and this can be sprinkled on springtails on the surface of a pool to kill them. However, you need to check the detergent used because some can cause skin irritation especially if use when people are swimming.
This can also be used to get rid of springtails in the pool’s bathroom since it is always moist. Just like when using chlorine, soap should be used at night when nobody is using the pool. Soap in the bathroom can also be slippery on the floor and this can be a great hazard.
3. Skimming and vacuuming
A simple pool skimmer can be used to brush and remove springtails and their eggs from a pool’s surface. This can also be used to remove organic matter from a pool’s surface by gently brushing the water surface. This should be well disposed of to reduce any re-infestation possibilities.
Vacuuming a pool can also help in removing springtails and other bugs from a pool surface. This can also clear all the dirt on a pool floor. However, you need to learn how to vacuum a pool because the strainer will need to be emptied at specific intervals.
4. Keep the environment dry
Black springtails in a pool after the rains are washed into the pool from the environment. They come from grass or potted plants around the pool area. Those can be removed by brushing the pool or using a simple homemade skimmer that can sweep them off.
Since those jumpy bugs like a moist environment, keep the pool surroundings dry. Springtails can also come from the bathrooms around the pool and those should also be cleaned and kept dry. This can be done by keeping an attendant in there to ensure there is no stagnant water in there.
Any plants around the pool or grass should not be overwatered in order to avoid a natural springtail habitat. If possible, reduce the watering intervals or use plants that need minimal water for sustenance.
Springtails in aquariums around the pool can also switch habitats since all they need is a moist environment. According to the College of Litters Science, semi-aquatic springtails are those that live on water and they are the major culprits that live in abandoned or unclean pools.