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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/infestation of insects in backyard pond


I have a small pond in our yard and recently noticed a coating on the surface of the pond that I thought was pollen from a plant I had in there that was blooming. My fish started to die. My husband discovered that it was actually tiny bugs that covered the entire surface of my pond. I took a sample of the water to a local place here that deals with ponds and she said she has never seen anything like it. We drained the pond, sprayed the rocks all around the area, waited several hours in the hot sun and then filled it with water again. Within an hour they were all over the surface again. They are very tiny beige colored insects and the seem to jump. I would be so grateful for any help that you could give me. Thank you, Bonnie.


I'd need a photo to be certain but these sound like springtails, see for a photo. Springtails live in soil/leaf litter and can be extremely abundant especially in organically rich garden soils. They feed on soil fungi. They are completely harmless. My guess is they are entering the pond because the surrounding soil is very dry, they are seeking water. They won't hurt anything and should disappear once soil moisture increases following rain.

Jack DeAngelis

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.


20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.


Ph.D. in Entomology

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