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We have here in Belgium exactly the same problem in a pool that was built last year. The problem of the insects started in five months after building it. The cold seems to diminish them but, they are not gone. I looked at the insects with a microscope and they seem to be fleas. Our pool professional doesn't know the problem and chloor shock doesn't kill them.

We live near Palm Springs, California and have the same small flea like bugs. They first appeared last fall and just reappeared last week. Our pool man did some local research and found out that the bugs appear twice each year and seem to be related to the blossoms on citrus trees (we have several near the pool). According to the local expert the bugs last from several days to several weeks and cannot be killed (yikes!).

UPDATE: We have found that a solution of dishwashing liquid (Dawn) and water squirted on them kill right away. There may still be more tomorrow but this helps. Try using about 3 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid to 3 cups of water. Good luck and please share your experience.

I just tried the soap. 1 tablespoon dishwashing soap to 1 cup of water. DOA instantly. don't know if they will be back but will spray the outside of the screen enclosure with some bug spray. They were small bugs that float on the top of the water and appear to hop around. They do have wings bacause I saw them after the died.

Glad to hear the soap trick is working. Yesterday was the first day we wanted to use the pool (it was over 100 degrees outside). I put the soapy water in a spray bottle and went around the edge of the pool about 30 minutes before we got in. Bugs were dead and all filtered out!Unfortunatly, new bugs started to appear after a couple of hours...but more soap to the rescue!

We had a similar situation when we moved into our new home. We had just put in a pool and new sod and noticed small, black insects almost identical to a flea that tended to cluster around the pool pilings and started to come into the house. We found out that they are 'springtails'. If you look them up, they look like a flea but are not as they do not bite. We were informed that they tend to show up wherever new grass is laid, or where there is disruption to the ground (i.e. digging hole for pool). !

Well i live in Maryland. my home is deeply wooded . i have never had that problem i use a special shock that isnot as powerful.Normal shock can attract bugs. try using the dawn solution and not shocking you pool for a month . remember if you try this don't enter you pool for that month.

Hello again from Europe, there seem to be nobody else here with the same problem. We live in Belgium and certainly don't have citrus trees because it is far to cold here. We do have other plants in the proximity of the pool like bammoo,lavendel ,taxus ... We tried an insecticide with bio-alletrin, permetrin and piperonylbutoxide for some weeks twice daily. Every day we still see some bugs. Today I tried the soaptrick (thanks !) and I have the impression it gives equal results. I do feel more comfortally spraying soap on my pool instead of insecticide. I wil keep in touch !

After searching for "springtails" on-line, I am convinced that is what we have on our pool. And I believe that citrus trees are probably not the cause. We do live on a golf course in a hot, generally dry climate (Palm Springs, CA) but the grass is always kept quite moist (springtails seem to like moisture).

I find that by using a little soap spray around the edges of the pool in the morning (and sometimes again mid-day), the bug population is being kept somewhat under control.

I really do agree they must be springtails (in Dutch springstaarten). I found on Dutch websites that the soap works because you change the surface tension and they drawn. We also spray the edges of the pool now twice a day while the coverdeck is closed. Most of the European sites agree that insecticides do not work very well, and that there is no great need for because they are harmless (although creapy).

I put a very diluted solution of soapy water in a dish soap bottle and just squirt it along the water's edge, especially where there are a lot of the bugs. They die instantly. I also try to squirt the liquid into any cracks in the tile that the bugs may use as a "passage way" from the soil to the pool. Good Luck!

Soapy water will NOT kill your grass or other pool-side plants; if anything it will act as a mild phosphoric fertiliser!

I tried the soapy solution, worked on what was there, but they just kept coming back. Hiding in the grout of the tile. I called for help. First, if you are using the soap mixture, stop before you mess up the filtration system of your pool. Next you need to purchase algaecide. You will need to treat initially with 1 to 2 bottles depending on the size of your pool. Then continue to treat with 2 to 6 ounces each week all summer. The winter should help to kill of any further infestation. The algaecide will break the surface and allow the little critters to go to the bottom and drown. My first treatment is taking place today, I'll let you know of the results.

Well, good luck with the algaecide. Did no good for us. The soapy water really seems to do the trick. We're talking such a small amount of soap it shouldn't hurt any pool equipment (we use's PH balanced and it's the stuff used to clean up birds after oil spills in the sea).

After a few months, we are seeing almost no more bugs. Yeah!!

We live in Florida and have been in our new home with caged swimming pool for 3 years. Our rainy season began in June and this is the first year that our pool's surface has been coated with clusters of dead gnats, or whatever they are. This is also the first year we signed up with a company for lawn spraying of pests and fertilization. In checking the internet for solutions, I came across a site, Under Troubleshooting I found "Problem: small, black gnats on pool surface. (Looks like pepper)." They listed the "Possible Cause" as "Insects are coming from lawn. Have pest control spray entire yard." I'll be calling our pest control company today and have them redo the lawn. Just wanted to pass on the info. Hope it helps.

My pool started having the lil black flea like bugs last year after I got new sod. In the summer/wet months my pool is the popular hangout for these seemingly immortal bugs that float/hop along the water and then take a break from their hopping on the corner side tiles of my pool. We put an insane amount of shock in the pool(the chlorine test came out red for weeks even with chlorine neutralizer)and I think this ruined our pool finish but it killed them cause nothing living could possibly breath the chlorine fumes! Getting professional pest control for my yard and house didn't seem to help. Today I tried Dawn. Seemed to do the trick very fast. I have the bottle ready to spray tomorrow. If that's all I have to do every day I'll be happy. Thanks for the Dawn tip!

I am visiting my parents in Newville, PA and I noticed about a million small hopping little insects on the top of the water and in clumps around the edges of the pool as I was about to jump in. Thank goodness I noticed them before I jumped in. Anyways, I began to research them online and I found myself at this site. Nice to know we're not the only ones with this problem! My father just went outside and sprayed the pool with soapy water and it worked! They are dying as we speak! Thanks for the advice... Darn Springtails! Yuck!

I just found the same bugs in my pool. I had no dawn but tried Palmolive 1 tbsp to 2 cups pool water in spray bottle, sure enough the bugs dropped off instantly! and the Palmolive had a nice apple scent! I'll get some dawn later. but for the time being it seems to work. I used to swim in a lake, so a few bugs won't kill me? I hope!?

There isn't any pool chemical that I have ever seen that eliminates or prevents bugs from getting into the pool. The only chemical that I have seen on the market is a product called Bug Out by GLB. We have had mixed results with this chemical.

use a solution of pyrethin based conditioning flea shampoo(Zodiac or like) as a barrier around the pool area(full strength). and 2 tablespoons per thousand gallons of water. This breaks the surface tension, and provides a gentle pesticide to prevent re-occurance.

Okay after reading all the questions & comments it sounds like most of you may have an infestation of Springtails. Springtails are harmless, small flea like creatures that jump quickly, reproduce almost instantaneous and die within minutes. They are definitely drawn to moisture and are very difficult to get rid of permanently; but it can be done. My brother had this problem three years ago in his pool and I more recently had a problem in my guest bathroom. Springtails do not bite so those of you with biting insects will need to continue your search. The rest of you should probably look further than the "soapy" quick fix as it will not permanently rid you of the insect infestation. I found a good website that helped us get rid of our problem and hopefully will help you all too.

the reason the bugs are killed when you spray detergent on them is not because the detergent kills them, but because it changes the surface tension of the water, and the bugs can no longer walk on top, so they drown. if you spray the bugs on the lawn with the detergent, they may die if it helps them stick to the grass and water already on the lawn, otherwise you will just have cleaner bugs.

when considering algaecides, you should be aware that there are three types. one has copper in it to kill living green algae, one is a "polyquat" which kills algae spores, and the other is a "quatinary ammonia", which is a detergent and is the cheapest algaecide available. it is not very effective as an algaecide, but helps chlorine have a greater effect on killing it. the label will generally say "amonium chloride" of such on it. this should kill the bugs as well, and has been very effective on killing the ones that swim below the water. in their case the soap keeps the bugs from being able to attach and air bubble to them, which they pull below water and then breath from like a scuba tank. this is just added to the water, but you may have a greater effect on the bugs by spraying them, which will also get the ones on the tiles washed into the water to drown.

the dawn dishwashing detergent will not bother your pool chemistry when used in small amounts. it will simply help break down the oils in the water. if used in larger quantities, it will cause foam to appear on the surface and will create discomfort to the swimmers ey

my answer is to put clorine


You can kill them with a spray bottle of skin-so-soft oil and water mixter spray all around the sides of the pool and put son directly on the water. It makes the pool smell good and doesn't hurt anyone or anything! Oh and your skin is so soft after swimming!

I knocked em down in an hour and killed them completely off in a couple days!


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Q: How do you get rid of strange little insects in the pool?
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