As much as I like ducks their place is not in my swimming pool. Keeping ducks out of your pool is essential if you want to keep your pool clean and fresh.
Watching a few ducks fly in and out of your backyard pool occasionally can be a wonderful sight, however, it can become frustrating when they continue to swim there so that you end up with duck poop in pool water.
Keep reading to find 11 ways how to keep ducks out of your pool. Some of these may take a few days until the ducks learn that it is not a pool for ducks.
Tip 1: Invest in a motion-activated sprinkler
Ducks only like water when it suits them. Installing motion-activated sprinklers is a sure way to frighten any winged wanderers away.
This Hoont Cobra Motion Activated Sprinkler can cover the area of most home pools and is available on Amazon.
Just make sure that if you have it set up to cover your pool area then you should switch it off before using the pool. Having said that, kids will probably love it.
If you want to keep costs down, you can always stick to a manual sprinkler and turn it on when they are most likely to enter your yard.
Tip 2: Animal pool toys are essential
Pool owners everywhere will love this one, and it costs nothing either.
Animal pool toys are a great way to keep ducks and other birds away from your swimming pool. Ducks will give a wide berth to anything that even slightly resembles a predator, such as an alligator, so get those pool toys inflated!
Leaving them to float around the pool when you are in the house or out and about will keep any pesky duck at bay.
Tip 3: Buy a plastic owl
I have heard good reports about using realistic looking plastic owls that you can sit above your pool area. Ducks see owls as a threat, as they are natural predators, so they are unlikely to settle in places that are considered a danger.
You can even buy an owl with a head that rotates making it look even more real, to ducks anyway. See the Plastic Owl Scarecrow Sculpture with Rotating Head on Amazon.
Tip 4: Use a robotic/automatic pool cleaner
Why not clean your pool and scare ducks away at the same time? Using an automatic pool cleaner or robotic pool cleaner is one way of keeping ducks away as they usually steer clear when there’s any type of movement nearby.
Robotic pool cleaners normally only operate on a two-hour cycle though so this would not be an all-day solution. However, if perhaps the ducks normally land in your pool at dusk, which is often the case, then that may be a good time to run the cleaner.
Tip 5: Purchase a solar cover
Solar pool covers can be purchased in all shapes and sizes, so you are bound to find one that fits your pool perfectly.
This type of solar cover is ideal as they:
- keep your pool warmer using solar radiation
- save energy costs if you have an electric or gas heater to keep the pool heated
- reduce water evaporation so save on your water bill
- keep your pool free from debris
- and other annoyances – like ducks!
Ducks and birds may still land on the cover, but at least they won’t make it into the water. We hate to say it, but you may find yourself cleaning duck poop or other bird droppings off it. Just be careful that none slips into the water!
You can read all about solar covers in my post – Solar pool covers – 19 things to know before you buy
Tip 6: Remove bird feeders
This one doesn’t apply to every household, but if you are struggling to keep ducks and other birds away from your pool, then the bird feeders have got to go.
A duck may not necessarily eat directly from feeders, but they will be attracted to seeds that land on the grass below.
Tip 7: Use a duck repellent
There are a variety of duck and goose repellents available on the market and each one does the same job. Apparently, the chemicals are completely harmless to humans or ducks which is good to know. Most of us (we hope) don’t want to hurt these creatures, but we do want them to keep away from our pools!
Duck repellents can be sprayed on lawns, plants and other vegetation. The jury seems out on how well these work – some say they work perfectly while others say that it doesn’t work at all. If you want to try this for yourself you can buy Liquid Fence Goose Repellent on Amazon.
Tip 8: Install a pool cage
This is certainly the most expensive and drastic way to keep ducks out of your pool but it certainly works and will have many other advantages too.
Many people in warmer climates, such as in Florida, have pool screens installed but normally to keep bugs out rather than to keep ducks away.
They will probably not be suitable for those that live in colder climates, particularly where heavy snowfall is the norm.
Tip 9: Invest in an ultrasonic pet repellent
These clever machines emit a high-frequency sound around your yard that birds, ducks, rodents and other unwanted animals do not like at all.
The great thing about ultrasonic pet repellents is that they are not very expensive either, so you may want to purchase a couple! Some even use flashing lights to further scare and deter wild animals and of course, as a duck repellant for pools.
The only downside to using this device is they are not great if you own other animals as they will not be impressed at all.
You can buy the DURANOM Ultrasonic Animal Repellent on Amazon.
Tip 10: Always maintain your pool
It goes without saying that a pool owner should regularly keep their pool clean by keeping on top of their swimming pool maintenance.
Clean water in a pool is not as appealing as ducks prefer murky pond water or lake water normally. A pool lacking chlorine and filled with dirt and debris is bound to attract unwanted visitors such as ducks and other critters.
Tip 11: Get a dog!
Most dogs cannot control themselves when it comes to small animals like ducks. While scaring away ducks and other birds isn’t a good enough reason alone to purchase a dog, it’s something to think about!
Ducks and other uninvited animals are easily scared so are sure to make a quick escape when they hear a dog barking and bounding around the poolside.
We do not recommend purchasing a cat to get the job done though. Cats are more likely to physically harm and even kill a duck in your yard. No one wants dead ducks in their pool.
Dogs, on the other hand, enjoy the scare but are usually never quick enough to catch one. Once your dog has scared them a few times that will probably be enough to keep ducks out of pool in future.
Methods I don’t like to deter ducks
Although some sites may suggest a few options, such as those below, to stop ducks from using your pool, I am not in favor of them as:
- they can be dangerous for ducks and other birds
- they can be annoying to remove when you want to use the pool
If you install bird netting then this can certainly deter ducks and birds but there is every chance that they may get tangled in the net.
If a duck lands on the netting (as it may not notice it when flying in) it would be easy for it to get its legs tangled in the netting and become trapped or injured.
Also it might be possible for a duck or some other type of bird to get under the netting and drown.
Some recommend running fishing line across your pool which would repel ducks but that is not very convenient when you want to swim, unless you can string the fishing line up high in your pool area.
If all else fails, you might think about calling in pest control. I must warn you that some professionals do insist on using duck poison to keep the problem at bay. That is certainly not something I would be prepared to do.
Pool Care Handbook and Video Course
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Why do ducks like swimming pools?
Ducks love water and a pool is seen as a safe haven for wild ducks as the ponds and lakes they are used to, are generally free from any natural predator.
Migrating ducks are often in search of a good-looking body of water to nest nearby for the summer months. Ducks are also attracted to water that is convenient for drinking and bathing in.
Remember, the land your house is built on might be the ducks’ ancestral breeding ground meaning they have now been displaced. So have a heart and don’t do anything which may hurt them.
Is it bad to have ducks in your pool?
There are good reasons why you should keep ducks away from your pool including the following:
Increase in possible diseases
Wildlife increases the risk of germs in pool water due to the sheer amount of diseases they carry and spread such as E. Coli, Salmonella and Crypto. However, well-maintained pools with a good amount of chlorine have the ability to quickly kill these diseases and germs.
While you would struggle to keep your pool totally germ-free, a duck will only contaminate the water more.
Do ducks poop in the water? They certainly do and frequently too! It will float for a while and then sink to the bottom.
As well as germs, duck pool contains both nitrogen and phosphorous which can help the growth of blue-green algae.
Ducks tend to fly off and return quite often to get food etc. If they fly to a local pond or lake then there is a good chance they will bring algae back on their undersides and legs which may then start off an algae bloom in your pool.
May become permanent guests
Ducks that take up residency in your yard are terribly hard to get rid of. And that’s even before they start to lay eggs! According to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act 1918, migrating birds cannot be shot, harmed or disturbed. It is also illegal to relocate them or destroy nests and eggs.
If you are thinking that you can use it as an opportunity to get out your gun and do some duck hunting in your pool then, frankly, you are a typical hunting asshole!
Is it safe for ducks to swim in pools?
While it isn’t a complete no-no, there are a couple of reasons as to why pools aren’t a great place for ducks.
Ducklings are often not strong swimmers so can get sucked into a skimmer by the water flow where they may drown. If you do get ducklings in your pool then the kind thing to do is to build a temporary ramp using some bricks and a plank of wood so they can climb out safely.
Swimming pools are not great places for ducklings. When they hatch, ducklings lack the natural oils in their feathers, or ‘down’, that adult ducks have. This can be a drowning hazard as the water is often too heavy on their little frames.
Chlorinated water can also be harmful when ingested. Ducks that drink large amounts of pool water can cause damage to their kidneys which can be fatal.
I have had hot tubs for over 20 years and a pool for the last 10 years. I had to learn how to clean, maintain and fix them the hard way. Since then I have helped many friends and neighbors with their pools and now I want to share everything I have learned with you. About Me