How To Get Rid Of Water Bugs with 8 Effective Methods

Written by Ivy

Jan 30 2023

How To Get Rid Of Water Bugs with 8 Effective Methods

Although water bugs are not considered true pests and typically do not pose a threat in terms of diseases, it is unsettling to have them around your home.

Learn how to get rid of water bugs on your own by reading the suggestions provided below.

  • Cockroach bait: Eliminating water bugs with bait is a popular and efficient strategy. The pests are duped into collecting the bait and bringing it back to their nest. In this way, the infestation is stopped at its source. This technique avoids coming into contact with the poison directly. Considering that the insecticide is contained in a box, you don't need to cover your food or kitchenware.
  • Boric acid: The best way to combat water bug infestations may be to sprinkle boric acid. Sprinkle a very fine layer of powder close to the cockroach nest in order to draw the insects. The acid will enter the insects' bodies through their legs and antennae as they walk over the powder. Cockroaches tend to ignore heavy piles of powder, so be careful not to sprinkle a thick layer of it.
  • Baking soda and powdered sugar: Sprinkle an equal mixture of baking soda and powdered sugar in the target area for a more organic method of pest control.

Learn how to get rid of waterbugs from your house and garden by reading on.

What is a Water Bug?

We are not referring to the actual water bugs that exist "in" the water. Thankfully, your homes do not contain these insects, which can grow to be 5 inches long.

In this case, we're referring to the common insect known as a "cockroach."' Pipsqueaks are also referred to as roaches, palmetto bugs, and water bugs. In households, they are regarded as something to be feared.

Because they frequently thrive near water, cockroaches have acquired the nickname "water bugs." They establish colonies and procreate in wet areas. They frequent your kitchen and bathroom because of this, more often than not.

They can go a month without food, but only a week without water, it is a fact. Additionally, roaches frequently groom themselves. Cockroaches constantly groom themselves, just like cats do. Due to the fact that they originate from drainage pipes, they aren't quite as clean after all.

The length of an adult cockroach can reach 2 inches. On their head are thin tentacles, and they are a reddish brown color. They are able to fly and have wings as well. They frequently enter through door cracks, but due to their small size, they are able to enter from any location.

How to Identify Waterbugs

You must correctly identify waterbugs before thinking about how to get rid of them. Let's deal with the commonly misidentified waterbug as this is the first step in managing their removal.

Waterbug or Water bug is a general term used to refer to any of the following species of bug that live in or around water:

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


  • German cockroach
  • American cockroach
  • Oriental cockroach

For the purposes of this article, we'll concentrate on the actual water bug, which lives in or near water.

Binomial Name

The scientific name for water bugs is Lethocerus americanus, also known as Giant Water Bugs. They are freshwater hemipteran insects that are members of the Belostomatidae family. One of the most popular slang terms for them is "toe-biter," "Indian toe-biter," "alligator tick," or "fleas."

Body Size

Water bugs are approximately 1.5 to 2 inches long

Body Shape

A water bug has a head, thorax, and abdomen as its three body parts. Their bodies are flat, oval, and have a boat-like shape.

Adult water bugs have a small breathing tube retracted into their abdomen because they are unable to breathe underwater. The tube performs similar duties to a snorkel.

Their overall body structure is good for hunting because the forelegs have been modified to have hook-shaped appendages for catching and holding prey. The flattened hind legs, which resemble oars, are used for swimming in the water.

Number Of Legs

The six legs of a large water bug. Hook-shaped appendages on the two frontal legs are used to catch and hold on to prey. When the water bugs catch their prey, they inject a potent poison that paralyzes it and causes its body to become liquid.

The bug is kept afloat by its two fringed hind legs, which also serve as paddles or oars.


Two eyes are typical for water bugs. The water bug's short antennae are frequently visible hidden behind the eyes.


Large and typically brown or grayish in color, water bugs have a broad body.


The menu of aggressive predators known as giant water bugs is fairly extensive. They primarily eat fish, amphibians, and aquatic insects. Despite the fact that water bugs frequently grow to be much smaller than their prey.

In a freshwater pond or stream, water bugs frequently lie still while holding on to plants as they wait for their prey to approach. Belostomatidae inject a potent toxin into the prey as it passes by by striking it with their forelegs.

While female water bugs spend a lot of time looking for males to mate with, male water bugs assist in caring for the eggs and carry them until they hatch.


As their name suggests, water bugs spend the majority of their time in the water. The majority of species are found in freshwater ponds, streams, and marshes. They prefer warm, humid climates and are drawn to damp, moist areas.

Numerous tropical and temperate regions of the world, including parts of Asia, are home to giant water bugs.

Water Bug Vs Cockroach

Water bugs and cockroaches are often mistaken for one another, but there are a few noticeable differences between them:


Generally speaking, water bugs are larger than cockroaches. Compared to cockroaches, which are between 1 and 1.5 inches long, adult water bugs are about 2 inches long.


Cockroaches and water bugs can both survive in water, but cockroaches favor dry land. The majority of the time that water bugs spend in the water is in warm, humid climates.

Food And Feeding

Since they scavenge for food, cockroaches are omnivorous and do not have particular food preferences. Any leftovers that are accessible to them are consumed. Water bugs, on the other hand, use a toxin to hunt and paralyze their prey.


In the event of threat, water bugs will bite you. Cockroaches don't bite, but they tend to be shy and scurry away from other animals and bright lights.

Pest Determination

Since they don't pose a significant threat to humans, true water bugs are not regarded as pests. Cockroaches, on the other hand, are real pests and ought to be removed from domestic locations because they pose a number of health risks.

How To Get Rid Of Water Bugs

Sign of a Water Bug Infestation

Understanding where water bugs come from is essential for effectively eradicating pest infestations because early intervention is crucial. Knowing the typical indications of a pest infestation will enable you to spot the issue as soon as possible. enabling you to adhere to our waterbug removal advice.

We've listed some of the more widespread indications of a water bug infestation below to make it easier for you to spot them and get rid of them successfully.

Water Bug in House

  • Droppings: Egg cases and feces are frequently left behind where water bugs reside. Your home may contain black pellets and broken shells that indicate the presence of water bugs nearby.
  • Humidity: Although water bugs typically prefer to stay outside, poor ventilation causes humidity and dampness, which is attractive to them.
  • Leaky pipes: They enjoy living in standing water because water bugs prefer humid, wet climates. Bugs are likely to be hiding in leaky pipes if you put off fixing them for a while.

Water Bug in Pool

Pools are a great place for water bugs to breed because they love standing water. That does not, however, imply that you should forgo the luxury of a pool.

The likelihood of algae in the water or on pump fixtures increases if your pool has water bugs. The majority of water bugs eat algae, and if they are able to satisfy their hunger, they will probably stay put.

Watch out for algae and tiny eggs in your pool. Along with dropping, they also leave behind broken shells and eggshells. You should clean your pool if you discover tiny black pellets there.

How to Treat a Water Bug Bite

Humans generally don't have much to worry about when they get water bug bites. However, there may be a burning sensation at the sting site, and you should treat it as soon as possible, just like you would any other bug bite.

Itching, redness, swelling, and mild pain are the most typical effects of bug bites. The following home remedies can be effective to reduce the effects of a water bug bite:

  • 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

However, seek immediate medical attention if the symptoms worsen.

How to Kill a Waterbug

A waterbug can be killed in a variety of ways. However, they might be challenging to get rid of if you find them in large numbers.

The best course of action in this situation is to contact a pest control expert.

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

1. Boric Acid

Waterbugs can be killed by the effective pesticide boric acid. Usually, this product comes in powder form, which you can sprinkle in waterbug-prone areas.

Boric acid poisons waterbugs when the chemicals enter their digestive tracts. Amazon.com is where you can purchase boric acid.

2. Synthetic Pesticides

Another effective method for eliminating waterbugs is to use synthetic pesticides. They are available as sprays or powders and contain potent insecticides.

3. Water Bug Spray

The most popular method for DIY pest control, available online from retailers like Amazon and others, is probably water bug spray. They ingest the chemicals that harm the neurotransmitters when you spray chemicals on water bugs or their nests. The bugs start to slowly die a short while after exposure, as you'll see.

4. Water Bug Trap

Using bait or traps for water bugs is an easy way to get rid of an entire colony. After ingesting the bait particles, a bug that has come into contact with a bait that contains attractors takes it back to the nest, where it kills a lot of water bugs.

5. Essential Oils

Commonly used essential oils to repel insects include lemongrass, peppermint, and cedarwood. I find it interesting how oils affect insects. The majority of insects are extremely sensitive to moisture loss. When water bugs' skin is exposed to oils, the wax on it is dried out, leaving them dried out and eventually killing them.

6 Natural Methods

Using the items you already have at home, you can also try your hand at eliminating water bugs. Detergents, alcohol, and baking soda are a few of these. To kill water bugs, apply any of these to them or their nests.

  • Baking soda: Since baking soda absorbs moisture and completely dehydrates waterbugs after they walk through it, it is frequently used to kill bugs.
  • Alcohol: Water bugs are killed by alcohol in two different ways. The water bug's outer shell is first broken down by the substance, which then kills the water bug. Second, it is a potent dehydrator that causes severe dehydration in bugs when applied. The waterbugs and their nests should be sprayed with alcohol that has been diluted with water.
  • Detergents: Another easily accessible pest control product is liquid dishwashing detergent. The soap slowly kills the water bugs by dissolving their protective skin. Spray a solution of water and a few drops of liquid detergent over the waterbugs and their nests.

How to Get Rid of Waterbugs Humanely

You have a variety of other options for humanely getting rid of water bugs besides killing them.

Water Bug Repellent

A water bug repellent is a great option to solve the issue when it becomes impossible to eradicate all of the water bugs.

Sprays that repel bugs prevent them from smelling their surroundings, which makes them uninteresting and unattractive. In search of new, more advantageous environments, water bugs are therefore most likely to leave treated areas.

Natural Water Bug Repellent

Around the world, people use vinegar frequently as a natural bug repellant. It can be a significant deterrent to the growth of a water bug population. High concentrations of vinegar should be placed in a spray bottle. Spray it on the impacted area, on the water bugs, and on the places where they have built their nests.

How to Prevent Water Bugs in Your Home

It is best to avoid infestations in the first place because it is challenging to completely eradicate water bugs that have found refuge in or near your home. If you discover water bugs in your home, take all necessary precautions to get rid of them and seal off their entryways.

Learn how to keep water bugs out of the house with these five actionable tips:

Get Rid Of Standing Water

The single most important preventive measure to get rid of "water" bugs is to get rid of the water itself. To stop an infestation of water bugs, eliminate all sources of standing water or thoroughly clean the ones that are already there.

Eliminate damp areas and fix pipe leaks. Recall that water bugs prefer environments that are wet and humid.

Improve Ventilation

Water bugs don't always stay outside; if the air is humid and moist, they may come inside. Improve ventilation and open the windows to lower the humidity.

Seal All Food Containers

Unless they are tightly sealed with airtight lids, food leftovers will be a siren call to water bugs. As soon as you finish eating, wash the dishes, and empty the trash cans frequently. Food shouldn't be left out overnight because doing so would make it too simple for water bugs to find their favorite place, which is your kitchen.

In order to avoid accidentally leaving food behind, limit your eating to a specific area.

Seal The Entry Points

Keep an eye out for cracks, holes, and crevices in your house, and fill them with steel wool, cement, or other materials to seal them. Look for cracks and gaps around windows and doors where water bugs could squeeze through.

Set Up Traps And Baits

The best method for completely eradicating the water bug colony is through the use of baits. Online retailers sell traps, baits, and repellents as powder or spray. Place traps and baits in areas where water bugs are active.

Water Bug Extermination Service

People don't want bugs in their homes, let's face it. We frequently try home remedies, but they only partially help.

It is best to contact a qualified waterbug exterminator when the infestation becomes too severe. It might be necessary to seek professional assistance if the issue continues despite several DIY fixes.

Because they can infest bedrooms and kitchens and bite you, your children, and your pets, pest control is crucial. The best way to ensure protection from pests is to seek the assistance of a qualified pest control specialist.

It is best to contact a pest control expert in this situation. This is so that they will be able to conduct a complete extermination as they will have the knowledge, tools, and experience required. Jason from Empire Pest Control shares that "Professional pest controllers use potent chemicals and sprays to instantly kill waterbugs. To make sure that all the bugs are gone, they will also treat the surrounding areas." As a result, your home will be bug-free, giving you long-lasting results and peace of mind.

How to Get Rid of Waterbugs Summary

So there you have it, contrary to what most people think, waterbugs are a completely different species from cockroaches.

Although not a true threat to human health or hygiene, it's frequently best to act and manage the issue before it necessitates the help of professionals.

Also Read How to Get Rid of the Following Species:


Pests: Plants:


How to Find a Water Bug Nest

Look for gaps around windows, doors, and pipes that penetrate the home's exterior. Concrete walls and floors should be checked for cracks. In order to give the bugs enough time to become active, search at night in darkened areas of the house if you're having trouble finding a nest.

How to Get Rid of Water Bugs in Drains

You can get rid of any bugs that might be living in your drain by mixing a cup of white vinegar with a half cup of baking soda and salt. The mixture should be poured down the drain and left to sit for 24 hours. Pour boiling water down the drain after it has sat for a while to clean the drain and kill any bugs.

How to Get Rid of Water Bugs in Bathroom

Sprinkling boric acid may be the most effective solution to water bug infestations. Sprinkle a very fine layer of powder close to the cockroach nest in order to draw the insects. The acid will enter the insects' bodies through their legs and antennae as they walk over the powder.

Does Vinegar Kill Water Bugs

Vinegar is an effective remedy for various issues and killing waterbugs is one of them. If you manage to catch any, you can spray vinegar directly on the waterbugs or scatter it around where they congregate.

How to Stop Water Bugs from Coming Up the Drain

You can get rid of any bugs that might be living in your drain by mixing a cup of white vinegar with a half cup of baking soda and salt. The mixture should be poured down the drain and left to sit for 24 hours. After letting it sit for a while, flush the drain with boiling water to get rid of any bugs and clean it.