What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Water Scorpion
Location:  Swimming pool in Tucson AZ
August 1, 2010 10:53 pm
Hello, I believe this is a water scorpion (actually 2) that were found in a public swimming pool today (early August) in Tucson AZ. It is about 2 inches long, abit longer if you measure the tail like appendage. Water bugs are not uncommon this time of year, but this variety was new to me. I identified it as a water scorpion from other posts on your site. How do water bugs survive in swimming pools when the chemicals that make the water safe for swimming are supposed to destroy organic matter?
Thanks! Teri

Water Scorpions

Hi Teri,
You are correct.  These are Water Scorpions.  Water Scorpions and most other adult aquatic insects breath air, in the case of the Water Scorpion, through the breathing tube at the end of the abdomen which functions like a snorkel.  Since they do not take oxygen from the water, they are not adversely affected by the chlorine in the way that fish with gills may die in chlorinated water.  If conditions become unbearable, the Water Scorpions just take flight and find a better habitat.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

5 Responses to Water Scorpions in Public Pool

  1. carol says:

    Why do I get water scorpions? Do they sting humans? I’ve upped my chlorine. What bugs do they sting/eat? I live next to BLM land in gold canyon az and do get interesting bugs at my pool.

    • bugman says:

      Water Scorpions might bite, but they do not sting. They eat aquatic insects and other small invertebrates and vertebrates. We don’t know why they are attracted to your pool.

      • Carol says:

        thanks for the information. this is the second one. We live on the edge of 1000’s of acres of BLM land. Your site has been helpful in identification of some of the creatures we’ve encountered. Thanks again.

  2. Brian Stinnett says:

    Tucson Az,I have at least one in my pool this year. First I’ve seen had to look it up hence why I landed here. Usually have I guess regular water bugs time to time? I let my pool go wild in the winter then aggressively treat it once the mosquito larvae show up. It’s lousy with chems right now including mosquito death doughnuts and this bug seems to be fine. It ended up in my filter basket and I tossed it back in, perhaps my water spiders will enjoy it. Curious how it got there in the first place. I’m guessing it can fly? But how far? Once the pool is clear the chems go away and the solar copper ionizer thing I built takes over. Hope it does well and doesn’t bother anyone.

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