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How to deal with worms in your swimming pool

Dealing with Worms in Pool

Worms in a swimming pool isn’t a good thing by any stretch of the imagination. However, we are sure you knew this already. Here, we are going to talk to you a little bit about how worms get into the pool, why you need to get rid of them quickly and, perhaps more importantly, how you can deal with worms in the pool.

worms in pool

How worms get into the pool

When we are talking about worms in pool, we assume that you are talking about earthworms. Although, of course, other worms can manage to work their way into the pool too.

As you may know, worms tend to surface when it starts to rain. They love getting wet like this. Their skin cannot dry out. They need moist skin in order to breathe. Once the rain stops, and they start drying out a little bit, they tend to seek out new water sources. If your pool is in close enough vicinity, then there is a good chance that they could be hopping into your pool. Of course, they will not survive long once they do get into the pool, but they don’t know that.

That being said, this isn’t the only way the worms can get into your pool. They can be washed into the pool, or even blown into it. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter that you have worms in the pool. The point is that they are in the pool, to begin with.

How You Can Prevent Worms Getting Into The Pool

Perhaps the best ‘solution’ for the problem of worms in the pool is preventing it from happening in the first place. These tips should help.


Worms tend to live in the soil. If you do not have any soil close to your swimming pool, then they are going to have an incredibly easy time getting into your pool. Keep any soil (including potted plants) at least 10-20 feet away from your pool. The number of worms that manage to well…worm…their way into your pool will shoot down.

Just as a note; if you absolutely must have soil close to your pool i.e. it plays into the whole aesthetic design of your pool, then it is recommended that you add a bit of crushed limestone around the edge of the soil (do not add it into the soil, it could hamper the growth of some plants). Worms are not fans of crushed limestone for whatever reason, and it is unlikely that they will ‘hang out’ in that soil as a result. This means that, right away, you will have prevented worms from getting close to your pool.

Pool Coverings

If you keep your pool covered with a quality pool cover, then it is highly unlikely that any worms will be able to get into your pool. Of course, they may land on the pool cover, but you can just wash them off. It takes seconds. It is going to be much, much simpler than needing to constantly fish worms out of the pool.

Keep Chemical Balance in Check

If worms do manage to get into your pool (and we are not just talking about earthworms here), then the chlorine should kill them. This will keep the chances of them causing you sickness down. Dead worms will also be a whole lot easier to remove from your pool.

It is worth noting that earthworms do not pose that much of an issue for you. It is other worms that will cause a problem. Earthworms will probably drown once they get in the water. Other worms may not. By keeping the chemical balance in check, it will kill these ones.

Check the Pool After a Storm or Heavy Rain

Worms are not going to end up in your pool as soon as the rain has subsided. They are going to take time to move on over to it. This means that if you do have the ability to go out to your pool shortly after it has rained, you may be able to pick up all of the worms that are working their way towards your pool. You will probably able to get most of them, and it shouldn’t take too long to do. We can’t imagine that there is going to be an army of worms working their way towards your pool. It is going to be three or four at an absolute push.

Why Worms in a Pool is a Bad Thing

Worms (mostly) live in the soil. The soil is filthy. If that gets into your pool, then it is going to:

  • Make the pool dirty
  • Clog your filter
  • Bring bacteria into the pool

Obviously, you do not want that to happen.

Certain worms can also carry other diseases. While it is likely that the chlorine or bromine in your pool will reduce the risk of these diseases quite drastically, do you really want to take the risk? This includes parasitic worms which can be swallowed. This can lead to conditions such as Lyme disease which can, of course, cause permanent disability (although, this is quite rare!)

Of course, this is before you even consider the aesthetics of having a load of worms floating in your pool. Thankfully, once they are in there, they should be pretty easy to deal with. You just need to know what to do.

How to Remove Worms in Pool

The following is a ‘step-by-step’ guide to removing worms from your pool. This can be quite an in-depth process, so you probably do not want to be doing it all that often. If you spot worms floating in your pool, then it is probably time to give it a proper clean. Simply removing the worms on the surface is unlikely to be enough.

Skim the Water

Start by skimming the water with a leaf skimmer. This should allow you to remove all of the worms that are floating on the top with ease. This is something that you could, honestly, do every single day if the area that you are in is dealing with quite wet weather. If you do that, then it may actually reduce the need to follow the next steps.

If there are dead worms at the bottom of the pool, then you may be able to remove them yourself. Do this with gloves. Although, honestly, we would not recommend touching any worm unless you are 100% sure it is safe to do so (i.e. if it it is an earthworm or something similar)

Vacuum the Pool

The next step is to pull out your pool vacuum. This will allow you to suck up any of the worms that you have missed. Hopefully, if you have caught the worms soon after death, they will have yet to have floated to the bottom of the pool. This means that this job is going to be quite easy.

We do want to point out at this stage that it is absolutely vital that you empty the pool vacuum after you have sucked up the worms. This is because they will rot, and it is going to cause quite a nasty stench inside of the vacuum. It may also prevent it from working as effectively in the future. Since pool vacuums tend to be quite expensive, this is the last thing you want to have happen!

Clean the Pool Filter

This is probably going to be nothing more than a visual check on the filters. If you have managed to catch the worms fast enough, it is unlikely that many of them will have ventured into the pool filters. However, it is always worth looking, you never know what you may find.

Bear in mind that a lot of worms on the filter will raise the pressure on the filter. This will make it tough for the pool filter to remove other debris from the water. So, if you do spot some, then you should remove them right away. You may also want to give your filters a quick clean down, although this is something that you should (hopefully) be doing fairly often anyway!

You should be doing this at least once per month anyway. After all, it is always good to keep your pool filters in tip-top condition!

Shock the Pool

This is not something that you need to do. However, if you have not cleaned the pool for a while, or you found a lot of worms in the pool, then it may be worth using a non-chlorine shock in the pool. This will help to break up any organic matter. It will also make it easier for the chlorine in the pool to sanitize it.

If you follow these tips we have highlighted on this page, we promise you that worms in pool will no longer be one of the issues that you face. If they do pop up, then just pull out your pool vacuum and leaf skimmer and get to work!

Posted in pool maintenance

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