Ducks are super cute critters and lots of fun to feed breadcrumbs to in the park. Your backyard pool, however, is no place for a quacker convention.
If you’ve recently had a gathering of ducks or geese in and around your swimming pool and you’re not keen for a bunch of new feathery pets, the good news is that there are some simple, inexpensive ways to safely and humanely keep ducks out of your pool.
Why Can’t I Have Ducks in My Pool?
As heartwarming as it would be to walk out back every day to see your duck menagerie, your beautiful swimming pool would soon become overrun and unusable.
It’s Harmful To You
Ducks, like many wild animals, can be carriers of disease and bacteria. Having a group of them hanging out in your pool is just asking for trouble. Birds can transmit nasty contaminants that cause E. coli, Salmonella, Bird flu (Avian influenza), and a host of others that no one can even pronounce.
Although your sanitizer exists to neutralize these contaminants and cleanse your pool water, there’s still the issue of duck droppings. Whether they’re in your pool water floating around grossly or on your patio (yuck), they are the major bearer of bacteria that can transmit disease to human hosts.
It’s Harmful To the Ducks
Ducks are wild animals and should not be hanging out or roosting in your backyard. Not only is floating in and drinking chlorinated water unhealthy for the ducks but if they stick around long enough, they might start laying eggs in your garden.
Wild ducks (or other animals) don’t know you’re pool water is chemically-treated. All they see is a sparkling lagoon with no pond scum in sight. Drinking chlorinated water over time will cause serious damage to their kidneys and hatching their young in a residential area is a recipe for long term ducky danger.
Why Ducks Love Your Pool
Ducks love water. And ducks love water with no natural predators even more. So when you and your family aren’t out back swimming, your pool looks like a magical paradise made just for them.
As members of the waterfowl family, ducks are web-footed and therefore, fantastic swimmers. Their lives revolve around the water and they’re naturally drawn to it. Like my Golden Retriever, they are impossible to keep out of the water.
How to Keep Ducks Out of the Pool
If you’ve recently experienced a duck invasion, there are a few easy tricks for keeping them out of your pool. These tips are sure to gently encourage the fowl beasts to get the move-on and find another swimming hole to call home.
Maintain Your Pool
Keeping your pool clean and well-maintained is the number one duck preventative out there. If your pool is green, cloudy, or covered in debris, it’s going to look very welcoming to the duck population.
Pool floaties: the silent centurions.
If you have a couple of big ol’ pool floaties lying around, leave one or two floating in the water when you’re not using the pool. These fun pool toys, while being hilarious forms of aquatic amusement, can also stand (float?) guard in your pool to scare away a potential duck incursion.
Bonus points for crocodile-shaped floaties.
Solar covers are generally used to keep your pool water warm and other debris and junk from getting in your pool. These nifty gadgets can actually work quite well at keeping ducks from using your pool as their own personal duck pond.
While covering your pool and removing the temptation for ducks to take a swim, a solar cover also has the added bonus of keeping duck droppings and other harmful rubbish out of your pool water.
Automatic Pool Cleaner
Running an automatic pool cleaner when your pool is not being used is a great way to scare off the ducks. As the underwater robot slowly makes its way around your pool, its autonomic movement will serve to unnerve the ducks, signaling danger.
If you already have one, you’re in luck. These helpful devices will not only keep ducks and other animals away from your pool but they’ll keep your pool free of dirt, leaves, and debris, making it a less-desirable nesting spot too.
Use Duck Off
This should be a last resort for anyone who doesn’t cherish the idea of adding more chemicals to your pool (than you already do). If you’ve tried everything else, however, it can be a good option. The product is safe to use (for you and ducks) and it actually works.
If you do decide to use Duck Off, simply follow the instructions adding it to your pool, and then watch as the ducks decide to swim somewhere else. The chemical causes a decrease in the natural surface tension of the water, making it uncomfortable and awkward for ducks (and other birds) to swim.
Enlist Your Guard Dog
If you do have a family dog, send him/her out into the backyard when you notice the beginnings of a duck party. Just having a crazy pup running around the yard should be enough to scare off the birds.
Don’t worry, he’ll never catch them.
How NOT to Keep Ducks Out of the Pool
Ducks are beautiful wild animals that face enough threats in their short lives that they don’t need to worry about getting injured or killed when they unknowingly land in your pool for a swim.
They’re merely trying to find a habitat that’s free of predators and they don’t understand that they’re presenting you with one more issue to deal with. So for goodness sake, when trying to rid your pool of ducks, please steer clear of the following options.
Nets or Fishing Line
Using nets or fishing line across the surface of your pool is dangerous to ducks, other birds, and any other animals that happen by. They won’t see the threat so they’ll end up getting tangled up and possibly drown. Now you have dead ducks in your pool to deal with.
Poison, Traps, or Other Mean Tricks
Not only are these options unsafe for your children and pets, they’ll end up leaving dead fowl (or other critters) in your backyard. The idea is to encourage the ducks to move on, not to injure or kill them.
Pools are for People (not Ducks)
Ducks are cute, fluffy, and fun to feed at the park but they certainly don’t belong in your backyard or pool. With one of these tricks (or maybe a few combined), you can keep ducks out of your pool and help them in the process.
If you really love ducks — your best bet is to invest in a rubber ducky pool floaty. Who knows? It might end up keeping the real ducks out of your pool too.