It is so refreshing to dive into the cool, crisp, clear water of your swimming pool. Unfortunately, it is not so pleasant when you encounter a worm or two, or worse, an infestation.
You probably have many questions if you are continuously dealing with worms in the pool. You might wonder why and how worms are ending up in your swimming pool, the best way to remove them, and how to prevent them from returning.
Here’s everything you need to know about getting rid of these pesky things.
Why Do Worms Suddenly Appear?
Earthworms can thrive in all soil types, and their presence indicates a healthy soil system. While this is good news about your yard, it’s not for your pool.
Worms generally prefer to stay buried in the ground to aerate and fertilize your soil, but during certain times of the year, they are more prone to come out. When the temperatures are cooler in the spring and fall or after heavy rains, worms will make more above-ground appearances; they may just look around or maybe even end up in your pool.
You have probably noticed earthworms on the pavement, driveway, or sidewalks, slowly squirming their way around, especially after a lot of rain. Moisture and cool air will drive worms to the surface, and if you have a lot of landscaping around your pool, you are more likely to have the problem of them ending up falling into your pool. When earthworms fall into the pool, they can’t get out and are trapped, creating more work for you.
What Kinds of Worms Can Get Into the Pool?
There are three types of worms you are likely to see in your pool. Aside from earthworms, you may also notice bloodworms or horsehair worms.
Bloodworms, also called redworms, are the larvae of the midge fly. They are red from the hemoglobin molecules in their body, hence the name. Midge flies lay their eggs on the surface of stagnant water, and the larvae phase appears within two or three days.
If you regularly run your pump and keep up with pool maintenance, bloodworms should not usually be an issue. Although bloodworms may bite, this is rare, and they are generally considered harmless.
Another type of worm, the horsehair (Gordian) worm, looks like a long, thin strand of the hairs of a horse’s mane or tail. It squirms and twists itself into a ball-like knot.
The horsehair worm develops as a parasite in the bodies of certain insects. Mature horsehair worms leave the host to mate and lay eggs, which happens in all types of water, including swimming pools.
However, the eggs may take up to a few weeks to hatch. If your pool water is being skimmed and cleaned regularly, it should be relatively easy to prevent horsehair worms from infesting your swimming pool. While horsehair worms are parasites, they are not harmful to vertebrates, so they do not pose a threat to humans, pets, or livestock.
How to Keep Worms Away
Although worms in the pool may be unsightly, they do not hurt the water and are generally harmless. Understandably, getting into the pool with writhing worms is a little gross, so removing them and preventing the problem is probably at the top of any pool owner’s to-do list.
Unfortunately, there is no one tried and true solution for eliminating worms. Still, many different preventative methods can be used to achieve the best results possible.
Use a Pool Cover
A pool cover is not always convenient to put on or take off, but it can help control a worm problem. A pool cover has several benefits, such as preventing debris, insects, and small animals from entering the water.
In addition, they help minimize the evaporation of pool water. A safety cover protects your pool to help stop unsupervised pets and children from getting in.
A solar cover has the additional benefit of helping to raise the water temperature. You might decide only to use a pool cover when you are out of town, when the temperatures are cooler, or if you expect heavy rain.
Of course, you will want to look for a pool cover that is quick and relatively easy to put on and take off when you are ready to use the pool, but the benefits of a cover will likely outweigh any inconveniences.
Clean Up After it Rains
After heavy rain and storms, take a few minutes to clean up around the pool area whenever possible. Give your pool deck a quick once over, and clean it up as necessary. Getting to the worms before they get to the pool and sending them back to the grass where they belong will keep them out of your water and save you some skimming and vacuuming.
Following your after-rain pool routine by checking chemical levels and skimming out debris will also assure your water is balanced correctly and cleaned. Healthy pool water reduces the likelihood that you will have to spend a lot of time killing pool algae or worrying about bug and worm infestations.
Move Plants Away From the Pool
Undoubtedly, beautiful landscaping adds a lot of personality and character to your pool area. However, plants near your swimming pool can potentially introduce some problems.
Plants need soil, and with soil comes worms. If you can move your plants approximately 20 feet from the pool, or further if possible, it will increase the distance that worms would have to travel to get to the water.
The further they have to travel, the less likely they are to make it there in the first place. Adjusting your landscaping can also have other benefits to your pool area, including keeping bees away from the pool, so depending on the severity of your problems, this might be an excellent solution.
Raise the Deck
If your deck is even with your yard, this could contribute to your worm problem. If it is at all possible to alter the design of your deck, it may be worth the time and effort if it means reducing the number of worms that get into the pool.
A slight elevation of the deck will make it increasingly more difficult for worms due to the incline. While some will still find a way to the pool, you will have fewer worms to skim out of the water. It should also help reduce runoff and other debris that gets into the water.
If bugs and worms in the pool are a serious problem, and none of the solutions you have tried are working, an insecticide may help you get the situation under control. However, an insecticide should be a last resort if used at all, but it is an option.
To try applying insecticide yourself, spray the grass areas and landscaping around the pool. It will kill off insects and pests and discourage others from settling in that area. However, the insecticide will kill beneficial insects and could cause ecological disruption.
You should research insecticides carefully, especially if you have pets, children, or edible plants that may be affected. You can speak to a landscape architect or exterminator to find the most appropriate solution for your situation.
Can You Prevent Future Worms?
To put it bluntly, you will not always be able to prevent worms from entering the pool. Things happen, and nature takes its course in predictable and unusual ways. However, using various preventative methods wisely will minimize the number of bugs and worms entering your swimming pool.
Some methods, such as changing your landscaping or deck, may take more of an investment of your time or finances. Others are less intensive but are equally as beneficial. Regardless, some worms will sneak by and end up in the pool, so you will need to remove them once they do.
Worms in the Pool? You’ll Need Tools for That
Since there is only so much you can do to keep worms from entering your swimming pool, you will have to remove them from time to time. A good quality pool skimmer net will allow you to clear the water of nuisances quickly and efficiently.
Every pool owner needs a high-quality pool skimmer to clean out debris and bugs from their pool anyway, so choosing the right one will save you time and money in the long run. ProTuff Products come with a lifetime warranty, which means you are not just buying a generic pool tool. You are investing in a product we stand behind 100% of the time. Contact us today if you have more questions about ProTuff Products’ lifetime guarantee or our products. One of our friendly associates will be happy to talk pool care with you.