The Water Boatmen Bug is from the family of insects called Corixidae. They typically feed on algae, plants, and debris. Homeowners have reported swarms of boatmen bugs in pools.
Water Boatmen are not dangerous and pose no health threats. During the spring and fall; the adults migrate to and from their homes and their overwintering sites. When there is an increase in rainfall this can increase the availability of resources for this bug to survive and reproduce, leading to a population explosion.
They cement their eggs underwater objects, sometimes forming a dense mat. The adults are drawn to reflective surfaces such as windows, cars and pools. They perceive these reflective surfaces as sources of water leading them to “fall from the sky” onto cars.
How long will these bugs be here?
Water Boatmen migration is seasonal and their activity should subside with the cooling winter temperatures.
What You Can Do: Reducing Water Boatmen
• Remove any algae and check your water chemistry for proper chlorine levels.
• To prevent them from laying eggs remove floating objects and debris from pool.
• You can also cover your pool to prevent them from landing in your pool.
• Keep lights off at night to prevent adults from flying towards your pool.
Where did boatmen bugs come from?
There is not much research dedicated to boatmen bugs. This is likely because more scientists devote their resources on insects that are thought to be impactful to people; such as managing pests or conserving biodiversity.
The particular subspecies that we have in the Coachella Valley was named in 1948. Trichocorixa verticalis saltoni, found in the Salton Sea and Death Valley. They are commonly found in brackish and saline waters in California which makes the area near the Salton Sea a desirable habitat.
For more information on Water Boatmen Bugs
Usinger, R.L. (1956). Aquatic Insects of California. Univ. of Calif. P.