Top Natural Ways To Get Rid of Waterbugs

Water bugs are creepy pests we deal with. We often encounter them in our kitchen, bathroom, and laundry. We may want to pass them off as a common nuisance but they can be dangerous to our health; contaminating our foods and transmitting diseases to us. Once we overlook them, in no time there will be an infestation.

You may not easily get hold of some pesticide to get rid of them but there are ways to get rid of waterbugs naturally. So in this post, we will give in detail, top natural ways to get rid of waterbugs. But first, let us answer the question “what are water bugs?”

What are water bugs?


Waterbugs have been referred to as several things like giant water bugs, water striders, backswimmers, cockroaches, and creeping water bugs. But what are water bugs?

Most people, when they hear of water bugs, they immediately think of the common pests we encounter in our homes that cause us great inconvenience and are often hard to eliminate. Common pests like oriental and American roaches. In the US, cockroaches are often referred to as water bugs. However, not all cockroaches are water bugs.

Water bugs are true bugs. They dwell in ponds, pools and would hardly ever infest homes. They are usually brown, tan, or black. Some water bugs can be found in your kitchen, basement, laundry, and crevices while others like the giant water bug can be found around your pool areas, garage, and just about anywhere they can have access to water.

Giant water bugs would hardly infest your homes while oriental cockroaches are common household bugs. One peculiar thing about these bugs is they are dangerous to your health. They may not have painful stings, but you don’t want them lurking in your vicinity.

READ MORE: Common Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs.

Types of water bugs

1. Giant water bug.

Adult Giant Water Bug Adult Giant Water Bug of the Genus Lethocerus Nepomorpha stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

The giant water bug is a true bug. It is a member of the order of freshwater hemipteran and is considered the largest true bug, growing up to 4 inches in length. It is flat, brown, and has an oval-shaped body. This bug is most popular in the United States and Canada.

A giant water bug will not infest your home except in rare cases. They are mostly attracted to light so you would find them flying towards the light at night. This is one reason why they are also known as electric-light bugs.

They possess pincer-like appendages in front that help them pierce and suck their prey. This ability also earned them the name toe-biter. Giant water bugs are popular in Africa and can also be found in the US and Canada. Though they bite, their stings are barely harmful except for allergic reactions.

You can find them in freshwater ponds, slow-moving pools, moist garden areas, and under stagnant water.

2. Oriental water bugs (cockroaches).

Oriental cockroaches are also known as water bugs. This is because they are usually found in damp, moist places. They are the popular roaches we find in our kitchen, refuse dump, toilet, and laundry area. Oriental roaches are dark brown or black-bodied and are oval-shaped. They are larger species of roaches, quite like the giant water bug. What differentiates it, is its flightless state.

READ MORE: Best Natural Raccoon Repellents.

Difference between water bugs and cockroaches

Water bugs are first and foremost known for their ability to live in water. Just like other insects and animals, they need water, food, and shelter to survive and would go in search of them. They are also oval-shaped and are brown. This makes people often confuse them for cockroaches.

Some cockroaches are considered water bugs, but not all cockroaches are water bugs. The first thing that makes a water bug is its love for the water. Secondly, water bugs like giant water bugs do not have antennas and are winged.

In place of antennas, they have piercing-sucking mouthparts that help them catch their prey. Unlike cockroaches, water bugs hardly infest homes. They are mostly found where they can have access to water, insects, and small fish. Also, they are attracted to bright light.

Oriental cockroaches (waterbugs) on the other hand, can infest your home. Though they most often are found under leaves, in moist areas, outside bushes, and drainage systems. When they infest your home, you would find them in dark, damp places.

What attracts water bugs? 

Naturally, insects and pests Water bugs are attracted to warm, moist places. While some are regularly found in swamps and ponds, some water bugs would most likely infest your homes. Giant water bugs feed on small fishes, insects, and tadpoles while oriental cockroaches are attracted to garbage or just about any food they can have access to.

Top natural ways to get rid of waterbugs?

Water bugs are ugly and creepy. Though they are believed to be harmless, getting rid of them is important. Water bugs would hardly infest your home but for the ones that do, there are natural remedies you can use to get rid of them.

  • The first and most important trick is making the environment unconducive for them. They are most likely not going to survive in a dry environment so ensure to keep your home dry and clean at all times. Places like your bathroom, sinks, keep them clean, properly ventilated, and dry.
  • Dispose of your garbage as often as possible and keep the area neat. Ensure to properly pack your waste as well and avoid placing it in moist areas.
  • Fix plumbing leaks, cracked walls, and crevices to avoid more of these insects invading.
  • Keep your pool and pond clean always.

In situations where you can’t get rid of them successfully due to high infestation, the following top natural DIY remedies can be used to get rid of them.

1. Diatomaceous Earth

This is one popular insect killer that is known for its effectiveness. When applied to a water bug, it destroys the exoskeleton and leaves them dehydrated. After a few days, the diatomaceous earth would have successfully gotten rid of these bugs.

2. Boric acid

Boric acid is a popular substance used to get rid of insects and water bugs are no exception. It is very effective and eliminates them in no time. When they down this substance, it destroys their digestive system and kills them. Boric acid can be mixed with baking soda for a more effective outcome.

How to apply

All you have to do is;

Place the boric acid at strategic points where there’s an infestation and allow these bugs to feed. Once they have taken in the substance, it works on them. After a while, check the area for dead bugs and immediately clean up the environment.

3. Hot water

Hot water is one of the easiest methods to employ as a remedy for water bugs.

How to apply

Just put a considerable amount of much-boiled water. You can add some cleaning agents to make this quite effective. When you have succeeded in mixing, apply in areas you noticed the infestation.

4. Baking soda and powdered sugar

Baking soda is another natural remedy for water bugs. When mixed with powdered sugar, it makes the work faster and more effective.

How to apply

Place a considerable amount of both baking soda and powdered sugar. Then mix them properly. After that, sprinkle around areas where you noticed the infestation. Do this repeatedly for a few days, and in no time these bugs would be gone.

5. Essential oils 

Essential oils like peppermint oil, lavender oil, and neem oil are effective natural water bug remedies. Apart from giving your home a nice welcoming scent, they naturally repel water bugs and other smaller insects.

How to apply

Just apply 9 -15 drops of essential oil into water and mix. After mixing properly, apply around the house and close to infested places and watch this essential oil do its magic. You can also get already made sprays.

Preventing water bugs from entering your home.

The best way to get rid of waterbugs is by preventing them in the first place. When you keep your environment clean, dry, and tidy, there would be no room for these bugs. Another way you can employ to prevent them is using smells repelling these pests.

1) Garlic

Garlic has this offensive smell that is pungent to insects including water bugs. Since they do not like the smell, you can place them around areas where bugs may likely enter your home to prevent any infestation.

2) Lavender plants

The scent from lavender plants repels insects. You can place dry lavender leaves around your home. Since the smell repels them, they would hardly come around your home.


Apart from using natural remedies to get rid of waterbugs, there are pesticides, bug sprays, and traps that can be used to rid of these pests. You can also contact a professional team if you are having trouble handling it on your own.

These natural do-it-yourself remedies are helpful and would save cost as well as prevent a larger infestation. Get rid of these critters and save yourself from unpleasant creepy nuisance.

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