How to Get Rid of Thrips in Pool: Quick and Effective Solutions

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Thrips are small, winged insects that can become a nuisance in backyard swimming pools. These tiny pests, which can be yellow, brown, or black, are less than 1/8th of an inch long and have rasping-sucking mouthparts. They’re particularly difficult to deal with due to their small size and elusive nature.

One of the main issues when managing thrips in pools is keeping the water clean and well-maintained. At the recommended levels, chlorine or bromine can kill most germs in the water within minutes, eliminating the environment thrips thrive in. It’s essential for pool owners to regularly check the disinfectant levels and pH at least twice per day, especially during instances of heavy pool usage.

Identifying Thrips in Pool

Physical Characteristics

Thrips are tiny, slender insects with fringed wings found in various colors like black or red. Some examples of thrips include:

Signs of Infestation

A sign of thrips infestation could include:

  • Punctured and damaged pool surroundings due to their feeding habits
  • Discoloration of pool water due to their bodily waste and molting remains
Thrips Type Color Range Common Issues
Thrips parvispinus Small-size insects Feeding damage
Gladiolus Thrips Milky-white to dark brown colors Pool water discoloration
Western Flower Thrips Light to dark brown colors Widespread pest

In conclusion, identifying thrips in your pool includes considering their physical characteristics and identifying signs of infestation to determine the appropriate action to take.

Prevention and Maintenance

Pool Maintenance

Proper pool maintenance is crucial in preventing thrips and other pool bugs from infesting your swimming pool. Regular cleaning helps eliminate organic materials like leaves and plant debris that attract these pests.

  • Skimming: Use a pool net to remove leaves, plants, and other debris floating on the pool surface daily.
  • Cleaning: Vacuum the pool floor and scrub the walls to remove dirt, algae, and stains at least once a week.
  • Chemical balance: Check the pool water’s chlorine and pH levels to maintain a healthy and pest-free environment.

Remove Nearby Plant Debris

Thrips and other pool bugs are attracted to plant debris, so it’s essential to keep your pool area clean and free from nearby leaves, plants, and other organic materials.


  • Trim trees and shrubs around the pool to limit the amount of leaves falling into the water.
  • Regularly sweep or blow leaves from the pool deck to prevent thrips from migrating to your swimming pool.

Monitoring Pool Water

Keeping a close eye on your pool water’s quality helps prevent thrips and other infestations.

  • Regular water testing: Test your pool water for chemical balance at least once a week. Adjust levels as necessary to maintain a healthy environment.
  • Visual inspection: Watch for streaks and other signs of thrips or algae growth in your pool water. Address issues promptly to prevent further damage.

By following proper pool maintenance, removing nearby plant debris, and monitoring pool water quality, pool owners can effectively prevent thrips and other pool bug infestations.

Eradicating Thrips in Pool

Thrips are small insects from the order Thysanoptera, characterized by fringed wings and short antennae. These pests may infest your pool, causing discomfort and potential health risks. To get rid of thrips in pool, there are several methods, including manual cleaning methods, chemical treatments, and natural approaches.

Manual Cleaning Methods

  • Skimming: Regularly skim the pool’s surface to remove clusters of bugs, including thrips. Doing this at least once daily helps prevent infestations.
  • Vacuuming: Vacuum pool floors and walls to remove any insects and debris. Make sure to vacuum at least once a week.


  • Cost-effective
  • Environmentally friendly


  • Time-consuming
  • Requires consistent effort

Chemical Treatments

  • Shock Chlorination: Shock your pool by raising the chlorine levels, effectively killing thrips and other pests.
  • Algaecide: Apply algaecide to eliminate algae as potential food sources for thrips.


  • Effective and quick results
  • Easy application


  • Impacts beneficial insects and organisms
  • May cause skin and eye irritation

Natural Thrips Control

  • Sticky Traps: Hang sticky traps around the pool area, especially near lights, to capture thrips and other flying insects.
  • Lacewings and Pirate Bugs: Introduce beneficial predators like lacewings and minute pirate bugs in your garden, which feed on thrips.
  • Neem Oil: Mix neem oil with water and spray around the pool and garden to repel thrips.


  • Environmentally friendly
  • Doesn’t harm beneficial insects


  • May take longer to see results
  • Requires proper application for effectiveness

Overall, there are various ways to eradicate thrips in your pool, from manual cleaning methods to chemical treatments and natural control. By choosing the most suitable approach, maintaining your pool and garden area, and taking preventative measures, you can keep thrips and other pests at bay.

Integrated Pest Management for Pools

Biological Controls

Biological control methods involve using natural predators of thrips to reduce their populations. One option is introducing predatory mites that feed on thrips, which can help in keeping their numbers under control. Additionally, several insects like lady beetles, mantises, spiders, wasps, lacewings, and backswimmers can help with thrips control. For instance:

  • Backswimmers: known to eat various pests, including thrips in pool areas.
  • Giant water bugs: another aquatic predator that may help in controlling thrips.

Cultural Practices

Practicing proper cultural methods can help reduce the presence of thrips in your pool area. Some of these include:

  • Monitoring: Regularly check for thrips around the pool area, especially near landscape plants or bulbs.
  • Washing: Keep the pool area clean by washing patio furniture, pool covers, and any other equipment where thrips may reside.

Adopting an integrated pest management (IPM) approach is also recommended for long-term pest prevention by eliminating the access to food, water, and shelter for pests.

Chemical Management

Chemical management options should be considered as a last resort when other methods are insufficient. It is crucial to use environmentally friendly, least-toxic pesticides to minimize the impact on beneficial insects and aquatic life. When using chemical management for thrips in pools, make sure to:

  • Follow the product’s label instructions carefully.
  • Apply only specific and targeted pesticides to avoid harming beneficial insects.
Method Pros Cons
Biological Natural, sustainable May take time to be effective
Cultural Preventive approach Requires regular maintenance
Chemical Immediate results Can harm beneficial organisms

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.


  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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Tags: Thrips

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