Swimming pools are wonderful resources for fun in the sun and cooling off when temperatures warm up in the summer. They also require maintenance to keep the water crystal clear and pristine. While most pool owners know the basics of treating the water to prevent algae from forming there is another common issue that can happen that can make you feel alarmed. Some pool owners are plagued with tiny red worms that seem to thrive in the aquatic environment. Although a swimming pool seems an unlikely habitat for worms, some species thrive in the water.Red worms in your swimming pool do not signal a tragedy or reason for alarm, but it’s no fun to swim with crawly critters. Here’s everything you need to know about red worms in your pool and how to get rid of them.
What are red worms in the swimming pool and how did they get there?
Hunker explains that the tiny red worms you see in your swimming pool are not uncommon. They’re called bloodworms because of their bright red coloring. Bloodworms are a type of larvae that come from midges that lay eggs that hatch into larvae. They look like worms, but if allowed to grow and mature, they will become mosquito-like insects that can bite with the same annoyances rendered by mosquitoes. The eggs stay on the surface of pool water. They’re more likely to hatch if the water is stagnant for long periods. The larvae can take two to seven weeks to mature before they sprout wings and fly away.
Are bloodworms dangerous?
Live Science reports that you can swallow a bloodworm and it won’t hurt you. They’re not poisonous and they won’t infect your body with massive worm infestations. Your body will digest them, but nobody likes the idea of swimming with larvae. If you have a healthy crop of bloodworms in your pool, it may be a sign that there are contaminants in your pool water as they thrive in polluted water with low levels of oxygen. Bloodworms cannot thrive if the free chlorine concentration is high enough. It’s lethal to the larvae, but just adding chlorine is not likely to solve all the problems.
How do you treat a swimming pool for red worms?
Treating a swimming pool for red worms is a process. Poolonomics experts suggest starting the removal process by killing the worms and the bacteria they’re feeding on in your pool water. Shock the water with the recommended doses of chlorine. It will kill most of the worms that are in various stages of development in your pool, but some may remain. Follow the recommendations on the pool water shocking solution, then wait until the water is safe. Use a skimmer net to remove all of the worms you can see with the naked eye and other debris that has collected in the water. Skim over the surface of the water with a fine net to remove any tiny eggs that have not yet hatched. You can also use a pool vacuum to remove the worms that you can’t reach with the scoop.
Prevent reinfestations of blood worms
The best way to prevent bloodworms from invading your swimming pool is to stay on top of maintenance. Keep the water and the bottom and sides of the pool clean, and free of debris. Maintain the proper pH level in the water and shock as needed. You can also use a pool cover to prevent midges from laying their eggs on the water’s surface when the pool is not in use. Another way to prevent midge eggs from hatching is to keep the water in your pool moving and circulating. These insects do the best when the water is stagnant. Cycle the water in your pool completely once per day. Run the process for a minimum of eight hours to keep red worms at bay. If the water is moving, it’s a deterrent for these insects. The midges will not land and lay their eggs where they can’t find a still place. The water that cycles through a pool filter will likely remove some or all of the eggs. It gets the ones laid on the water’s surface, preventing the problem before it begins. It’s time to clean or change the filter cartridge often. Larvae can get lodged in the fibers.
A few more tips for preventing bloodworms in the pool
Inspect the area around your swimming pool and look for signs of stagnant water in puddles near the patio or the deck. Keep the area free of puddles to lower the chances of getting bloodworms in your pool. Set up an area for entry and exit in the pool that prevents bare feet from coming into contact with dirt or mud near the pool. Eggs and larvae can be picked up on the feet and transferred into the swimming pool. You can also wipe down the inside walls of the pool or use a pool brush to dislodge any bacterial growth or algae. It is harder for the worms to thrive if you remove their food source.
Finding red worms in your pool water is a jolting experience that nobody enjoys. When you see them, it tells you that it’s time to clean the pool. Little red worms are not harmful creatures, but they are annoying. It’s easy to remove red worms from your swimming pool by treating the pool with chlorine or shock treatment, then skimming out all debris. Put a cover over the pool when it’s not in use, sop up any stagnant pools of water, and cycle the water in the pool daily. It might sound like a time-consuming process, but it doesn’t take long, and it’s the only way to remove the pesky little red worms from the pool and keep them at bay. Make the environment inhospitable for midges and their larvae. You’ll enjoy a cleaner swimming pool.