INFORMATION ON WATER BOATMEN IN COACHELLA VALLEY
Information Sheet: Water boatmen in Coachella Valley
Prepared by CVMVCD, November 7, 2017
What are they?
1. There have been a large number of calls and emails to vector control and city offices from Coachella Valley residents regarding little bugs accumulating on cars and swimming in pools.
2. These bugs are from the family of insects called Corixidae and are commonly referred to as water boatmen. They are found throughout the United States in aquatic habitats such as ponds and lakes.
3. They typically feed on algae, plants, and debris. Some species eat insects including mosquito larvae.
Why are they here and are they dangerous?
1. During the spring and fall, the adults migrate to and from their homes and their overwintering sites. Possibly, the increased rainfall this past year increased the availability of resources for the bugs to survive and reproduce, leading to a population growth this season.
2. The adults are drawn to reflective surfaces such as windows and cars. They perceive these reflective surfaces as sources of water leading them to “fall from the sky” onto a car.
3. Water boatmen do not feed on humans or animals and pose no health threats.
What can be done to get rid of them?
1. Fortunately, the juvenile and adult stages of these insects will not survive in a clean, chlorinated pool. Remove any algae and check your water chemistry for proper chlorine levels.
2. You may prevent the water boatmen from laying eggs by removing floating objects and debris from your pool.
3. You may prevent adults from landing in your pool by covering it.
4. Keep lights off at night to prevent adults from flying towards them.
5. The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District does not treat for these bugs since they are not a public health threat.
How long will these bugs be here?
1. Often, water boatmen migration is seasonal and their activity should subside with the cooling winter temperatures.
https://bugguide.net/node/view/4964 - Includes pictures and description.