Water bugs are cockroach-like insects that typically live and feed around water sources, hence their name. They thrive in humid and warm areas, including marshes, streams, and ponds. When temperatures soar during the summer season, however, these bugs tend to find their way into buildings to evade the heat and search for food.
Then, when it gets colder and the fall season approaches, their numbers fall again. This is because they are cold-blooded insects and spend much of the winter season hibernating in their natural habitats.
Nobody wants to come across a large bug in their home, regardless of whether it’s a water bug or true cockroach. In this article, I’ll tell you a bit about water bugs, including where water bugs come from and how to keep your home pest-free.
- Why Do Water Bugs Come Out In The Summer?
- Where Do Water Bugs Come From?
- Why Is There A Water Bug Inside My Home?
- Why Do I Have Water Bugs In My Pool?
- Water Bugs In Home Basement
- Killing Water Bugs
- Final Thoughts On Water Bugs In The Home
Why Do Water Bugs Come Out In The Summer?
The water bug is a less-than-cute creature whose population often explodes during the warmer months. Summer offers the optimum conditions for these and other insects, such as cockroaches, to breed and thrive.
The high temperatures in summer dry up the natural habitat of the water bug, including marshes and ponds. As a result, they are often forced to escape into cooler places, such as buildings, searching for food and water.
This is why you’re most likely to find a stray water bug in a damp area such as a bathroom or kitchen.
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Where Do Water Bugs Come From?
These aquatic critters fall under the Hemiptera order of insects alongside water scorpions and the water boatman. Despite their close resemblance, cockroaches fall under the Blattodea order and are not close relatives.
They aren’t typical household pests and instead spend much of their life outdoors. You’ll find them in marshes, near ponds, in water drainage systems, and in other damp areas. They only leave these places momentarily during the summer to escape hot temperatures and hunt for food since they are active hunters.
If you find them in or around your home, they will have made their way through waterways, drainage systems, or sewers. They are in or around your home searching for food and shelter.
Where Do Water Bugs Live?
The Canadian Journal of Zoology states that these aquatic insects typically thrive in freshwater ponds, slow-moving water, pools, and marshes. Typically, you’ll find them hiding under debris and vegetation beneath the water’s surface. You’re also likely to find these insects living in water drains and sewage systems.
Sometimes, they’re are drawn to bright light. Thus, you may find them under street lights and neon lights, or on porches. They are unlikely scurry away when exposed to artificial light from, say, a flashlight.
However, this isn’t the case with cockroaches, which tend to scurry away when exposed to light.
Why Is There A Water Bug Inside My Home?
Clogged gutters, water pools, and marshes can attract bugs to your home. Clearing your garden of puddles helps to get rid of water bugs. If you fail to clear the water sources, the insects will eventually find their way into your house.
These insects could also enter your house due to food leftovers on pots and dishes. Food sources attract not only cockroaches but also water bugs because they eat just about anything.
Therefore, eliminating the food sources and clutter around your house helps to keep infestations at bay. Some of the warning signs of a water bug infestation in your home include:
- Sightings — This is the tell-tale sign of an infestation. If you spot a water bug or two in your kitchen, bathroom, or even in the garden, chances are that there are many others around the home.
- Exoskeletons & Egg Casings — Bugs often shed their old skins, leaving them on bathroom floors and inside kitchen cabinets. When the eggs hatch, shells will also be left behind in the breeding zones. Dead skin and leftover shells are clear giveaways that you’re dealing with a water bug infestation.
- Unusual Smell — If there’s an unusually foul odor around your house, you could be having a water bug infestation. Typically, these insects produce an unpleasant chemical-like oily smell to attract mates. The smell may be predominant in the bathroom, kitchen, basement, and other moist areas.
- Black Streak Marks — These bugs are likely to leave their droppings wherever they roam. So if you notice black streak marks on floors, wood shelves, bathroom, attic spaces, and areas where food or dishes are stored, you could be facing a water bug infestation. These streak marks can also be found near baseboards.
Finding Water Bugs In Your Bathroom
The bathroom is one of the dampest areas in your house. If water bugs infest your house, the chances are that they will spend most of their time in the bathroom, thanks to the damp conditions. Thus, it’s best to ensure that water doesn’t collect on the bathroom floor. Clogged bathroom drainage systems should be repaired immediately to keep waterborne pests at bay.
Do Bugs Come Up Drains?
Typically, insects live in drains because they’re a great source of water. Besides, drains offer protection and an excellent environment for the pests to breed. When it gets hotter, bugs are likely to come up the drains to find a less harsh environment and even food.
Indeed, the last thing you want to see when brushing your teeth or rinsing something is a water bug. Unlike cockroaches, they won’t scurry away in your presence, which makes them even scarier.
Can Water Bugs Come Up Toilets?
Insects can enter your house via plumbing pipes and end up in the toilet. Often, this happens in toilets that rarely get used and, therefore, don’t get flushed that often.
When bugs come up your toilet, they could be attracted by leaky faucets or water in the toilet tank. Removing these water sources makes your toilet less attractive.
If there are several toilets in your home and some of them get rarely used, it’s best to flush them regularly to prevent bugs from climbing up the plumbing. In addition, minimizing clutter in the toilet eliminated potential hiding places for insects.
How to Stop Water Bugs Coming Up Drains
Fortunately, it’s easy to prevent bugs from infesting your drains. You can make the drains uninhabitable by pouring two to four cups of distilled vinegar down into the drains.
Also, treating your dishwasher, toilet, bathtub drains and sinks also helps prevent water bug infestation. Do this often until the infestation disappears completely.
Inspecting and replacing pipes can also prevent anything from coming up the drains. Make sure you fix holes and cracks in the pipes underneath your sinks.
Fix leaky faucets that leave small puddles, which often attract water bugs. Consider also sealing holes and crevices around your drain piles to prevent bugs from crawling up.
Why Do I Have Water Bugs In My Pool?
Few things will scare you more than finding a water bug in your swimming pool. Often, this happens because there are algae in the pool. They not only eat algae but also lay their eggs in them.
If you don’t see any algae inside the swimming pool, it could be that it’s yet to bloom. Algae spores are microscopic and therefore, if you see these bugs in your swimming pool, the chances are that it’s algae-infested.
Is It Safe To Swim In A Pool With Water Bugs?
Since they are docile, rarely bite, and aren’t poisonous, it’s safe to swim in a pool containing them. Although they are harmless and feed on the algae in the pool, it’s still unpleasant to have these bugs in your swimming pool.
Water Bugs In Home Basement
Damp and dark basements near leaky pipes of drainage systems are a healthy breeding ground for these bugs. So, if you notice telltale signs in your basement, the first thing to do is pinpoint the possible entry points, including cracked walls.
Seal these entry points, then get rid of the dampness and clutter that could be making the basement attractive to pests.
Killing Water Bugs
Although they’re generally harmless and docile pests, it’s hardly comfortable harboring them inside your house. So it’s important to not only kill them but also prevent re-infestation.
Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer is among the most effective remedies for insects.
Other remedies include boric acid, water bug traps, and essential oils such as peppermint and lemongrass. You can also kill water bugs naturally by pouring baking soda, detergents, vinegar, or alcohol into their nests.
Can Exterminators Get Rid of These Pests?
You can only do so much to kill water bugs and prevent them from coming back to your home. As soon as you spot an infestation in your home, it’s best to contact a professional pest control company.
The professional exterminators working at these companies will kill all the bugs in your home and identify their breeding grounds and entry points into the house. They provide a long-term solution for water bug infestation.
Final Thoughts On Water Bugs In The Home
If you’re afraid of insects, few things are as scary as watching a water bug crawling around your home. Although harmless, these large, roach-like insects can make your summer quite unpleasant.
You need to know how to spot them, identify their breeding grounds, kill them (if necessary), and prevent them from ever coming back to your home. Partnering with professional exterminators is the most effective way to go about it. But now that you know where that water bug came from, you can take direct action to prevent infestations and keep your home pest-free.