If you’ve ever been down by the creek, river, or lake you may have noticed some funny looking bugs walking on the water. Bugs that resemble a cross between a large mosquito and a spider. No, they aren’t a mutant insect, those are water striders.
Water striders, aka water skeeters, water spiders, and pond skaters, are rather peculiar looking. These ½” long insects are known for their long legs that have little hairs on them that help repel the water giving them the ability to capture air thus allowing them to glide across the water. With 3 sets of legs, they give off the appearance of a skater on ice.
These aquatic insects prey on other insects that were unfortunate enough to fall in the water and were unable to get out. Water striders will grab their unsuspecting prey and chomp down on the body and suck the prey’s juices out.
Like land insects don’t do well in water, water striders don’t do well on land. Rendering them almost useless, their legs are not made for hard surfaces.
Water strider’s mating ritual doesn’t always go as planned for the female. The female has the capability to not expose her genitalia to an unwanted mate. However, the male strider will climb on the females back and, if unwanted, he will begin tapping the water. This tapping alerts nearby predators in the water of their whereabouts. This, in turn, scares the female into exposing herself in fear of being eaten by a predator and giving into the male.
Females lay eggs in water vegetation or on rocks. After hatching, nymphs reach adulthood in approximately 30 days. Adult water striders do not survive freezing temperatures, though their eggs can overwinter and hatch in the spring.
Water striders are attracted to algae and in some rare cases can find their way into your pool. After skimming them out, take a pool brush to the tile and scrub off any algae. This reduces future attraction to your pool.
Contact Safe Earth Pest Control if you’re experiencing or need to prevent any issues with insects or pests. 214-321-2847