Best 6 Products For How To Get Rid of Water Bugs (2022)

Even though water bugs aren’t considered harmful, they sure are annoying. No one wants a water bug infestation in their home. If you have been looking for an answer when it comes to how to get rid of water bugs the right way, we have you covered.

We have created this in-depth guide to help you properly address the water bug situation on your property. This guide will not only tell you the numerous ways of getting rid of pesky water bugs, but it will also go over how to identify water bugs, signs of a water bug infestation, and more.

The information provided in this water bug guide is factual.

So, read on to learn more about how you can say bye-bye to water bugs deciding to make your house or garden their new home.


  • Has a sustainable and reusable bottle
  • Plant-based and non-toxic formula
  • Doesn’t have a strong smell
  • Has an odorless formula
  • Has an extended trigger for easy spraying
  • Won’t stain furniture, curtains, etc
  • Easy to use
  • No preparation required
  • 30-days hassle-free return policy

The Top 6 Water Bug Killers

There’s a variety of products available for getting rid of water bugs. However, not all of them can be deemed high-quality. To make things easier for you, we have created a list of the top 6 water bug killers that can help you out. From sprays to liquids and electronic repellents, this review list is sure to include a particular product perfect for keeping your home safe from water bugs.

1. HARRIS Roach Killer Odorless Liquid Spray – Top Pick

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Item Type: Spray

Item Weight: 8.9 pounds

Smell: Odorless

Preparation: No

The Harris Roach Killer Odorless Liquid Spray can be easily applied to cracks and crevices. Bugs love hiding in tight spots in storage areas, under the cabinets, around sinks, etc. Using this spray can help you reach such tricky areas. It has an odorless formula for the comfort of your household. The spray is also non-staining. The extended trigger lets you spray with convenience.


  • Has an odorless formula
  • Won’t stain furniture, curtains, etc.
  • Has an extended trigger for easy spraying
  • Instantly kills bugs and remains effective for a week

2. BugMD Pest Control Essential Oil Concentrate – Best Essential Oil Spray

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It works for indoor and outdoor environments.

Item Type: Liquid

Item Weight: 0.29 pounds

Smell: Not strong

Preparation: Yes

The BugMD Pest Control Essential Oil Concentrate needs to be prepared. A small bottle of concentrate can be used to make a 32 oz bottle of water bug-killing spray (by adding 27 oz of cold water). This plant-based and non-toxic formula will ensure your household remains pest-free. It is safe to be used around carpets, wood, and fabrics. The fast-acting formula will start killing insects (adults, eggs, and larvae) in 30 minutes.


  • Has a sustainable and reusable bottle
  • Plant-based and non-toxic formula
  • Doesn’t stain carpets and other fabrics
  • Doesn’t have a strong smell

3. Green Gobbler Goodbye Gel Drain Treatment – Best For Drain Pipes

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This product has a formula for killing water bugs, drain flies, and other critters trying to take over your home. The gel-like consistency is able to trap and kill bugs. You can use it in bathrooms and kitchens.

Item Type: Gel

Item Weight: 5.99 pounds

Smell: Not strong

Preparation: No

The Green Gobbler Goodbye Gel Treatment is non-caustic and non-corrosive. So, you won’t have to worry about your pipes, garbage disposals, and drains getting damaged. The gel is made from Citronella that is known to kill bugs. All you need to do is use 1 cup of this gel. Simply pour it into the drain and let it coat the walls of the pipe to start killing bugs.


  • Easy to use
  • No preparation required
  • Can be used for residential and industrial drains
  • 30-days hassle-free return policy

4. Harris Boric Acid Roach Tablets – Best Boric Acid Tablets

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You can easily use these tablets in a household with kids and pets.

Item Form: Tablets

Item Weight: 0.4 pounds

Smell: Odorless

Preparation: No

The Harris Boric Acid Roach tablets give you 145 tablets for treating at least 12 rooms and keeping water bugs, roaches, and other insects away for a very long time. These tablets don’t have an expiration date and can be used to kill entire infestations. Simply place these tablets under cabinets, appliances, drawers, nears cracks, etc., and let them start killing bugs.


  • Easy to use tablets
  • Safe to be used around pets and kids
  • Don’t have an expiration date
  • Odorless for convenience

5. Ever Pest Ultrasonic Pest Repellent Control – Best Ultrasonic Pest Repeller

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This particular product (by using a 2-Pack) can easily cover up to 1600 square feet and functions on 110/220 voltage.

Item Type: Electronic

Item Weight: 0.35 pounds

Smell: Odorless

Preparation: No

The Ever Pest Ultrasonic Pest Repellent Control emits ultrasonic, electromagnetic, and bionic pulses to keep pests at bay. From water bugs to cockroaches and rodents, you will get to live a pest-free life in your home. Just plug in this device and make sure nothing is covering the device or blocking the waves being emitted. This device makes sure to keep altering frequencies (from 20 to 40 kHz) to ensure insects don’t adapt.


  • A non-toxic and pet-safe option
  • Plug-and-use technology
  • Can alter frequencies
  • Can cover up to 1600 square feet

6. Bristarboy Ultrasonic Pest Repeller, 4 Packs – Best For The Money

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Item Type: Electronic

Item Weight: 0.4 pounds

Smell: Odorless

Preparation: No

The Bristarboy Ultrasonic Pest Repeller emits pulses that help to make your house free of annoying insects. You will get to see impressive results in about 2 to 3 weeks. A single device can cover up to 800-1200 square feet. Due to the pulses not being able to move through walls, it’s recommended you have a device for each room.


  • Non-toxic and pet-safe option
  • Can cover up to 800-1200 square feet
  • No preparation needed; just plug and use
  • Odorless operation

How To Identify Water bugs

First thing first. To remove water bugs from the premises, you need to understand how to identify them. You would be surprised to learn how many people misidentify water bugs. Many people think that cockroaches are also water bugs.

For those who might not know yet, the term water bug (or waterbug) is a general term used for a variety of bug species living in or around water. The bug species are:

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

You should take note that land-living cockroaches such as the German cockroach, Oriental cockroach, and American cockroach, aren’t actually water bugs.

The scientific name for Giant Water Bugs is Lethocerus americanus. Such critters belong to the Belostomatidae family and are freshwater Hemiptera insects. The order Hemiptera includes true bugs such as aphids, cicadas, leafhoppers, and numerous others. Such insects feature piercing and sucking mouthparts and undergo incomplete metamorphosis.

Depending on the location, giant water bugs are also commonly known as toe-biters, Indian toe-biters, alligator ticks, or fleas.

The Body of a Water Bug

According to research, most water bugs can grow up to approximately 1.5 to 2 inches in length. However, some species can grow as long as four inches. Due to the type of insect it is, a water bug’s body consists of a head, thorax, and abdomen. You will notice that the body of a water bug has a boat-like shape, and it is flat and oval in proportions.

Even though they are called water bugs, adult water bugs are incapable of breathing in water. That’s why they have a short breathing tube (functioning similar to a snorkel) that can be retracted into the abdomen.

Water bugs hunt for their food. That’s why they have hook-shaped forelegs meant for grasping and holding onto their prey. The legs, on the other hand, are flat and function as oars for swimming in water.

Water bugs tend to usually be grayish or brown.

How Many Legs do Water Bugs have?

Nature has given six legs to giant water bugs. As mentioned above, the two forelegs are shaped like a hook for holding prey, while the remaining legs are used for swimming.

You should also know that water bugs are capable of injecting their prey with poison. Said poison not only paralyzes the prey, but it also turns the prey’s body into mush from the inside.

How Many Eyes do Water Bugs Have?

You will notice 2 eyes in most water bugs. Often, there are also short antennae tucked behind their eyes.

Understanding The Behavior of Water Bugs

Knowing about the behavior of giant water bugs can help you identify them, too. Due to their physiology, giant water bugs are predatory in nature. Don’t be fooled by the small size of these insects because there is a lot that giant water bugs can hunt as their food source.

Giant water bugs can eat fish, amphibians, and other aquatic insects.

When they are in the mood to hunt, water bugs have the tendency to stay still while attaching themselves to a plant in a freshwater stream or pond. They wait for the desired prey to swim past them, and then instantly attack said prey with their hook-shaped forelegs. Water bugs then inject a paralyzing poison into their prey.

As far as their mating behavior is concerned, you will be surprised to know that adult male water bugs are known to carry their eggs until they hatch. Adult female water bugs are the ones who usually move around in search of males for mating.

The Habitat of Water Bugs

As apparent by their name, water bugs tend to spend a lot of their time in or around water. They prefer humid and warm climates. Numerous species of water bugs are found in Asia and other temperate and tropical areas around the globe.

You will find water bugs in moist and damp areas such as freshwater streams, marshes, and ponds. However, depending on the circumstances, they can appear inside your house.

The Difference Between Water Bugs & Cockroaches

Many people end up confusing cockroaches for water bugs. However, if you pay close attention to these two insects, you will be able to determine a number of differences. To help you identify actual water bugs, let’s go over the differences between them and cockroaches.

Water bugs vs Cockroaches – The Body

One of the biggest differences between cockroaches and water bugs is their appearance. Even though they might look similar at first, there are stark differences between the two. As mentioned in this guide, water bugs have a more boat-like oval body, while cockroaches tend to be lengthier. However, cockroaches, despite a leaner body, are usually smaller than water bugs.

Cockroaches also don’t have the hook-shaped forelegs that water bugs have for hunting prey.

Water bugs vs Cockroaches – Food and Habitat

Even though water bugs and cockroaches can live in water, the latter prefers spending more time on dry land. In contrast, water bugs prefer water and damper areas.

Water bugs are hunters, while cockroaches are scavengers. Cockroaches are incapable of injecting their prey with a paralytic toxic.

Water bugs vs Cockroaches – Who is more dangerous?

When threatened, cockroaches will run away, while water bugs can bite you. And yes, a water bug bite can be quite painful to humans. However, you don’t need to worry about being paralyzed by their toxin.

But unlike cockroaches, water bugs aren’t considered proper pests, and they don’t give rise to numerous health concerns that a cockroach infestation does.

How To Treat a Water Bug Bite?

While a water bug bite won’t make you fall sick, it can still be a bit painful. The bite site can also sting a little. A water bug bite can lead to the bite site becoming red, itchy, and swelling.

You can treat a water bug bite by applying:

  • Aloe vera gel
  • Peppermint oil
  • A cold compress
  • A paste made from water and turmeric powder

You can also consider using any general insect bite gel or cream. If you end up experiencing a serious reaction to a water bug bite, you should seek professional medical help as soon as possible.

The Signs of a Water Bug Infestation

If you’re concerned about a possible water bug infestation in your home, below are some common signs that can help you to correctly identify a water bug infestation.

Water Bugs Inside the House

If there are water bugs inside the house, there are three signs you should look out for!

  • Habitat: You will likely find water bugs in humid areas of your house. Such insects can also be found close to leaky pipes.
  • Droppings: Certain types of insect droppings can help you confirm water bugs inside your house. Water bugs will leave droppings that resemble black pellets.
  • Eggshells: Discarded water bug eggshells can be present inside your house.

Water Bugs in the Pool

Water bugs prefer a standing body of water, including pools. They love eating algae. So, if you have a pool with algae, you should give your pool (including the pump) a thorough look to confirm if it has water bugs or not.

Due to water bugs making your pool their home, you will likely find eggshells and droppings.

How to Get Rid of Water bugs

There are a bunch of ways for about how to get rid of water bugs. The method for eliminating water bugs depends on the scale of infestation. You can use:

  • Boric acid
  • Essential oils (peppermint, lemongrass, and cedar wood)
  • Pouring baking soda and alcohol on water bug nests
  • Water bug killing sprays
  • Ultrasonic pest repellents

How to Prevent Water Bugs In Your Home

While getting rid of water bugs is possible, wouldn’t it be great to not have to deal with water bugs in the first place? When it comes to infestations, prevention is better than cure. We have compiled a list of things you can do to prevent water bugs from coming into your house.

Avoid Standing Water

Water bugs love standing water. That’s why one of the most significant preventive measures is to get rid of any standing water in your house. You should focus on getting leaky pipes fixed and ensure that your house doesn’t have moist areas that can attract water bugs.

Improve Garbage Disposal

Garbage can attract water bugs, too. And so can unsealed food in the kitchen. You should keep food sealed in airtight containers. You should also ensure that garbage doesn’t stay too long in your house before disposal. Always remember to keep the garbage bags sealed.

Get Rid of Entry Points

Water bugs can crawl into your house through holes, cracks, and crevices. You should try and block the entry points by sealing them up with cement or similar materials. You should also try to plug holes in doors and windows.

Other Preventive Measures

If you’re able to, you should consider using boric acid and peppermint oil to keep your home safe from water bugs. Try leaving a bit of boric acid near cracks and crevices. You can also spray cracks, etc., with peppermint oil to ensure water bugs don’t crawl into your rooms.

Final Thoughts

You can get rid of water bugs from your home. You just need to know the proper ways to do so. Also, it is important to learn the difference between water bugs and cockroaches.

There are many ways to eliminate water bugs. You can use sprays, electronic repellents, and more. We hope that our in-depth guide has provided you with the information you need to keep your house free from water bugs!


What Kills Water Bugs Instantly?

Water bugs can be killed instantly by using high-quality water bug killing sprays and liquids. Chemicals like boric acid, baking soda, and alcohol are known to kill water bugs.

What Causes Water Bugs in Your House?

Water bugs love living in moist and damp areas. So, if you have any such areas in your house, water bugs will be attracted toward them. Not only that, water bugs can be attracted to your house pool. They can also be attracted by garbage.

What Smell Do Water Bugs Hate?

Water bugs, like most insects, do not like the smell of certain essential oils. This is why some people use peppermint oil to get rid of water bugs. You can make a water bug repelling spray by adding around 10 drops of peppermint oil to warm water. Spray the liquid around the house (focus on the cracks) to keep water bugs away.

How Do You Find a Water Bug Nest?

Water bugs don’t create nests in the open. They will make nests in the gaps present in your home’s windows, pipes, and doors (areas that penetrate the exterior). You can find water bug nests in the cracks in the concrete walls and floors. Water bugs are capable of chewing through walls, if necessary, to create nests.

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