Poolside predators are back
PREDATORY assassins that savagely bite you with their long beak-like mouths and sucking creatures that dissolve your flesh are likely to be lurking in your swimming pool this summer.
So too, might very much alive killer redback spiders.
“Be aware of the water bugs and water scorpions in your pool,” Queensland Museum entomologist Christine Lambkin warned Fraser Coast pool owners yesterday.
“All are true bugs or sucking bugs, like cicadas and aphids, because they have a rostrum, a feeding tube with straw-like mouthparts with which they suck up fluids,” Dr Lambkin said.
“They bite their prey – inject salivary fluids – dissolve the flesh of the prey – and then suck up the juices. Unfortunately they can do the same to you, just like assassin bugs.”
During the summer months many spiders tend to be more common in moist, cool areas and often fall into swimming pools, says David Knowles from Hervey Bay’s Amalgamated Pest Control.
“People are inclined to think that a bug at the bottom of the pool must have drowned, when in fact that is not always the case.
“Pools also offer an attractive environment for redbacks, which commonly form webs on the water side of pool edging.”
Backswimmers and water boatmen are also common water bugs in our back yard swimming pools.
“Adults of both have wings and can show up in pools overnight. Backswimmers are predatory. If handled, they can deliver a painful bite with their long, beak-like mouthparts,” Dr Lambkin said.
“Water boatmen have broader, flattened bodies and generally don’t bite humans. Backswimmers swim upside down with their legs facing the surface, while water boatmen swim the right way up.
“Water scorpions breathe through a tail siphon, which is held above the water surface.
“They are predatory and like to fly at night.
“If handled, they can deliver a painful bite.”
Mr Knowles says bees and wasps are other common poolside pests.
“Bees and wasps are attracted to water, which they collect to take back to their nests to control temperatures.
“Things like fruity drinks and sweet poolside treats can attract certain species of wasps, increasing the danger of a poolside encountered sting.”
Poorly serviced swimming pools and surrounding leftover puddles can also provide the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.WHAT TO DO TO DE-BUG YOUR POOL
Bugs in pool water generally appear because of poor pool maintenance.
The easiest way to deal with waterboatmen isto take away their food source. In this case, if you have awaterboatman infestation then chances are good you have a bit of analgae problem. Take steps to eliminate the algae and in a couple ofdays they should all be gone. If you want a faster solution there arechemicals designed specifically to kill bugs in pool water, so be sureto visit your local pool store for advice.
The best way to get backswimmers outof your pool is to again eliminate their food source. Focus on gettingrid of any underwater vegetation problems, like algae growth, first.Once that’s taken care of, other bugs that feed off of this vegetationwill disappear, taking away backswimmers’ source of nutrition.
If you spot a redback in your pool call your local pest controller.