8 Effective Methods: How To Get Rid Of Waterbugs

Although water bugs are not considered true pests and usually do not pose a threat in terms of diseases, it is definitely not comfortable having them around your home.

Some say that they are outdoor roaches, and consider them as a species of cockroach. But that’s not the truth.

If you are dealing with a water bug infestation, we have got you covered with expert insight and entomological facts…not fiction. Read on and learn how to get rid of waterbugs from your home and garden.

How To Identify Waterbugs

You must first identify waterbugs successfully before deciding how to get rid of them. Let’s identify the commonly missidentified waterbug before we begin removing them for the first time.

  • Giant water bugs (Belostomatidae)
  • True Water Bugs (Nepomorpha)
  • Backswimmers (Notonectidae)
  • Creeping water bugs (Naucoridae)

The term waterbug, on the other hand, is frequently used to refer to cockroaches that live on land. So, what distinguishes waterbugs from cockroaches?


  • German cockroach
  • American cockroach
  • Oriental cockroach

For the purpose of this article, we will focus on the true water bug that resides in or around water.

Binomial Name

Lethocerus americanus

Lethocerus americanus is the scientific name for water bugs or giant water bugs. They are freshwater hemipteran insects that belong to the Belostomatidae family. Some of the most frequent commonly used names for toe-biters include Indian toe-biters, alligator ticks, and fleas.

Body Size

The length of water bugs varies between 1.5 and 2 inches.

Body Shape

The head, thorax, and abdomen make up the body of a water bug. They have a boat-like look and a flat, oval shape to their bodies.

A short breathing tube can be seen retracted into the abdomen of adult water bugs, indicating that they cannot breathe underwater. A snorkel is comparable to the tube.

The forelegs have been transformed into hook-shaped appendages to grasp and hold prey, giving their body form a natural advantage for hunting. The water-swimming hind legs are shaped like oars and have flattened ends.

Number Of Legs

Six legs are possessed by a gigantic water bug. The prey is held and grasped by the two front legs, which are hook-shaped. The water bugs inject a powerful poison that paralyzes and liquefies the prey once they get hold of it.

To keep the bug afloat, the two hind legs are fringed and serve as paddles or oars.


Water bugs with two eyes are the most common. Water bug antennae are frequently seen tuck behind their eyes.


Water bugs are rather large, generally brown or grey in color.


The menu of giant water bugs is diverse, and they’re aggressive predators. Invertebrates, fish, and amphibians are the primary sources of food. Water bugs are often far smaller than their prey, despite the fact that they are water.

Water bugs frequently lie motionless on the surface of a freshwater pond or stream, holding onto plants as their prey comes closer. Belostomatidae uses its forelegs to smash the prey and injects a deadly toxin when it goes by.

The male water bug, unlike most species, performs the function of caring for the eggs and transporting them to a suitable spot until they emerge, whereas the females spend much time hunting males.


Water bugs spend the majority of their lives in water, as their name suggests. The majority of their species prefer warm and humid climates, and they are drawn to damp and moist places with freshwater ponds, streams, and marshes.

In Asia, as well as other tropical and temperate areas of the globe, giant water bugs are widespread.

Water Bug Vs Cockroach

While there are a few obvious distinctions between water bugs and roaches, they are commonly confused with one another:


Cockroaches are generally bigger than water bugs. Cockroaches are about 1 to 1.5 inches long, whereas adult water bugs are about 2 inches long.


Water may sustain both water bugs and roaches, although roaches prefer dry land. Water bugs spend most of their lives in water and prefer warm and humid environments.

When it comes to effectively eliminating pest infestations, early intervention is key so understanding where water bugs come from is critical. Being familiar with the common signs of a pest infestation will help you identify the problem at the earliest opportunity. Allowing you to follow our guidance on how to get rid of waterbugs.

Food And Feeding

Cockroaches are opportunistic scavengers who will eat anything. Anything left over is devoured by them. Water bugs, on the other hand, inject a poison that paralyzes their victim.


If it senses danger, waterbugs will bite you. Cockroaches, on the other hand, are mostly gone during bright lights and other species, and they don’t bite.

Pest Determination

Since they don’t make life difficult for humans, true water bugs aren’t considered pests. Cockroaches are real pests that should be exterminated from residential areas because of the health hazards.

Sign Of A Water Bug Infestation

Early intervention is critical when it comes to effectively removing insect infestations, and knowing where water bugs come from is extremely important. Recognizing the symptoms of a pest problem early on will aid you in identifying it. So you may utilize our tips on how to get rid of waterbugs.

We’ll discuss some of the most common indicators of a water bug infestation below, as well as provide you with tips on how to remove them.

Water Bug In House

  • Water bugs deposit egg cases and droppings wherever they live. Water bugs might be nearby, as indicated by black pellets and shells in your house.
  • Water bugs prefer to stay out in the open, but if there is insufficient ventilation, humidity and moistness attract them indoors.
  • Water bugs prefer to live in standing water, which is why they like to live in leaky pipes. Bugs may be hiding in leaky pipes if you’ve been waiting to fix them for a long time.

Water Bug In Pool

Pools are a fantastic breeding habitat for water bugs because they like standing water. However, that does not imply you should sacrifice your pool’s luxury!

Water bugs are more likely to bring algae to your pool than to the water or pump fixtures themselves. Algae is the primary food of most water bugs, and they are likely to stay around if they get enough.

Algae and little eggs in your pool should be watched for. They’ll toss away shells, egg casings, and droppings all around them. It is time to clean your pool if you discover little black pellets in it.

How To Treat A Water Bug Bite

Humans are not commonly concerned about water bug bites. However, like with any other bug bite, you might experience a fiery feeling at the sting location, and you must treat it right away.

Bites may cause itching, redness, and swelling with mild discomfort as the most common symptoms. To relieve the symptoms of a water bug bite, try one of the following home remedies:

  • Apply cold compresses on the sting site to reduce swelling
  • Apply cooking oil or peppermint oil
  • Mix turmeric powder and water to form a paste and apply it on the bite site
  • Apply Aloe vera gel
  • Take anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce swelling and pain
  • Apply a general insect bite cream or gel

If the symptoms get worse, see a doctor right away.

How To Kill A Waterbug

Waterbugs may be killed in a variety of ways. They may, however, be difficult to eliminate if you discover them in large numbers.

In this case, a pest control specialist is the best person to ask for assistance.

Here are a few ways to kill water bugs on a small scale:

1. Boric Acid

Boric acid, which kills waterbugs, is an fantastic pest control product. This substance is often supplied in the form of a powder that may be dispersed in regions where waterbug activity is high.

The chemicals reach the waterbugs’ digestive system after they consume boric acid. Amazon.com has Boric Acid available for purchase.

2. Synthetic Pesticides

Another excellent option to kill waterbugs is synthetic pesticides. They’re available as sprays or powders, each of which has strong insecticide compounds.

3. Water Bug Spray

Water bug sprays, which may be purchased online from Amazon and other stores, are the most commonly used pest control method in the home. The substances that spray chemicals onto waterbugs and their nests alter neurotransmitters, making them poisonous. As you can see, the insects die quickly following exposure.

4. Water Bug Trap

A effective method to eliminate an whole water bug colony is to use water bug traps or baits. Once a bug consumes the bait particles, it returns to the nest, eliminating a great number of water bugs who come into touch with it.

To keep away bugs, essential oils such as lemongrass, peppermint, and cedarwood are often utilized. The way oils kill bugs is fascinating. Moisture loss is the most common bug vulnerability. Water bugs’ wax gets dried out and eventually kills them when the oils get onto their skin.

5. Essential Oils

To keep insects at bay, essential oils such as lemongrass, peppermint, or cedarwood are often used. The way oils affect insects is fascinating. Bugs are mostly susceptible to moisture loss. The wax on the water bug’s skin dries out and kills them when the oils get onto it, as it does with other insects.

6 Natural Methods

You might also try utilizing items found in your home to exterminate water bugs. Baking soda, alcohol, and detergents are among the culprits. To kill water bugs or their nests, apply any of these to the water.

  • Baking soda: Baking soda is a fantastic product to use against insects since it absorbs moisture and effectively dehydrates the waterbugs after they’ve passed through it.
  • Water bugs are killed in two ways by alcohol. Secondly, it kills the water bug by dissolving their outer shell. Second, it’s a fantastic dehydrating agent that causes severe dehydration when poured on insects. Spray the waterbugs and their nests with diluted alcohol in a spray bottle.
  • Another common pest management product is detergents, which are liquid dishwashing detergents. Water bugs are slowly killed by the soap, which breaks down their protective skin. Spray the waterbugs and their nests with a few drops of liquid detergent mixed with water from a spray bottle.

How To Get Rid Of Waterbugs Humanely

You can eliminate waterbugs humanely by adopting a variety of techniques rather than murdering them.

7. Water Bug Repellent

A water bug repellent is an excellent option to solve the issue when it becomes too difficult to kill all of the water bugs.

The bug repellent spray block makes its surroundings uninteresting and unattractive by blocking the bug’s sense of smell. As a result, water bugs are most likely to leave treated areas and seek out new, more satisfying habitats.

8. Natural Water Bug Repellent

Vinegar has a long history as a natural insect repellant. It may be used to prevent water bug infestations. Fill a spray bottle with vinegar to make sure you have enough. Spray it on both the water bugs and their nesting places to treat the affected region.

How To Prevent Water Bugs In Your Home

Water bugs that have found shelter in or around your home are difficult to completely eliminate, so prevention is the best option. Take all the steps necessary to get rid of water bugs and seal their entry ways when you discover them in your house.

These five simple ways will teach you how to keep water bugs out of your home:

Get Rid Of Standing Water

Getting rid of the water is by far the most important precaution against “water” bugs. To avoid water bug infestation, remove all of the standing water sources or clean the current ones.

Improve Ventilation

If the environment is humid and moist, water bugs may come indoors. Open the windows to alleviate humidity and improve ventilation.

Unless food remnants are tightly sealed with air-tight lids, they will be a siren call to water bugs. Whenever you finish eating, clean the dishes and swap the garbage bins. You’ll be making it too easy for water bugs to discover their favorite spot…your kitchen…if you leave food out overnight.

Seal All Food Containers

Unless food remains are tightly sealed with air-tight lids, they will be a Siren Call to water bugs. Clean the plates and replace the trash bins frequently as soon as you finish eating. You’ll be making it too easy for water bugs to discover their favorite location…your kitchen…if you leave food out all night.

Moreover, eating should be confined to a single area, in order to prevent you from forgetting tidbits of food.

Seal The Entry Points

Seal cracks, holes, and crevices in your house with steel wool, cement, or other substances to prevent them from spreading further. Look for apertures and gaps that water bugs might crawl through on windows and doors.

Set Up Traps And Baits

The best technique to get rid of all of the water bugs in your house is with baits. Powder or spray versions of traps, baits, and repellents are available online. In regions with a high concentration of water bugs, set up traps and baits.

Water Bug Extermination Service

It’s true that we have to face it. Nobody wants to live with bugs. We frequently try DIY treatments, but they only work to a limited extent.

The finest strategy when the waterbug problem gets out of hand is to contact an expert waterbug exterminator. If the issue continues after multiple DIY attempts, professional assistance may be required.

Pest control is required since they may bite you, your children, and your pets if they infest your bedrooms and kitchens. The best strategy to ensure pest protection is to enlist the services of a professional pest control expert.

Enlisting the help of a pest control professional in this scenario is the best idea. “Professional bug exterminators utilize strong chemicals and sprays to kill waterbugs on contact,” according to Jason of Empire Pest Control. Because they will have the required skills, experience, and goods to accomplish thorough extermination. They’ll also ensure that no insects are left in the surrounding areas, which will provide you with long-term benefits and peace of mind.

How To Get Rid Of Waterbugs Summary

So there’s the bottom line! Despite the common misconception, waterbugs are a distinct species from cockroaches.

It’s usually best to resolve the issue before it becomes a job for experts, despite the fact that it isn’t deemed a genuine danger to human health or hygiene.

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